Describing the Jaffa cake that has been delighting diners at Odette's as a "happy accident" does not do justice to the amount of skill that went into its development. Bryn recalls the origins of the tangy dessert are somewhat surprising:
‘It started off because we were trying to do a version of a Bounty - chocolate and coconut. We were getting nowhere very quickly, and we realised that what we were trying to create wouldn’t work in our restaurant... we had all this chocolate around, so we started playing around and thinking about what we could do with it’
Chocolate and orange were suggested - ‘a classic pairing’ - but it was when the classic McVitie’s Jaffa Cake was mentioned that the development of the dessert really began. Bryn and his team are all proud perfectionists, and the Jaffa cake at Odette’s reflects this relentless dedication. It took months just to narrow down the right chocolate, not to mention the best sort of juice for their orange jelly (if you want to know, the answer is fresh, but not too fresh - a day or two old works perfectly), and the biscuit too: ‘A Jaffa Cake [is] quite a dry biscuit, so we cook our pastries two days before we need them to recreate the texture’.
The result of all of this hard work is a dessert that is hugely evocative: ‘My dad even said, when he had the Jaffa cake here, ‘the Jaffa Cake is back on my shopping list!’’. As well as being a delicious dessert in its own right, Odette’s Jaffa cake appeals to a kind of taste memory. Bryn notes: ‘Each child eats a Jaffa Cake in a different way, and I think that child within them comes into the restaurant - some people take the outside off first, or eat the chocolate with the marmalade’.