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Sultana Cake

Sultana cake, dairy free

My husband’s favourite cake!

OK so it’s maybe not the prettiest of cakes or the most difficult to make but if you’re looking for a tea time treat then this is it. Plus it has fruit in it so it must be healthy right?

Phoenix Trading cards, chocolate warning, carla koala…and it won’t make dresses shrink like chocolate does will it?!

Ingredients

6oz butter (we use dairy free ‘Pure’)
6oz sugar (golden caster sugar, unrefined sugar is just bad not really bad like the white stuff!)
1/2 tsp vanilla or lemon essence – optional (the Sicilian lemon oil supermarkets are stocking is great!)
3 large eggs (free range of course)
grated rind of a lemon (unwaxed if you can find them)
6oz sultanas
8oz plain flour
2 tablespoons milk (we use oatmilk)
1 1/2 level tsp of baking powder

Method

Grease and line a 20cm round springform tin. As this is going to take a while to cook I would double line it to stop it burning on the edges.

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C (150-155 fan oven)

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Whisk in the lemon oil and lemon rind

Whisk in the eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of flour to stop curdling (but don’t worry if it does, I find it always curdles with the dairy free stuff anyway, still looks and tastes just as good).

Whisk in the milk with a tablespoon of flour.

Fold in the sultanas with a metal spoon.

Fold in the remaining flour sieved together with baking powder with a metal spoon.

Put mix into cake tin, smooth top with back of spoon. Bake for 1 1/2- 1 3/4 hours till golden brown on top and cake tester comes out clean when inserted into middle.

Remove from oven, cool in tin for 5 minutes then remove tin to a cooling rack. Peel off paper when cold

Store in an airtight container, should keep a week easily, maybe two…like it’ll get chance!

Sultana cake, dairy free

Eat in big slices with your favoutite cuppa!

Dairy book of home cookeryThis recipe comes from one of my most used cook books ‘The Dairy Book of Home Cookery’. It was published and sold by the Milk Marketing Board about 40 years ago. My mother had a copy and I found mine in a charity shop for £1. While I find a lot of my recipes online now this is one book that I still use – simply because it has so much in it and all those recipes for basic cooking. Definitely one cookery book I would not get rid of. I wonder if you have it too?

If you like this you might like Elderflower, strawberry and almond cakes

PS Do leave a comment if you like this or any of my other recipes

 

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How do I sell from my home?

If you’re thinking of starting a direct sales business Coffee and cards, at home eventthen you’ll be probably be told to do some at home events, at least a launch one.

Why? Because it’s a tried and tested way of successfully launching your business. You’ll be inviting people you already know, who already trust you and care about you to come and test your new business idea. Once you’ve done it, if you follow some of the ideas I’ll give you here, your confidence will grow and hopefully you’ll get a friend who wants to do the same kind of event in their house and invite other people you didn’t know!

We Flamingo Partners call these kinds of events, pop up shops or coffee and cards, or ‘wine and cards’ too sometimes!

So what’s the big deal with an at home event, I’ve found there are 3 main hurdles to get over; too scary for you, house too messy, don’t like baking!

Too scary?

Get over it! These are your friends, they already know you and trust you. You’ve probably already told some of them about the business you’re starting, they’re already curious. If they turned up at your door anyway, would you be too scared to let them in to your house? Unlikely, so what’s different? Ah, they might not support you and you’ll feel let down. Yes that does happen from time to time and it is harder to take from people you expect to support you than from complete strangers but these people are your best chance at launching your business because you’ve already built a relationship of trust with them so go on, bite the bullet and invite them round. Try saying, “I’m starting a new business and I’d really love to know what you think of it.”

House too messy?

Your friends (not necessarily your family if my mother is anything to go by) will be most forgiving. Don’t you find it reassuring if you visit a friend’s house and it’s not totally spotless? Reminds you that you’re as normal as they are. Sure, clean the toilet a little and don’t have dirty dishes lying around, run the hoover around and make sure they can sit down somewhere but don’t go overboard, they’ll only feel uncomfortable!

Don’t like baking?

You think if you invite people round you’ll have to put on a big feast, you’ll have to get the baking bowl out and whip up some Mary Berry standard delights. No you don’t, that’s not what you asked them round for is it? Open a packet of biscuits and have the kettle on – if you want to really splash out go for chocolate biscuits not plain. Keep it simple, you’ll feel more relaxed and so will they.

So what’s stopping you now? Ah, you don’t know enough people. Would it surprise you to knowparty, at home event, coffee and cards I’ve done really successful home events with just 3 people turning up? It doesn’t really matter if there aren’t many. After all it’s meant to be an informal get together. Sometimes less is more because you can have more meaningful conversations with fewer people. The thing is those 3 people know other people. They know people you don’t know but because the 3 people you know trust you, they’ll pass on that spirit of trust to those other people who don’t know you.

Remember to ask if someone else would like to host a similar event too, at any home event you do. Keep it simple and your guests will be relaxed. Give some incentives like a % of sales in free stock or special free gifts just for hosts, then someone else will host a home event for you. Then they’ll invite people you wouldn’t have met otherwise and so your sales business grows.

Still too scary?

Then why not invite your local Flamingo Partner round to host a pop up shop for you, that way you can see how easy it is, and get some free cards and gifts too. You can keep these or use them to start your business along with your starter stock pack when you join!

Are there limits to how much I can do?

At some point your sales business will reach a limit. You can only be in one place at a time, at some point you’ll be so busy you’ll have to turn down events. It takes time to sort orders and make deliveries. You need to expand! You need a team. Share the same business opportunity you had at the start with someone else (even better, with a lot of someone elses!). Direct sales companies (also sometimes known as network marketing companies) don’t have shareholders. So instead of profits going to big cheeses at the top they are shared out through their network of Partners in the form of commission payments. Each Partner has the potential to earn the same money. It’s up to each Partner how much time, effort, positive mental attitude they invest to determine how much they grow their sales and their team network.

You can be growing your team from the moment you start your own business. It can be really fun if someone starts at almost the same time as you and you can build each other’s business from the very beginning.

Motivating your team

 

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies from Linda McCartney recipe, altered slightly

These are the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever come across – Chocolate Chip Cookies from Linda McCartney recipe, altered slightlyI have been using this recipe for the past 20 years, since it was first published in Linda McCartney’s book ‘Linda’s Kitchen‘ 20 years ago. The recipe I use is slightly altered, just to suit personal tastes of added ingredients but these cookies are the most perfectly crunchy on the outside, soft and almost cake-like on the inside and I wouldn’t try anything different now.

Here’s my version of the recipe:

Preheat oven to 180 deg C (fan oven)

4oz (125g) Pure sunflower spread (we’re dairy free in our house, use whatever butter/margarine you prefer)
2oz (50g) Golden Caster Sugar
4oz (125g) Light Soft Brown Sugar
1 free-range egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
8oz (250g) plain flour (gluten free works but might need a little extra liquid and can be quite crumbly)
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
4oz (150g) dark chocolate chopped

Method
Cream the Pure with both sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg with the vanilla. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt and sift into the bowl. Beat again – mixture is quite stiff. Fold in the broken chocolate pieces.

Use an ice cream scoop to drop spoonfuls of the dough on to a greased or silicon baking sheet, they will spread in the oven so leave space.

Bake at 180 deg C (fan oven) for 15 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes to allow to firm up, then, if you can resist, cool completely (rarely happens in our house!).

Lovely on their own or still warm with vanilla ice cream. Can add nuts if you wish but huge blobs of melted chocolate suffice us!

I should add that Linda also has a couple of great recipes for Crispy Ginger Nuts and Oat and Raisin Cookies too.

And if you like these chocolate chip cookies, you might like Chocolate Coconut Oil Fudge!

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The Perfect Cup of Tea – Fortnum & Mason

As it’s National Beverage Day I thought you’d like to know how to make the perfect cup of tea! Who better to ask than Fortnum and Mason?

The Perfect Cup of Tea

Tea advice from the experts.WS319_ceramics You’re SO welcome.

Here’s all you need to know about the ‘right’ way to make tea. No ceremony necessary. First of all, we have assumed one is using leaf tea. You really and truly should. Secondly, not all leaves require the same approach. Green leaves may prefer a longer brewing time: Darjeeling performs shabbily with milk. But let’s describe the classic process of making a traditional “black” tea as found in most of Fortnum’s (and the world’s) most popular blends.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-8LbiVjmXc&w=560&h=315]

Here is a simple digest of what works.

Fill the kettle with fresh water from the tap. Yes, your grandmother was right: water that has been boiled already will affect the taste of the tea.

As it approaches the boil, warm the teapot by rinsing it out with hot water.

Treat the teapot to one rounded teaspoon (yes, or caddy spoon) of tea leaves for each person and one extra spoonful ‘for the pot’. That’s the orthodox rule, though many these days find it a little strong. You’re in charge here.

Just before the kettle water boils, pour into the pot. It doesn’t need to be stirred.

Leave to infuse for three to five minutes, depending on taste. Serve, using a tea strainer.

If making tea in a cup with a tea infuser, the same rule applies – one spoon of tea, use water just off the boil and infuse for 3-5 minutes.

To find out more including whether to put the milk in first or last read the rest of the article via The Perfect Cup of Tea – Fortnum & Mason.

So now we have that sorted – would you like to receive free products by hosting a Coffee and Cards or raise money for children’s hospices across the UK by holding a Butterfly Tea Party in June?