“Recipes form part of everyday life at All Hallows and it’s a great pleasure to share some of my own favourites in the same way we love to share food in our farmhouse kitchen. Many of my recipes have developed because of my love of AGA cooking – there is a homeliness about something ‘warm from the AGA’.
3 free range medium eggs
75g (3oz) caster sugar, sifted – weigh this and leave beside the AGA to warm, you will find it helps to incorporate more air when you whisk the eggs
75g (3oz) plain flour, sifted three times (this makes a big difference and worth doing)
½ teaspoon vanilla essence or the equivalent in powder
Extra caster sugar for dusting
Filling of your choice – jam or to make the sponge a real treat with 150ml (1/4 pint) lightly whipped cream.
Line a Swiss roll tin 25.5 cm x 38 cm (10×15”) with parchment paper
If baking in a conventional oven remember to preheat temperature to 180 C or gas Mark 4
Place the eggs and sugar in a bowl and whisk until you reach the ribbon stage. (The mixture will leave a trail when you lift the whisk).
Gently, and with a light hand, add the flour and fold in a figure of eight motion until it is all incorporated, take care not to overmix as this will make the sponge heavy with a dense texture.
Spread the mixture evenly into the lined Swiss roll tin and bake for approximately 20 minutes on the middle shelf of a conventional oven. To bake in a two oven AGA you will need to adjust the grid shelf to the floor of the roasting oven and bake the Swiss roll with the cold shelf inserted above. If you have a four oven AGA, place the tray on the grid shelf in that is slid into the middle of the oven. Cook until golden and the sponge springs to the touch.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
Meanwhile prepare a piece of parchment (or a clean tea towel) sprinkled with caster sugar to roll your sponge in.
Whilst still warm, turn the sponge out onto the parchment, so that the lining paper is uppermost and the sponge is laying on the caster sugar. Remove the lining paper.
Carefully roll up and leave for a few moments whilst you whip the cream.
Unroll and make sure that the sponge is completely cold before filling with jam and cream.