Running is Baaack!

As you can see from my blogging history, my last running post was a while back. March 2013 in fact. After that, it just trailed off, and eventually I just stopped writing about it.

It’s not that I stopped. I still did an odd 5km here and there. But I didn’t really feel the joy from going outdoors in my trainers from before. It had become a chore – I was obsessed about speed, intensity, distance, and when it didn’t hit the mark, I got pissed off.

So I took a break for 12 months, and just concentrated on plodding through.

But now, I’m optimistic that my mojo is finally back! The endorphins are buzzing, I’ve started timing my runs again, really pleased with the pace (though I’m never going to be a speedy bean). Now that the evenings are getting lighter too, I’m thinking of prolonging my distances, and hopefully entering an Autumn race if all works out. 🙂

Anyway, you know this blog is very much about the baking so I’m also going to post about these flowery fairy cakes. I made them a while ago for my work colleagues, and as an experiment in trying out ways of reducing butter in baking.

DSC07205

Fairy cakes are really great, as they are just the right size for a few mouthfuls. This is based on the usual fairy cake recipe, but I replaced half the butter with natural yoghurt. It worked out beautifully, the cakes were texturally extra light, yet moist. I’d accumulated a lot of sugar flowers, so plonked them on top of the icing.

Yoghurt Fairy Cakes

Makes 16-18 cakes

For the cakes:

  • 65g unsalted butter
  • 130g caster sugar
  • 65g natural yoghurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 65g wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 65g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the icing:

  • 100g butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • splash of whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
  • food colouring (optional)
  • sugar decorations

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Line a bun tin with fairy cake cases.

Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy, then add the yoghurt. Beat this in well, then add the eggs one by one, followed by the vanilla paste. Then, add the flour, baking powder and salt, and gently fold together until combined. Plop a dessertspoon of cake mixture into each paper case, then pop into the oven for around 12 minutes until golden-brown, risen and springy. Put the cakes onto a cooling rack and wait until cold.

Make up the icing by beating together the butter and icing sugar until combined, then adding in a little milk, drop by drop, and beating in until creamy and spreadable. Add the vanilla paste and taste. Add more or less depending on how you like it. Pop a spoonful of icing onto each of the cold cakes, and ssing a small palette knife, spread it to cover the top of each cake completely. Decorate however you fancy – they went down really well at work!

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