Sunday 28 April 2013

Slow Cooker Chocolate and Hazlenut Cake by Scarlett Age 5

Our first dessert in the slow cooker.  It called for a 5L which I guess not everyone has, but if you do it was wicked, and lasted from Sunday through to the following Saturday.


250g plain flour
250g caster sugar
1 tbs baking powder
50g cocoa powder
500ml milk
180g melted butter
4 eggs lightly beaten
150g chopped dark chocolate
75g chopped hazelnuts


200g brown sugar
30g cocoa powder
400ml hot water

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt into a bowl.   Add milk, butter and eggs and stir until smooth.  Fold the chocolate and hazlenuts through, then pour the mixture into the slow cooker.

Combine the topping ingredients in a bowl then sprinkle over the pudding mixture.  Pour 400ml hot water over the top.  It looked a mess, but it's self saucing and ended up being fab.  Cook on high for around 2hrs.

Serve with ice-cream.

Annie x

Kids Taking Over the Kitchen :)

My 8yo Jasper is a keen little cook.  He loves nothing better than trying out new recipes, and since the measuring and stuff is great for his maths (don't tell him) I openly encourage it.

This weekend we pushed the boat out though, and Jasper made the Sunday "family tea", a full on Roast Chicken, roast potatoes and steamed vegetables.  He did everything - bar putting the spuds in the hot oil - he did all the peeling, chopping, boiling & steaming.  He also made a fab gravy!

Scarlett slow cooked a yummy chocolate cake - our first dessert in the slow cooker, they were both very proud of themselves, as we were of them.

Next week 5yo Scarlett is cooking the roast and Jasper will be making the dessert.  I think this is great, that they are actively seeking to develop what is surely a life skill.

From a very proud mummy :)

Tuesday 9 April 2013

Sale of Goods Act 1979 - Know Your Rights!

Back in my Financial Services days, Renault kindly paid for my to take my Finance Diploma.  Part of the course was Consumer Law, and it was a real eye opener.  I have used it on many occasions to get justice, most recently against Tesco and Argos, so thought I'd share.
Tsk Tsk very unhelpful, the Retailer is liable and must honour the guarantee.
The whole act can be found here - we are most interested in Section 14, subsection 2.  This deals with the "implied" quality and durability of a product, that the price tag assumes!

It doesn't matter if a manufacter only offers, say, a 2 yr guarantee, depending on the value of the product, the "RETAILER" has to offer guarantee over and above that, even up to 5 yrs.  In other words, you can't expect a £20 product to ge given a 5yr guarantee, but if you bought an expensive electrical item, say a £2000 TV, then you would expect it to last longer than 2 yrs, and the retailer must honour this.

You have to go straight to the top tho, as the Customer Services staff on the ground are mostly unaware of this fact, and everyone is happy to not share this news around!

My recent grumbles where I had to quote said Law were as follows.............

Tescos - I bought a £39.99 HP printer from them online, and it started playing up within 12 months - the implied guarantee.  I had appalling service initially from their Hatfield store, who wouldn't accept my receipt being on my phone - an email receipt - as it wasn't printed out!!!!!!  NB:  the complaint
was a printer!

They merely directed me to several 0845 numbers, which eventually led me back to HP themselves. Circumstances were that I had to go home as I had to be there for something, but I was certainly not putting up with that. 
I tried to deal with on twitter, as you do, but they weren't up for acknowledging the law, so ended up ringing the Store Manager.   After about 3 minutes stating my case, and the Sale Of Goods Act, I was told that a new printer was waiting for me when I was ready. 

It appears that the staff have been told that this is Tesco's new policy, to direct you back to the manufacturer,  but do not fall for it, even Tesco are not above the law!!!

Argos - I had a Morphy Richards Microwave in Red, great little product, and it matched the kettle, toaster and breadbin.  I didn't take much notice of the 1 year guarantee when I bought it, as we always assume it will last longer, and you are buying into a brand.   I do however always staple receipts into the instruction booklets.

15mths later and the microwave started sparking and making funny noises.  Here is where knowledge is invaluable.  A lot of consumers may assume that as it is outside the 12 month guarantee, that they should have taken Argos up on their extended warranty at the time and kick themselves!  No No No folks.
I rang the store this morning to discuss the faulty product.  They first said just come into store, but I explained I would rather speak to someone first, in order to avoid a shouty match in store, which isn't good for anybody.   Again, I quoted the SOG Act, and thankfully I got a lady in the know who said that she would deal with it.

I went in store and they offered me £40 back against a product which was initially £49.99, this I took to be fair and set it off against a replacement. 

I hope this helps anyone, again its down to judgement about what you are paying for and predicted length of life etc.

As an aside! 

It turns out Morphy Richards don't make microwaves, they licence Argos to sell their brand.  This upset me as I believed I was buying into the brand.  I have the kettle, toaster and breadbin, so obvioulsy wanted the microwave to match.  See an excerpt from Morphy Richards Customer Services above.

Hope this helps consumers out there.

Annie x