This is my bike! My hubby bought it for me last year when I was training for a charity bike ride. Last year we cycled over 120km in two days up and down the Devon mountains. I have to say here that people talk about the rolling Devon Hills; THEY ARE NOT HILLS, THEY ARE MOUNTAINS!
As part of a team from work we cycled from Bridgewater to Exeter via Taunton, Honiton, Seaton, Ottery St Mary, Sidmouth, Budleigh Salterton and Exmouth. We did it in two days. We raised several hundreds of pounds for charity (School in a Bag) and had great fun doing it.
This year the plan is to omit Bridgewater and Ottery St Mary and do it in ONE day!!!!!!!!!! So I’m training.
When it rains I go to the gym and when the weather is good I can get out on the road. I’d like to say I train daily, or even every other day but in fact it’s nearer 3 or 4 times a week at the moment but weekends are a good time for me to get some road time in.
Today it was freezing cold but dry so I was on the road! 10km to Killerton Park and 10km back home. The advantage of Killerton Park is that it has ‘facilities’, essential on a cold day!!
I have an ‘app’ on my phone that tells me how far and how fast, how many uphills and how many down hills. I’ve also discovered that it talks to me every 5km, which is a bit scary hearing a voice behind you when you’re not expecting it!!!!!
Anyway, today was the first day of good road cycling; the body is still in one piece, if a bit stiff but I’m feeling AWESOME at simply having achieved 20km and not having to walk up any incline whatsoever
Bring on July 4th when we will be doing approx 100km!!!!!!!!!!!!
These beautiful little gems were better than I expected. I wanted something ‘healthy’ after all the chocolate bits I’d been making so though that sponge and fruit might make a good combination. And of course, anything with fruit is healthy so you can eat lots of them!!! I had also bought too may apples of the ‘wrong’ type that were not being eaten so had to find something quick and simple to do with them. The light brown sugar added to the colour as well as the flavour. I topped them with cream cheese icing and a few dried cranberries, sultanas and raisins.
250g self raising flour
250g soft butter
250g soft light brown sugar
200g mixed dried cranberries and raisins
4 small apples, cored and chopped into small pieces
Cream together butter and sugar
Break eggs and put into a small bowl/jug and mix well together
Add 1/3 eggs and a third of the flour into the sugar and butter. Mix gently. Add the second egg and third of the flour and mix again gently. Add the last of the egg and flour mixture in to the butter and sugar.
Add the dried and fresh fruit and again mix gently
Spoon into cupcake cases (once again I used ‘fairy’ sized cases) and bake in the oven for 15 mins (fan oven 170)
These were unbelievably yummy, very light and moist. Even surprised myself!! 😃
Somewhere I saw a recipe for Cherry Cupcakes which started me thinking about Black Forest Cupcakes.
Whilst wandering around Tesco last weekend (before the jet wash/black eye incident) I saw a jar of Opies Black Cherries in Kirsch!!!!
The theory was a chocolate sponge cupcake, with a cherry plonked delicately in the middle and topped with a cream cheese frosting and a dusting of cocoa powder………….and it worked!!
Black Forest cup cakes
6oz/170g unsalted butter, softed, not melted
6oz /170g caster sugar
4oz/115g self-raising flour or plain flour with a teaspoon of baking powder
3 large eggs
2oz/ 55g cocoa powder, not drinking chocolate
pinch of salt
1 390g jar Opies Black Cherries with Kirsch – drained but keep the juice!!
300g icing sugar , sifted
50g unsalted butter , at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold
Preheat the oven to 190c/170c fan or gas mark 5.
Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and mix until creamy and lighter in colour.
Sieve the cocoa, flour and salt into a bowl and crack one of the eggs into a cup or ramekin. Stiring all the time, add the egg and a third of the flour mixture into the sugar and butter, add the second egg and third of the flour and add the last egg and flour mixture in to the butter and sugar. You should have a smooth thick batter. If your batter is stiff, add a splash of milk (or some of the Kirsch from the drained cherries) and stir.
Put into paper cases (I used ‘Fairy’ sized cases) and bake for 15 mins
To make the frosting:
Beat the icing sugar and butter together
Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely mixed. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.