J night's menu seemed to be so much about recipes and research that I wanted to have a bit more freedom to be playful when it came to pudding. On the morning of J night I still hadn't made any firm decisions about what I was going to make and it was while I was in the shower, day-dreaming of Jaffa Cakes that it came to me. Jaffa cake pudding was born and by God it was good (though maybe not after a massive curry and a pre-pudding course of three miniature desserts...)!
I made orange Jocande as the "Jaffa Cake" biscuit base and placed a layer into Martini glasses, pushing it down so it reached right to the bottom of the glass. Next, I poached Jaffa orange slices in a Cointreau syrup, and arranged a layer of the orange slices on top of the Jocande and then spooned some of the Cointreau syrup over the top. Next was a thick layer of the most orange-y orange mousse you can imagine. On top of that was a thin layer of Cointreau jelly which, once set, was topped with a layer of rich chocolate mousse and grating of fresh orange zest to serve. It looks fiddly, but is actually very easy, as it's one of those dishes that you make in stops and starts in between getting on with other things.
Jaffa Cake pudding
for the Jaffa Jocande:
This will make far too much Jocande for this pudding, but it is delicious on its own or as the base for many puddings. It freezes very well and will last, well wrapped, in the freezer for at least a month.
Preheat your oven to 180 C (160 C Fan) and line a large roulade tin with baking parchment.
3 whole eggs
5 egg whites
A pinch of salt
2 oz/ 50 g caster sugar
1 1/2 oz/ 40 g melted butter
2 oz/ 50 g plain flour, sifted
7 oz/ 175 g icing sugar, sifted
7 oz/ 175 g ground almonds
The zest of two oranges
Whisk the whole eggs and icing sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the ground almonds and continue whisking on high speed for about 6 minutes. Stir in the melted butter and flour until throughly incorporated. In a separate, clean and oil-free bowl, whisk the eggs whites and salt until at the soft peak stage. Whisk in the caster sugar in two stages and continue whisking until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Add a third of the meringue to the almond mixture and vigorously stir in to slacken the batter. Fold in the remaining meringue and pour the mixture into your prepared roulade tray. Use a palette knife to smooth the mixture out - it should be about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Bake in your preheated oven for 10 - 15 minutes or until the biscuit Joconde is no longer sticky to touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in its tin on top of a wire rack for about ten minutes before turning out of its tin on to the rack to leave to cool completely. Using a pastry cutter, cut out a small circle of jaffa jocande and use it to line the bottom of each Martini glass. Push it down until it is right at the bottom. You can add another circle on top if you like.
for the poached Jaffa slices in Cointreau syrup
3 Jaffa oranges
2tbsp caster sugar
Place the sugar and Cointreau in a wide pan and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved. Peel the oranges, removing all the pith. Cut out each orange segment over the pan (so you can collect all the juice) with a very sharp knife, leaving the membranes that divide the segments. Poach the orange slices gently in the syrup for 5-10 minutes, then leave to cool. Arrange some orange segments on top of the Jocande and then spoon some of the syrup over them.
for the orange mousse
The zest of 3 oranges
12 fl.oz/ 350 ml freshly squeezed orange juice (This is about 4-5 oranges' worth)
4 eggs, separated
4 oz/ 100 g caster sugar
4 sheets of leaf gelatine
1 small tun (330 ml) double/ whipping cream
Place the orange zest and juice in a saucepan and heat gently until the juice just begins to boil. In the meantime, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a heat proof bowl until pale and creamy. Pour the juice through a sieve over the egg and sugar mixture and whisk together. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and stir continuously over a gentle heat until the orange mixture begins to thicken and transfer it into a cold jug and leave to cool.
Soak the sheets of gelatine in a bowl of cold water for ten minutes. Stir the cream into the cold orange mixture. Squeeze the excess water out of the gelatine and place in a bowl. Pour over a couple of tablespoons of boiling water from the kettle and whisk with a fork until the gelatine has fully dissolved. Stir the melted gelatine into the orange cream until fully combined. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form and gently fold the whipped whites into the orange cream, a little at a time, keeping in as much air as possible. Spoon a thick layer of orange mousse on top of the orange slices, remembering to leave a gap big enough at the top of the glass for the Cointreau jelly and rich chocolate mousse. Pop the glasses in the fridge for an hour or so until the orange mousse sets.
for the Cointreau jelly
125 ml Cointreau
2 leaves of gelatine
Soak the leaves of gelatine in a bowl of cold water for ten minutes. Squeeze the excess water out of the gelatine, pour the rest of the water out of the bowl and pop the gelatine back in. Pour a tablespoon of boiling water over the gelatine and whisk quickly until all the gelatine has thoroughly dissolved. Pour the melted gelatine into the Cointreau and stir together thoroughly. Take the dessert glasses out of the fridge and pour a thin layer of the boozy jelly over the top of the set orange mousse. Pop the glasses back in the fridge and leave to set.
for the rich chocolate mousse
150 g/ 6 oz good quality dark chocolate
4 eggs, separated
A pinch of salt
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water. In the meantime, whisk the egg whites with the salt until they form soft peaks. Take the chocolate off the heat and whisk in the egg yolks before gradually and gently folding in the whipped egg whites a third at a time. Take the dessert glasses out of the fridge and spoon the chocolate mousse on top of the set Cointreau jelly and level the top with a palate knife. Pop the glasses back in the fridge to set. Just before serving, top with some finely grated orange zest.