beginning | blinding torment | boils | lies | making me bitter | evil compounds evil | blah blah bity blah
The Saga of the Jaffa Cakes
ANDREW: It was pretty amazing. A whole grocery store, just abandoned. Food lying around everywhere well, the produce was on its way to funky town but the apples still look pretty good so everyone should check those out.
GILES: Oh, Jaffa Cakes!
What the bejeezus are jaffa cakes?
-boilsandblindingtorment season seven faq
And so began the Jaffa Cake saga.
The response to our season seven faq was tremendous. It sparked heated discussions on message boards all over the world; messages flooded our e-mail boxes. Was this flurry of comments outrage over our callous treatment of Joss and his beloved characters? Accolades of praise for our insight and hard-hitting queries?
Mostly, it was incredulous disbelief that we had never heard of Jaffa Cakes.
Never have we seen a cookie item, I mean cake, I mean biscuit, I mean, desert-type item with spongyness, filling, and chocolate, renamed as to avoid biscuit tax, so beloved, so supported. It warms one's heart, really. Never had a Jaffa Cake?, the messages asked. Why, you haven't lived! Your lives are meaningless, barren, empty! You may have that baseball and apple pie in the United States, but a country with no Jaffa Cakes is like... coffee with no caffeine, the ocean without salt, Giles without me!
We admit, it made us a little curious, and feel a little deprived, as though something had been missing our entire lives.
It started innocently enough.
"just writin to enlighten you on the subject of jaffa cakes. jaffa cakes are like a cakey biscuit sorry cooky thing with jelly in the centre covered in dark chocolate. very popular here in england. which is why giles was so delighted to see them. they are quite tasty."
"wanna know what Jaffa Cakes are? They're about the size of biscuits,
made out of a spongey bit, with a small
And there was this:
"A sort of biscuit
Chocolate on one side
Soft stuff on the other
Orange gooey stuff in the middle"
Complete with pictures.
And on our message board:
"They are shaped like cookies but are made of a layer of sponge cake covered with a thin layer of orange flavoured jello (we call it jelly) and topped with a layer of chocolate. "
"I totally get why Giles loves that stuff. I love 'em, too."
"Jaffa Cake lovers are creative, imaginative and unorthodox someone who solves difficult problems and advances new ideas and strategies."
The discussion then turned into something about moon phases that may have been the result of creeping insanity due to proximity to ST and me.
And it wasn't just on our board:
"what are jaffa cakes indeed! huh!"
"poor jaffie-less american people... "
"That was a funny FAQ but how can they not know what a Jaffa cake is? WTF?"
And so it continued. Board after board. Journal after journal. One thing became perfectly clear. We had to experience Jaffa Cakes for ourselves. But how? We live in the United States, a Jaffa Cake-less society. Could we get a recipe and make them? Apparently not.
"*snorts* Sorry, but I don't think so. As far as I know they are un-self-makable."
"You definately can't make them, they wouldn't be the same."
And then... to our rescue, like a light in the darkness, like a knight in shining armor... came Berandor. He was all the way in Germany, where they endure bad dubbing with their Buffy episodes, and he was willing to send us Jaffa Cakes so we could experience them for ourselves and no longer feel empty, incomplete. We thought possibly he was teasing us, the poor deprived Americans. But no! Within mere days a package arrived at my door! With gleeful anticipation, I opened the box:
Sc. 1: Jaffa Cakes
[Int.: Buffy's house (living room). Buffy, Dawn, Xander, Anya and Willow watch as Giles gleefully opens a package from England containing several boxes of cakes. The gang starts to tease Giles as Buffy watches.]
DAWN: What is that?
XANDER [holding a box and mock-reading its slogan]: It's Jaffa Cake! A small disc of tasteless unspongey sponge cake topped with jelly, held inches away from real oranges for several seconds, crowned by a wafer-thin layer of chocolatey goodness!
ANYA [taking a cake off of Giles' hand shortly before he can eat it]: That doesn't look like goodness to me. It looks like badness.
[Giles regards Anya with a reproachful glare.]
WILLOW: These cakes aren't good for your health, Giles.
ANYA: Willow is right. A man of your age should...
GILES [interrupting Anya]: ...should be able to choose his own food.
DAWN: I think Willow is right, too.
GILES: How typically American. All you're eating are bagels, pancakes with syrup, peanut butter: you eat unhealthy stuff all the time; truth be told, every type of food you didn't steal from other countries -- and in the case or pizza, even that -- is unhealthy. You don't even have sausages for breakfast!
BUFFY [now joining the group]: Seriously, Giles, these cakes could be dangerous. They look ... evil. [happy voice] Should I slay them?
[Giles is speechless for a moment, during which]
BUFFY: You, too?
SPIKE [indignant]: What? I'm English! [He takes an unopened box of cakes from the table.]
GILES: You can't take my cakes!
BUFFY [positioning herself between them]: Giles, it's different. Hew has a soul now.
Spikes leaves, and Giles focuses on the remaining boxes and starts to eat.
ANYA: Besides, the cakes might kill him.
[after a pause] XANDER: Not in my closet. [He follows Spike]
WILLOW: I've always thought Spike should come out of the closet. [Everybody turns to look at her.] Hey, I'm gay! I'm allowed to make these jokes, you know?
[Fade. Later. The room is empty save for empty boxes of eaten cakes. Andrew enters and notices them. He sits down.]
ANDREW [sulking]: I'm like the Jar-Jar of food. He never got a decent line, and I don't get any cakes, like, ever.
-Scene by Berandor
Well, with a set up like that, we couldn't wait to try them. They were yummy! Or possibly dangerous!
First of all, they didn't seem to be much like cakes. (Apparently, whether they are a biscuit or cake is hotly debated.) And the filling didn't seem to actually be jelly. But, we received both orange (the original, accept no substitutes) and rasberry (oddly named "Him" cakes; we weren't quite sure if that meant they were targeted at guys. Or what.)
They were definitely unique. Spongey, yet crumbly. Chocolatey and orangey. We mostly tried them in conjunction with a lot of tequila, but this is more a reflection on the ubiquity of tequila in our presense than on the Jaffa Cakes themselves. I don't think we have anything like them in the U.S., although ST claims they taste somewhat like Pims, which I also had never heard of. I tried to say they were like fig newtons, but with less fig and more chocolate, but I was entirely shot down.
I suppose ST must be right, because upon further research, I found this:
"A cookie company called LU makes PIMS, which are a lovely sponge cake cookie, with orange jam covered by a blanket of dark chocolate. They also make one with raspberry and dark chocolate as well. Both are absolutely scrumptious!"
"Another cookie I just discovered which is similar to PIMS is made by the Jacob's company, called JAFFA CAKES. In fact, I am eating one as I type with one hand. These are imported from Ireland. On the box it reads, 12 fine sponge cakes with orange jam and chocolate. I don't know who's brand is a copy of the other, though."
Uh-oh. What would McVites say about that?
After scientific calculation (making our friends try them), we've decided that Jaffa Cakes may be an acquired taste. We in the United States are more accustomed to twinkies and oreos. But we forever grateful to Berandor for the opportunity to not only try them, but to become educated and enlightened as to their very essence. After all the uproar over the FAQ about our deprived existences', we finally now feel complete.
Ttell us what you think of Jaffa Cakes in the discussion forums.