There are two things that we know to be true of Jaffa Cakes.
1. They are cakes – but we forgive them
2. They are round
You can only imagine my abject horror when, on the 8th of October, I saw a post on this venerable blog concerning the introduction of oblong Jaffa Cakes. I quickly surmised that this could only be the work of either Satan and all his little wizards or The Mad Arab and the Elders of Cthulhu.
Turns out, it was the Germans.
Obviously, further investigation was needed if I were to work out what those ruthlessly efficient, Teutonic devils were up to. So, bravely, I arranged for a box of the un-round terrors to be sent my way.
I waited, both in nervous anticipation and in a rather fetching Brown Derby hat which I wore at a jaunty angle.
Eventually they arrived and it quickly became apparent that these were not the Jaffa Cakes I had been used to. The box, for example, is a slim stylish looking affair and the name – Bahlsen’s Messinos – tells you immediately that something foreign is afoot.
Intrigued, I decided to open them and see how these square cornered Messinos would compare to my beloved circles of orangey goodness.
The first thing that struck me was how thin they are. This was most disappointing as I was expecting something more akin to the thick sponge of our native Jaffas. But maybe there was more to them, after all the Messinos main selling point is its orange centre which, they tell me, goes all the way to the edge.
It does too. And it appears to be a horse of an entirely different shade of orange. It’s stickier, than the Mcvitie’s jelly centre and orangier too. Bahlsen describe it as a marmalade. It goes right to the edge of the thin sponge giving them a surprising moistness.
Does this make them better than our own lovable Jaffa Cakes? No, it does not.
Our beloved Jaffa Cakes are thick and robust and can take a decent dunking if they have to. They are a great example of how a cake can become a favourite biscuit. The Messinos are more cake like, but they have their place.
If, for example, you are a Jaffa Cake lover and find yourself inviting your posh neighbours round for coffee and you wanted to show them how posh you were but still be able to serve your favourite biscuits/cakes, then the Messinos will fit right in. They are a posh Jaffa Cake. Stylish to look at, delicate to hold and with an orange centre that says, “I’m posher than you.”
It’s just a shame that they are entirely the wrong shape.