Bike Bars

So tomorrow we cycle to cornwall EEK. After weeks of waiting, hard work (for some…) and excitement the time has finally come! Chelmsford to Cornwall in 5 days. Some call us crazy, others say we have been brain washed by cycling aliens, I agree with them all. But we are certainly ready for an adventure!

So prepare for a week of lycra filled pictures, dodgy bikers tans and possibly a few grazes. Prepare for stories of singing cyclists, crying cyclists, lost cyclists and sleepy cyclists. Prepare like I have prepared for this ride… (I have not.) But I did prepare in the food department! Yes fatty over here may not care about the size of her muscles, but she does care about the happiness of her tummy; behold bike bars.

They are dead easy to make, lowfat, high energy, and perfect to enjoy after walking the dog in the park, or with a cup of tea when the weather gets more British.  I hope I have room for a few in my rucksack.

Flapjack

You will need:

  • 397g tin of condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 300g of your favourite muesli- if you are on a budget Lidl’s own is great
  • 50g mixed seeds
  • 150g mixed dried fruit

. Set the oven to 150C and line a tin with baking parchment, the smaller it is the thicker the bars

. Heat the condensed milk and golden syrup in a heavy based saucepan for around 7 minutes. Then add the muesli, seeds, and dried fruit

. Stir the mix together so it forms a thick paste and the condensed milk has coated all the ingredients

. Pour the mixture into the lined baking tray and place on the middle shelf of your oven for around 30 mins until slightly chewey but golden on top. The longer you bake them, the crunchier they become.

Wish us luck and check back here tomorrow to see how our first day went!

Flapjack

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Snickerdoodles

Nope, I didn’t know what these were either, I just made them for the name. But they did not let me down!

Imagine a biscuit, which is a bit like a cake but tastes like a cinnamon sugar donut. That is a Snickerdoodle.

They are a lot more known in America it seems, but I think Britain should bite the biscuit and get involved too, these things are incredibly moreish. I have eaten 5 already today.

Snickerdoodles

Sorry to Snickers fans, they are not included in the recipe, but I reckon you should buy a Snickers anyway, and melt it over one of these doodles with some ice-cream- Snickersnickerdoodles.

This is Nigella Lawson’s recipe with a tweak!

You will need:

  • 80g wholemeal plain flour
  • 170g plain flour (alternatively use 250g of plain and no wholemeal flour)
  • 250g plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 125g butter, at room temperature
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar

1) Cream together the sugar and butter until it is fluffy.

2) add the egg and vanilla essence and continue to whisk it until smooth and creamy.

3) In a separate bowl combine the flour, nutmeg, baking powder and salt, then add it to the butter mix and stir with a metal spoon until it is all mixed into a dough.

4) On a plate, spoon out the sugar and cinnamon. Roll walnut size pieces of dough into balls in your palms, then roll them in the sugar and cinnamon. If you are unsure of the size of a walnut (I was…) then imagine a large Brussels sprout, or a golf ball.

Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles

5) place your Doodles onto baking parchment, you can get up to 32 of them out of the dough! Or you could try making giant ones.

Snickerdoodles

6) Bake at 180 degrees for 15 mins, then remove to cool.

Eat them warm with tea, or dipped in jam. They’re just as great cold. Let me know what you think of them!

Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles

 

Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles

Banana loaf cake

I write this sitting at my kitchen table, listening to Bob Marley and eating a slice of this very banana bread. Lifes good.

What I love about this cake is that it is sooooo unbelievably squidgy, it is almost a cookie dough texture, but then the crust is really crumbly, heaven!

Every time there is some over ripe banana’s lying about which nobody wants to eat, we whip up one of these without fail.

This recipe is my grandma’s one. She is pretty amazing at making cakes, and is always baking for bake sales, and if we are lucky she makes them for us too.

The recipe is in ounces, but I have converted it into grams too.

You will need!

  • 8 oz/ 227g butter
  • 8 oz/ 227g sugar
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 11 oz/ 300g plain flour
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Allspice
  • 4 fl ounces of milk
  • 1 tbs seedless raisins (optional)
  • a large loaf tin, mine is 23.5 x 13.5 x 7 cm. Line this with parchment.

. Firstly set the ovan to 180 degrees. Then cream together the butter and sugar untill they are light and fluffy. Next is the fun bit because you get to mash up your banana, it goes all squelchy and yummy, then add it with the egg to the creamed sugar and butter. Mix this together well.

.Sift in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Or if you are me, just throw it in. I never sift and it doesn’t make a difference, so I say unless you are a sifting fanatic, dont bother. Stir this together well.

.Now gradually beat in the milk and the raisins before pouring the batter into the tin. Remember to lick the bowl!

.Put this gooey love bug in the oven, and bake it for about an hour, or until the skewer doesn’t come out with gunge on it.

I love eating this warm straight from the ovan, but after that its amazing cold even after a week! Just put it in a tin or wrap it in cling film once it has cooled completely.

And don’t forget to try it with some chocolate spread!!

Posh bread and butter pud

Bread and butter pudding is one of those British classics. It’s a proper warming feel good pud, which needs nothing more than a good scoop of ice cream and a loving tummy to make it happy.

It is also dead simple to do, and this version is a little bit posh! Make it for a crowd and it will go down a treat. The bitterness of the dark chocolate marries the sweetness of the apricot jam for that little bit of extra specialness, plus it is not too sickly, so will only leave you with full signs of content.

Enough for 8 hungry pudding fans

You need:

  • 300ml (1/2 pt)
  • 150 ml (¼pt) double cream
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 2  egg yolks
  • 65 gram(s) (2½oz) golden caster sugar
  •  Few drops vanilla extract
  • 1  baguette, cut into slices
  • 100 gram(s) (3½oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 35 gram(s) (1¼oz) butter, melted
  • 30 mls apricot jam
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Bring the milk and cream to the boil in a saucepan for about 10 mins. Meanwhile, mix the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together until bubbly. Add this to the cream mix and stir while you do this to combine it all and stop the egg cooking!
  2. Strain into a jug and add the vanilla. Other things you could use for flavour are nutmeg or almond flavouring!
  3. Brush the bread with the melted butter and lay it in a dish, it doesn’t matter if you have to put bread slices over each other, just make sure that they all get a bit of choc.
  4. Scatter over the chocolate pieces.
  5. Pour over custard mix and leave the dish to soak for 30 minutes.
  6. In a saucepan or microwave, heat the jam, then brush over the puddings before serving.
  7. Place the dish in a roasting tin and fill it with hot water so it reaches halfway up the sides of the dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and just set.
  8. Serve with ice cream or cream and ENJOY

It’s not quite the same without the jam so make sure you get hold of some. Lidl have a really yummy real fruit jam for only 89p! If you hate apricot you could use something different, maybe try milk chocolate and strawberry jam?

I have been on a bike ride today, so will be eating seconds of this baby guilt free tonight :) Not that I would restrain if I had not been so active today… Pretty sure I have a separate pudding stomach!

Recipe adapted from Good housekeeping.