Well it’s been four days since I closed my doors because of the virus lock-down, and so far I’ve deep cleaned the house, washed everything that can be washed and line-dried it all, made some homemade freezer meals for my husband (he’s an HGV driver so still working), tidied up the garden (hasn’t the weather been glorious?!), sown some carrots, courgettes, peas and cos lettuce seeds, done a load of admin…but now my mind is starting to hunt for things to do in the kitchen and my sweet tooth is looking for some emergency cake!

Because I want to share this with you guys I’ve stuck to recipes which are family favourites, quick (this took me about fifteen minutes from start to finish) and easy to make with children, and use only the things you are most likely to have in your cupboards in a lock-down situation (well, there’s a blog I never thought I’d be writing!) I haven’t gone all out on the photographs, I’m just using my phone, so apologies for the lack of up-to-scratchness!

As things are a little restricted at the minute, I’m looking for some yummy cakes and bakes which can be made using what you are most likely to have in your cupboards at home – please note, if you DON’T have these ingredients, don’t just “nip out” to the shops, wait until you are doing an actual shop, or until restrictions have been lifted.

So I’m going to start with this one…a swiss roll! Great for the children to join in with and you need just four ingredients:

100g/4 oz caster sugar
75g/3oz self-raising flour
2 eggs
Slightly warmed jam or lemon curd (use whatever you’ve got in! I used raspberry jam, but you can use any flavour jam, lemon curd, marmalade, chocolate spread, whipped cream, the list is endless!) It’s your choice how much jam you put in – I used about a third to half of a jar of jam. If it’s warmed slightly it will make it easier to spread onto your fresh sponge. Fridge or room temperature jam straight from the jar will be too sticky and will rip your cake as your try to spread it.

Method:

Heat your oven to Gas 7/220C/425F. Line a swiss roll (just a baking tray will do if you haven’t got a proper swiss roll tray) with baking paper. Grease your paper lightly (I forgot this bit!) Place a piece of baking paper on the work surface and sprinkle 25g/1oz of your caster sugar all over the paper. You’ll be tipping your sponge out onto this in a few minutes, so the area you cover will need to be a bit bigger than your baking tray. Now you’re ready to start! It takes very little time from here on in, so it’s best to be prepared with your tray and paper first!

Crack your eggs into the bowl of your mixer, add the remaining 75g/3oz of your caster sugar and set it whisking (if you’re going to whisk it by hand, make sure your mixing bowl is heatproof and whisk it over a pan of hot water, it’ll speed this part up, just take care if you’ve got small helpers). Whisk until your sugar and eggs have formed a lovely pale, thick foamy mixture, creamy in texture and almost white in colour.

Very lightly, fold in all of your flour. You need to carefully but quickly cut through your mixture and “folding” it over with the edge of your spatula or spoon. If you stir it like a cup of tea, it’ll lose all its air and go runny. Make sure all the flour is mixed in, then gently pour the mix onto the prepared tin, spreading it out to the edges. Put it into the oven for around ten minutes, you’re looking for it to be golden brown, with some spring-back when you press it. Don’t be tempted to leave it in too long, it will just dry out and crack.

While your sponge is in the oven, spoon your jam into a dish and warm it through for about 15-20 seconds in the microwave.

When your sponge is ready, remove it from the oven, run a knife round the edges of the tin and then carefully tip it onto the sugared paper. I flipped the whole tin over, then lifted the tin off and eased the sponge out. Again, little ones will need help with this part.

Once it’s on your paper, gently remove the lining paper, and trim any tatty edges away. Carefully spread your warm jam over the whole sponge – leave a gap of about half an inch from the long edges, it’ll squeeze out a bit anyway when you roll it.

Now, ease one of the short edges over onto itself in a curl. Take hold of the sugared paper at the same end and use the paper to encourage it to keep rolling. You need a nice tight roll – but not so tight it cracks. Once you’ve rolled it all the way up, just let it sit on the seam for a few minutes to set.

There you go, you have just made a swiss roll! Making this with the children? Why not get the icing and sprinkles out, and decorate the top? If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could make a Colin the Caterpillar!

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