Daily Archives: 9 April 2018

Random Acts of Kindness

Cherry, Pineapple & Banana Cake

We recently had a meeting to begin the 2020 (yes really!) Dairy Diary project. As I’m sure you know, the front of the diary is packed with information and inspiration. One of the subjects we discussed for inclusion in the diary was how to be happy – the meeting was held on International Happiness Day!

And it was really interesting to see the differences in what evokes happiness in different people.

For me, being outdoors is essential to feeling happy and well. But also, giving, I find that giving just a little something gives me a real sense of wellbeing.

And this giving doesn’t even have to be a ‘thing’. I often give compliments, even to people I barely know, if I think they have on a lovely coat or do something really well. It brightens everyone’s day.

I also try to help if I see someone struggling with something, such as a heavy basket or a stubborn door. Today, I was on my phone whilst choosing a bunch of daffodils (checking on ingredients at home and not concentrating on the job in hand) and I picked up a broken bunch. A complete stranger, who noticed what I had done, brought over another bunch and swapped them for me. What a lovely thing to do! It really made me smile and I’m sure it gave her a moment of happiness too.

We recently moved into a brand new house, and gradually, the houses around us are becoming inhabited too. After the removal vans pull away, my children sneak up and post a ‘new home’ card through the door introducing ourselves. The next day, they then arrive with a freshly baked cake to make the arduous job of unpacking a little happier. I love the fact that the children too, spread a little cheer.

But, don’t get the wrong impression – as much as I would love to devote hours of my time to good causes and baking elaborate creations for charity bake sales, my life is far too busy. 

This  Cherry, Pineapple & Banana Cake is my current go-to recipe for a very speedy gift.

It literally takes me 10 minutes to prepare and I usually have all of the ingredients to hand – it’s a great way to use up bananas slightly past their best too. Have a go – this could be your random act of kindness for the week – it’s sure to be appreciated.

 

Cherry, Pineapple & Banana Cake

  • Servings: 10 slices
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 305 per portion
Fat 10g (6.1g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • Self-raising flour 225g (8oz)
  • Butter 110g (4oz), diced
  • Caster sugar 150g (5oz)
  • Eggs 2
  • Ripe bananas 450g (1lb), weighed in their skins
  • Glacé cherries 150g (5oz)
  • Pineapple chunks 227g can, drained and chopped
  • Few sugar lumps roughly crushed to decorate (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3. Grease an 18cm (7in) deep round cake tin and line the base with a circle of greaseproof or non-stick baking paper.
  2. Put the flour and butter into a bowl and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and then beat in the eggs one at a time.
  3. Peel the bananas and mash on a plate with a fork then beat into the cake mixture. Halve 8 of the cherries and reserve for decoration, then cut the rest into quarters and add these to the cake mixture with the drained pineapple pieces. Gently stir the cake until just mixed then spoon into the prepared tin.
  4. Spread the top level and decorate with a ring of the reserved cherry halves and a few crushed sugar lumps, if using. Bake the cake for 1–1¼ hours or until the top is golden and slightly cracked and a skewer comes out cleanly when inserted into the centre.
  5. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then loosen the edges with a knife and turn out on to a wire rack. Leave to cool before peeling off the lining paper. Store in an airtight tin for up to 1 week.

Cook’s tips

If you have some sugar lumps at the back of the cupboard, then break up a few with a rolling pin and use to decorate the cake. If not, simply leave them out. Any leftover cherries can be used to top fairy cakes.

 

Fantastic Food For Less cookbookFantastic Food For Less

This recipe is taken from Fantastic Food for Less – one of my favourite cookbooks of all time!

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