My maternal grandmother, Florence Tyan, was by all accounts a renowned cook.
I inherited her recipe for a buttery sponge cake. This was a favourite to serve for afternoon tea at my grandmother’s house in Donoughmore, near Johnstown in County Kilkenny.
When it was taken out of the Aga, it was cooled on a wire rack by the open window in the back kitchen. Thick yellow cream, spooned off the top of the milk in the dairy, was lightly whipped. As soon as the cake was cool it was s