Are Jaffa Cakes Cakes or Biscuits?

All Draw Curiosity videos are fully subtitled in English and Spanish. The blog post builds on the concepts touched upon in the video

In today’s Snippet science I talk about whether Jaffa Cakes are cakes… or biscuits?
Named after the oranges from the Israeli city of Jaffa, Jaffa cakes are a quintessential item of British confectionary: a small layer of Genoise sponge, a disk of orange jelly all topped in chocolate.

The name would suggest they are cakes, but that didn’t stop Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise from challenging McVities in 1991 from potentially selling biscuits under the veil of cakes. This mattered greatly, as cakes and plain biscuits are considered essentials and therefore aren’t taxed. On the other hand, chocolate coated biscuits are considered a luxury item and back then were taxed at 17.5% (20% today!) – therefore the price of Jaffa Cakes could potentially be a lot higher.

McVities argued that cakes go hard when they go stale, and biscuits go soft – and Jaffa Cakes indeed go hard.
As you’ll find out in the video, it is the ratio of the ingredients that determine whether a baked good goes hard or soft when left outside.

I hope you enjoyed and learned something new today! Let me know what you think in the comments – I would love to know! If you enjoyed this blog and would like to be notified of new entries, consider signing up to the mailing list here and subscribing to the YouTube channel!

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