I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

June 16, 2011

Jammy Sponge Roll

A lovely old fashioned favourite today Dear Readers, Jammy Sponge Roll.

One of the most basic cakes and one every chef should have in her bag of tricks. What lovely basic ingredients too- flour, eggs and sugar. Can't get much simpler than that!

Here in Australia, we have the Country Women's Association, AKA the CWA. The cuddly grandma baking mafia of Rural Australia. These lovely ladies rule the regional shows/fairs with rods of iron, laying down very strict guidelines for all the baking categories and taking out every prize on offer. They also fundraise non-stop for their local communities with cake stalls and such, and no one can get a better basic cake than from them. The fluffiest lamingtons, the airiest sponges, and the scones.....
My Mum was the President of her local CWA, and she is not a confident baker at all, I'm sure that there must be some kind of initiation involving secret handshakes and the passing on of age-old recipes or fairy dust, because she even managed to impress Lady Flo with her rendition of the famous Queensland Pumpkin Scones.

I'm sure that my little Jam Roll would never pass muster in any country hall or fund-raiser or win any show prizes, but luckily for me my family is not that fussy! And when it comes to gluten and dairy InTolerances I hope that even the CWA can makes some concessions.

Fluffy Sponge Roll

4 eggs
1/2 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup cornflour
1 tsp gfree baking powder
pinch of salt

First of all, pre heat your oven to 180* and line a 26x32cm swiss roll tray with baking paper.

Whisk the eggs and sugar until they're really nice and fluffy and leave a 'ribbon'- or when the mix dribbles off the whisk and leaves a high trail that takes a second or so to soak back down.

Sift the combined cornflour, baking powder and salt over the eggs, and gently fold them through.

Tip this mix into the baking tray and spread it gently and evenly.

Bake for about 20 mins and it's nice and golden and risen beautifully.

Now it's time to get a wriggle on, we want to do the next few steps before the cake cools down to much or it will develop unpleasant looking cracks in the top- a bit like an older lady who's really spackled on her foundation and powder, then smiled.

Take it from the oven, sprinkle the top with castor sugar and lay a clean tea towel over the top of the cake. Place your cooling rack against it and flip the whole thing upside down.

Peel the baking paper from the cake, exposing it's vunerable pale underbelly.
Roll the whole cake up - gently- in the tea towel, starting from one of the long sides, like a spiral or a really lanky snail. Place the seam side down and leave on the cooling rack to cool completely.
Unroll your cake and spread your jam of choice, lemon or passionfruit curd is fabulous too, fairly thickly over it leaving a 1-2cm clean edge at the end to stop all the yummy jam oozing out once you re-roll it. This is MUCH easier to do if you warm the jam a little in the microwave, otherwise you could risk ripping the sponge and angering any CWA ladies in the vicinity.

Roll your cakey up again and let it settle a bit. We want the jam to glue it all together and soak in a wee bit.
If you're not dairy InTolerant, you could even top the jam with some whipped cream, but alas, not for me, but the jam is still delicious.

Sprinkle the whole cake liberally with icing sugar (Maybe this is where the secret fairy-dust is added?)

Cut into nice thick slices and sink your teeth through the fluffy sponginess that gives this cake it's name.... yummmm......

So my Dear Readers, hve you ever bought a cake from the CWA or a local cake stall, and was it as good as you hoped it would be?


  1. I'm here beating my head against a wall, because it just did not occur to me that I could use cornflour like this.... sigh.
    Your jam roll looks luscious!

  2. You must have been reading my mind! I have a boat load of jam I need to use up. I am off to the kitchen to try your recipe out. Thanks

  3. oooh I have always been too intimidated to attempt sponge rolls!!!

  4. Oh I think that the CWA would be very proud!! Those ladies are fabulous. This is such a classic. Makes me want to hold a morning tea!
    Heidi xo

  5. Yum Yum Yum! Like Lisa, I've always been a bit scared to attempt sponge rolls -what will I do if they crack on me?! I suppose that's why we have to try everything.. I'm going to try it with lemon curd!

  6. Ooh this was one of the first cakes I ever tried. I remember thinking that the swirl must be made by magic (clearly I lacked imagination lol).

  7. The cuddly grandma baking mafia of Rural Australia? LOL. It's always the easy ones that are the hardest to get right, but it looks as if yours was a winner!
    P.S. I got the teatowels - Thanks again!

  8. You rolled the sponge cake so well...! I tried making this years ago and my sponge cake turned out hard like stone ;)! Since then I haven't made another sponge roll...

  9. Oh, the jam roll~ I love these things! Haven't made one in ages but I still remembering eating my first one at a bake sale when I was in primary school :D

  10. Lovely, B! And so professional - not a crack in sight! :)

  11. Hello Readers, hope you had a great weekend! Now a whole new week to look forward too...

    Anonymous- thanks for the tip

    JanetNZ- there's not much in there and it works a treat

    Judy- Jam always comes in handy, but this a great way to sneak more in

    Lisa- This a good way to try a sponge because it won't be quite as much of problem if it's not perfect

    Heidi- Thanks! They are pretty special ladies aren't they. And why not get the girls together for a fun morning tea?

    Lucy- if it cracks you just add on more of the icing sugar fairy dust! I love lemon curd too

    Lorraine- oh I don't think so, magic always requires lots of imagination :)

    JasmyneTea- You're so right and thanks! I hope your dishes like them!

    CookingGallery- Thanks! Maybe give it another go, but be brave- cakes can smell fear!

    Ellie- They are so sweet and full of memories aren't they?

    Well Dear Readers, I hope you all have a new respect for all the hard work of the CWA ladies, and next time you see them with a bake sale, buy one of their fantastic cakes!

  12. Celia- Thanks, I try my best, but I'm not a member of the CWA :)

  13. I just made this last week for one of my lactose and gluten intolerant colleagues and she loved it. I think you have a new reader in her.