2 x Turmeric, with Orange & Star Anise teabags (Twinings, or one of your choice)
225g dried Fruit ( like raisins, sultanas etc)
225g self-raising flour
1 orange (grated)
2 large eggs (beaten)
150g light brown sugar (reserve 50g for sprinkling on top of cake)
Put two teabags in a cup or mug and fill with boiling water ( ¾ full if in a mug)
Put dried fruit into a large bowl, add the grated orange then pour over the tea and leave to soak overnight or for 2-3 hours
Preheat oven to 180°C/160°fan/gas 4
Grease or line a 2lb loaf tin
Add the brown sugar to the beaten eggs and whisk lightly
Add the eggs and flour to the bowl of fruit and fold in completely until it represents a dough-like consistency
Spoon mixture into the lined tin and sprinkle the remaining brown sugar on the top
Bake for 40-50 mins in the middle of the oven
Test by poking a skewer into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean it’s cooked, if not give it a few more minutes
Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5 mins
Remove from loaf tin and leave to cool on a wire rack
1. If you add a beaten egg slowly to your batter mix it prevents the batter from becoming too stiff.
2. Always use eggs at room temperature when baking with them.
3. Eggs will whip more easily if left for 10 minutes in cold water before breaking.
4. Place the egg in a bowl of water, if it sinks and lies on its side, it’s fresh. If it sinks and stands large-end up, it’s on the turn so use within a couple of days. If it floats, bin it, as it’s gone off.
5. If you weigh four whole eggs in their shells, then whatever the weight is, that’s how much each of flour, sugar and butter you should add. This will ensure an delicious cake every time.
6. If you’re making soft meringue for a pie topping, say, for our Classic Lemon Meringue Pie, add a teaspoon of cornflour to your sugar. It’ll aid in absorbing any extra water the sugar will attract.
7. To make sure the essence you use adds flavour to the whole cake, mix it into the egg before adding the egg to the mixture.
8. Eggs will stay fresher longer if you store them pointed end down.
9. If you forgot to get your eggs out for baking then just pop them into a bowl and cover with hot water. Take them out after a couple of minutes and use for baking as normal.
10. To separate eggs for baking, tap the shell against the side of a mixing bowl to crack, then break open, letting the white run out into the bowl and holding the yolk in one half of shell. Tip the yolk backwards and forwards from shell to shell to let all the white run into the bowl.
11. When you’re making sponge cakes, beat the eggs together in a jug and add to the butter and sugar mixture gradually, whisking well between additions. If the mixture looks like it’s going to curdle, add a spoonful of the weighed flour and beat again until smooth.
With so much hype about the health benefits of certain teas, it’s nice to know that coffee has some health benefits as well.
According to a Greek study, one cup of coffee a day could reduce your blood pressure. Researchers actually found that those who drank between one and two cups of coffee daily had the healthiest arteries.
Two cups a day (no more than two cups if you are pregnant) could keep Alzheimer’s at bay.
After studying more than 122,000 women, researchers found that three cups a day can reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer. However, according to a US study in 2006, coffee drinkers who have more than three cups a day may increase their risk of a heart attack.
Coffee, like tea, is packed with antioxidants which can potentially cut the risk of cancer, however, more than three cups a day could mean that you are twice as likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
In fact, the BBC Health say that ‘three cups a day may have some health benefits according to a large review of studies, in the BMJ’. It found a lower risk of liver disease and some cancers in coffee drinkers, and a lower risk of dying from stroke – but researchers could not prove coffee was the cause.’
And, the Mayo Clinic states that ‘while past studies hinted that coffee might have a dark side, newer research suggests that it may actually have health benefits.
Why the reversal? It’s hard to look at just one aspect of diet and connect it to a health condition because so many other factors that could play a role. For example, early research on coffee didn’t always take into account that heavy coffee drinkers also tended to use tobacco and be sedentary.
When newer studies adjusted for such factors, they found a possible association between coffee and decreased mortality. Coffee may offer some protection against:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Liver disease, including liver cancer
- Heart attack and stroke
Coffee still has potential risks, mostly due to its high caffeine content. For example, it can temporarily raise blood pressure. Women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breastfeeding need to be cautious about caffeine. High intake of boiled, unfiltered coffee has been associated with a mild increase in cholesterol levels.
The bottom line? Your coffee habit is probably fine and may even have some benefits. But if you have side effects from coffee, such as heartburn, nervousness, or insomnia, consider cutting back.’
On a regular basis Sandra Coote demonstrates craft and baking workshops on Facebook almost every day from her farm in County Cavan, Ireland.
Hundreds of people check in to follow Sandra making crafts or baking cakes. Anyone watching can type in questions and Sandra would reply in the video.
Facebook Live is not new but just being used a lot more during the lock down. Sandra likes to keep it easy and make doable and recently made a coffee Swiss role ( yummy). At the same time Sandra had posted on the Facebook page about their oldest cow in the herd who had delivered twins and was going live to meet them later.
At the moment there are a number of demos going around non crafts and baking but I have to say watching Sandra in her craft or baking mode it’s always great to watch and with the added birth of the twins it’s a great watch.
The question is are there any other foods or drink that have been reported to have as many health benefits as green tea?
The Chinese have known about the medicinal benefits of green tea since ancient times. It is made using the leaves of the Chinese Camellia sinensis plant. The leaves are then applied to heat quickly after picking which minimizes oxidation. This is thought to give the green tea it’s many benefits.
1. Researchers have suggested that it can help slash the risk of developing cancer by shrinking tumours.
2. It has been known to stabilise your cholesterol levels.
3. It has shown significant reductions in deaths of cardiovascular disease.
4. It can boost your immune system and aid weight loss.
5. It has been effective in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis.
6. It can reduce tooth decay.
7. A recent report has shown that it can also slow the onset of Alzheimers and Parkinsons Disease.
8. It can help fight infections and allergies to the body.
9. They also say it can slow the ageing.
10. The latest news on Green tea is that it can enhance the ability of our brains’ cognitive functions especially on the working memory, a Swiss scientists suggest.Researchers have recommended further study into how green tea can help with cognitive impairments such as dementia.
11. Green tea’s other benefits include reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. This research was conducted at the University Hospital of Basel Switzerland and led by Professors Christoph Beglinger and Stefan.
12. Drinking green tea ‘may’ reduce the risk of age related functional disabilities like osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
13. They say that for people who consume 1 2 cups of green tea per day have a ten percent lower risk of becoming disabled.
1. For a really moist fruitcake, use marmalade instead of candied peel.
2. Always soak your dried fruit overnight and for extra flavour soak the fruit in apple or orange juice or marinate in your favourite liqueur (brandy) for three days, stirring it every 12 hours.
3. If you are adding dried fruit then it should be plump and soft, if it has gone horrible and hard, then soak in hot water for a few minutes before adding it to your mixture
4. For an extra rich, tasty fruitcake, use cold coffee instead of milk.
5. For a moist fruitcake with extra flavour, grate a cooking apple into the mixture.
6. For a moister fruitcake in electric ovens or Agars, place a dish of water on the floor of the oven when baking.
7. Always cool fruitcakes for 10 to 15 minutes on a rack in the dish in which they were baked. Then turn them onto the rack and carefully peel off the paper.
8. Fruitcakes freeze very well; however, they must be aged for at least a few weeks before freezing, as they do not mellow and ripen while they are frozen.
9. To keep the calories down grate an orange and only use half the sugar.
10. Completely dust the fruit and nuts with flour so they don’t fall to the bottom of the batter while baking. Shake off excess before incorporating into the recipe.