Tuesday, 8 June 2010
I think I've mentioned before that one of the reasons I get to bake so much cake and not put my fiance into a clinically obese state is because he is much more energetic than me and does triathlons. Whilst I am content with the odd swim, he likes to include a bike and a run as well. Last weekend saw the Blenheim triathlon, and as usual I went along and made myself hoarse in cheering him on, but it also involved some extra baking. We had been discussing his nutritional requirements for the day (pasta the night before, porridge for breakfast, and something carby before setting off), when the latest issue of 220 Triathlon Magazine arrived with a 23 page nutrition special. As I had suggested making flapjack, when I saw a recipe for cranberry, apple and oat bars, I thought I had better make those instead. After all I would feel dreadful if my regular flapjack didn't produce as good results!
They were a bit more fiddly than flapjack to make, as I had to heat the butter with apple juice, honey and sugar in a saucepan before adding the dried apple, cranberries, oats, sesame and sunflower seeds, whereas usually I melt things in the microwave! And they didn't stick together quite as well. (In fact, I thought the recipe was pretty rubbish, they didn't specify what size baking tray to use, nor what it should look like colourwise when taking it out - but then, it is a sports magazine. I did wonder if anyone had actually tested the recipe as the way I made it they would have been impossible to eat on the run). Obviously it's impossible to compare whether they were better than flapjack, but he got round the course, with an absolutely fantastic time on the swim, and I was as usual ridiculously proud at the finish line (although soaking wet owing to a thunderstorm commencing an hour in...)
It is also becoming traditional for me to make a celebratory millionaire's shortbread when he finishes a triathlon - partly because they are a bit of a fiddle to make having to let each layer cool before adding the next, but mainly because they are really just sugar and fat. But after a hard sporting event I think that they are well earned. This one suffered slightly from the humid weather - the chocolate and base set hard but the centre did not set so well and squidged out when cut. Luckily this didn't make any difference to the taste.