Mary’s Jaffa Cake tiff with Paul
Would you dip a Jaffa Cake into a cuppa? Forget the contestants, it’s Mary and Paul’s teatime tiff that has really divided the nation
AS Paul Hollywood dunked a Jaffa Cake into his tea, Mary Berry could not disguise her disdain as she uttered the words: ‘We don’t do that in the south, you know.’
And in doing so, the pair inadvertently launched a debate more heated than Bake Off’s ovens.
Hollywood’s perceived abuse of a teatime treat on Wednesday’s episode of the Great British Bake Off divided the nation, as viewers on social media ferociously defended or attacked Hollywood’s right to dunk.
Culinary experts also offered differing opinions on the so-called ‘Jaffagate’. Annabel Evans, a chef from Leith’s School of Food and Wine, claimed: ‘Dunking any other biscuit is fine but never a Jaffa Cake.’
But French celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli was firmly in Hollywood’s corner, saying: ‘I come from a country where it is traditional to dunk. The French do this with croissants and bread.’ The row did little to dampen enthusiasm for the return of
‘It’s definitely not a northern thing’
the programme, which secured a record audience of 10.4million for the opening episode of the seventh series.
The show found itself trending worldwide and contestant Val Stones was the most talked about on social media – having won fans with her eccentric personality which saw her ‘listening’ to her cakes and doing aerobics while she prepared the sweet treats.
But as the Bake Off contestants faced the challenge of actually making 12 Jaffa Cakes, it was the question of to dunk or not to dunk that was the talking point of the night.
Although Hollywood chose to make light of the furore over the subject yesterday by tweeting: ‘Morning... Anyone for a Jaffa Cake?’, viewers at home did not see the funny side.
One wrote: ‘ Paul Hollywood dunks his Jaffa cakes in tea. This is unacceptable. Just dunk a digestive instead you savage.’
Another agreed: ‘ If someone dipped a Jaffa cake into tea in my home they’d be immediately asked to leave.’
Some social media users were also quick to dispel the notion that dunking is a northern phenomenon, as Miss Berry appeared to suggest.
Ethan Creighton said: ‘It’s definitely not a northern thing to dunk your Jaffa cake, just a Paul Hollywood thing #jaffagate’.
And a proud southerner posted: ‘Sorry Mary. Some of us do dunk Jaffa Cakes in our tea. Even in the South!’ The Yorkshire Tea Twitter account also waded in on the debate, tweeting: ‘Do Jaffa Cakes dunk? YES THEY DO MARY BERRY.’
Meanwhile, etiquette expert Grant Harrold declared: ‘The only thing that should be going into a cup of tea is a spoon.’
But it was Kerry Owens, who is a brand director at McVitie’s, the makers of Jaffa Cakes, who was allowed to have the final word.
She said: ‘Only Brits could be so passionate about this issue, and they have spoken – Jaffa Cakes are not for dunking! As the experts of all things Jaffa Cake (and dunking) we tend to agree – the sponge base just isn’t robust enough to hold up in a hot drink.’
Don’t dunk: Mary Berry told off Paul Hollywood
To dunk or not to dunk: Paul Hollywood dips a Jaffa Cake into his tea – much to the chagrin of his co-star Mary Berry
Brazen: Many viewers at home were as outraged as Mary by his abuse of a Jaffa Cake. Making the treat was one of the show’s challenges