runmaggiecooper

The life of a runner, mother, radiopharmacist and vicar's wife – that's me!

10k, knitting and chocolate cake

I took a day off work. I really needed a day off work, in fact a whole week off work would be even better but a day is better than nothing.

I was going to drive over to the other side of the Wirral and go for a run along the Wirral way but the weather was miserable and the drive was unnecessarily time consuming. I went to the gym instead. It was really busy, there was a spin class in progress and all of the treadmills were in use (well I squeezed onto the last available one). 

I haven’t done all that much running recently, I still don’t feel that I am completely well and very much want to get better. I figure that running is one extra stress on my body. Actually work is a bigger stress but I doubt that they would pay me if I didn’t turn up and just went running instead – although that is quite tempting.

I was quite pleased with the run and glad that I was on the treadmill not out in the damp. I started steady and gradually sped up. The result was 10km at an average pace of 7:19 per mile (45:28). Although this isn’t anything remarkable, it was fairly decent considering my lack of recent training. The last 5km must have been pretty close to 7min per mile.

  
In the afternoon I tried to find something a bit more relaxing to do so I made Naomi a finger puppet. It actually was more tiring than expected requiring a certain amount of concentration. I haven’t knitted for ages and had to get the instructions out for his to cast on and cast off!

If you want to make your own finger puppet the you need size 9 needles and do a rectangle 12 stiches by 30 rows in plain stitch. Sew in eyes,hair etc then see the thing together.

  
Since I was making things, I decided to make a chocolate cake, the kids really like my chocolate cake (which is why a quarter of it was eaten before I got chance to take a photo). This is probably the best chocolate cake recipe ever – easy and tastes great. It’s from Nigella Lawson’s book Feast:

Ingredients:

  • 200g plain flour
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 40g cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 175g soft butter
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150g soured cream

For the icing (in the original recipe it was approx 3 times this quantity but unless you want an immense sugar rush then maybe stick with the amounts I use):

  • 25g butter
  • 58g dark chocolate
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp golden syrup
  • 30-40ml soured cream 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

For the cake:

  1. Put everything in the food mixer and zap it until it is a smooth batter (I have done it by hand before and it’s OK).
  2. Put it in a tin (or two if you want to put icing in the middle too but then you might want to make more icing).
  3. Cook at 180C/gas mark 4 for 25-45 min (a skewer should come out clean – I have on occasion had to leave it nearly an hour).

For the icing:

  1. Melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave (or over a pan of steaming water).
  2. Mix in the syrup, vanilla, icing sugar, sifted icing sugar and cream and beat until smooth.
  3. Ice the cake (the icing sets relatively quickly) and decorate if you want.

This cake is definitely best eaten the day it is made. It’s still great the following day(s) but it is really good on the day it is made.

Back to work tomorrow! They’ll probably complain that I didn’t bring in any cake.

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This entry was posted on November 17, 2015 by and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .
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