Jaffa Cakes...an essential part of any lucky British child's lunchbox!
A little spongy chocolatey cake with a hidden tangy orangey bit...Jaffa Cakes are circular and consist of three layers: a sponge cake base, a layer of orange flavoured jam and a coating of dark chocolate. The orangey bit forms a bump on the top of the cake under the chocolate and the chocolatey top is stamped with a crisscross pattern.
McVitie and Price first introduced the Jaffa Cake in 1927 following the success of the chocolate digestive. Its creation is largely credited to John Langlands, a director of McVitie and Price at the time. The cakes were named for Jaffa oranges. Under UK law no VAT is charged on biscuits and cakes — they are "zero rated". Chocolate covered biscuits, however, are subject to VAT, currently 15%. McVities classed its Jaffa Cakes as cakes, but in 1991, this was challenged by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise and the case ended up before the courts. McVities defended its classification of Jaffa Cakes as cakes. In doing so it produced a 12" Jaffa Cake to illustrate that its Jaffa Cakes were simply miniature cakes. McVities argued that a distinction between cakes and biscuits is that biscuits would normally be expected to go soft when stale, whereas cakes would normally be expected to go hard. It was demonstrated to the Tribunal that Jaffa Cakes become hard when stale. The Jaffa Cake won the day and is still sold with no VAT.
I love Jaffa Cakes, especially the orangey bit. I am certain that the sponge layer used to be harder and crunchier when we were children...or maybe they were always staler when we ate them then? Or maybe I am imagining it? Who knows??!