There's plenty of debate around this topic but what's the big obsession all about?
This is a truly a delicious little treat made up of a small sponge with a chocolate topping covering a layer of orange jelly. It is arguably Britain's greatest invention after the steam engine and the light bulb. But is a Jaffa Cake actually a biscuit, asks David Edmonds. This question reheats a confectionery conundrum first raised in 1991. A tax is charged on chocolate-covered biscuits, but not on cakes. The manufacturer, McVities, had always categorised them as cakes and to boost their revenue the tax authorities wanted them recategorised as biscuits. A legal case was fought in front of a brilliant adjudicator, Mr D C Potter. For McVities, this produced a sweet result. The Jaffa Cake has qualities that can be attributed to both cakes and biscuits, but Mr Potter's verdict was that, on balance, a Jaffa Cake is a cake. He examined many possible criteria. One of the obvious ones was the name – they are, in fact, called Jaffa Cakes, not Jaffa Biscuits. He decided this was trivial, though he noted that Jaffa Cakes are more biscuit than cake in several ways. They are packaged like biscuits, and they are marketed like biscuits: they are mostly found in the biscuit aisle in shops. However, they have fundamental cake-like elements. For example, they have ingredients of a traditional sponge cake: eggs, flour and sugar. And when Jaffa Cakes go stale they become hard, unlike biscuits, which become soft. Is size an important issue to consider? Jaffa Cakes are more biscuit like in their shape than cake-sized. In addition, cakes are often eaten with a fork, while biscuits tend to picked up and eaten by hand. To test the significance of size, Edmonds asked the winner of The Great British Bake Off 2013, Frances Quinn, to bake the biggest Jaffa Cake the world has ever set eyes on - the size of a flying saucer, at 124cm in diameter, weighing in at 50kg, and containing 120 eggs and 30 litres of jelly. BBC
Content continues after advertisements