Anyone that has been on one of our free walking weekends in the Peak District will have sampled some of Mrs W4A’s fabulous baking – most commonly flapjack – and some lucky dogs, over the years will have had the complete works. And so, since for many years this has been popularly requested, here are Phill’s recipes for Will4Adventure’s hill food. Enjoy!
Phill Skills 1 – Flapjack
One 5cm by 4cm slice of this stuff will surely get you through the next 5 miles of any mountainous walk … And when you read the following ingredients list, you’ll see why!
- 1 part golden syrup
- 1 part sugar
- 1 part butter or marg
- 2 parts rolled oats
Couldn’t be easier and if you are cunning you don’t even have to weigh anything. Put equal weights of syrup, sugar and margarine into a saucepan and melt over a gentle heat. To make life easier buy a jar of golden syrup containing 450g, add a 500g bag of sugar and a 500g tub of margarine. Give it a bit of a stir now and then. When it’s all melted boil for a minute or so but don’t let it burn – then remove it from the heat. Add double the weight (1Kg) of rolled oats – beware it takes a bit of stirring to get them all covered – but it will go. Put into a greased lined tin and cook at gas mark 4 or the equivalent for about 20 minutes until it’s golden brown on top. If you pat your fingers on the top you’ll burn them – but there should be a bit of give beneath them if you do. Cool in the tin, turn out and chop. Generally speaking with 1Kg of oats you’ll get 25 – 30 slices.
Phill’s Top Tips:
- Buy the syrup in a glass jar so that you can zap it in the micro-wave first in order to get all of it out.
- The flapjacks are better if you use decent big flakes of oats rather than little milled ones but anything will do.
- Always line your tin with baking parchment – never never never use grease-proof paper – it sticks! (This applies to all the recipes).
Please note: Diets may be subject to change. Alternative and/or additional ingredients can also be experimented with upon demand.
Introductory baking – finding your way to the oven
“Hi Will, thanks for an ace weekend! I’ll spread the good word and see you again. And your wife’s flapjacks are AMAZING!!!”
– Caroline E.
“Please thank Philippa once again for the lovely flapjacks! (With the promise of more of those at the end of an excursion, you could probably persuade me to do anything :-)”
– Scott M.
Phill Skills 2 – Fruit-cake
Intermediate baking – out to the wilderness!
This could easily be the Banana Cake at this level – but currently in vogue is the Fruit-cake.
- 500g dried fruit – mixed or just sultanas/raisins whatever you like
- 175g sugar
- 225g marg
- 350g self raising flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tsp almond essence
- Chopped apple/glace cherries/nuts
I love this cake. Put the dried fruit into a saucepan, cover with boiling water and boil for a few minutes. Drain the fruit, put back in the pan and add the margarine and the sugar. Mix it all together. When the margarine and sugar are all melted in add the flour. Beat the eggs with the essences and add to the mix. Then add whatever takes your fancy – glace cherries, mixed nuts, anything really. But the extra that makes this cake utterly gorgeous is adding peeled chopped apple: 2-3 eating apples or 1-2 cooking apples should be enough. This addition makes it really moist and tangy – yum! Put into greased and lined tin and cook at gas mak 4 or equivalent for about an hour or until nicely brown on top and firm to the touch. Cool in the tin for a while then if you have one, turn onto a cooling rack.
Phill’s Top Tips:
- Try adding a tea-spoon of mixed spice for extra yumminess – or for some urban chic maybe try adding cinnamon.
- If you can get one, bake it in a spring release round cake tin, but anything will do including a roasting tray.
Please note: Take this out on a wild camping adventure, add hot custard and hey-presto! It’s pudding!
Phill Skills 3 – Chocolate Brownie!
Walk hard, eat harder!
“I had about five of your flapjacks at Youlgreave and when Will handed me a box of brownies at Calver, it was the happiest I was at any point of the walk…”
– Darron K – (Challenge4Charity 2006)
Not really good for the hill, but bloody gorgeous, and fine for a short walk (up to 10 miles) and amazing if you have them warm with ice-cream!
- 550g plain choc
- 225g butter or marg
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbsp strong coffee
- 225 g sugar
- 75g self raising flour
- 1/4tsp salt
- 175 g walnut pieces (optional)
- 1tsp vanilla essence
Melt half the chocolate with the butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and let this cool slightly. Beat the eggs, coffee and sugar together in a large bowl and then gradually add the chocolate mixture. Mix in the remaining ingredients including the remaining chocolate which you will have coarsely chopped. Put into a greased and lined tin and cook at gas mark 5 or equiv for 40-45 mins. It should be only just firm in the middle. Allow this to cool in tin (if you can wait that long) then turn out and enjoy.
Phill’s Top Tips:
- In case it isn’t clear – use coffee made into a drink – not granules!
- Do not overcook the mixture or it will be dry instead of chewy and gooey
- Use decent chocolate for best results – one of the best things about the recipe is that you always have to buy more chocolate than you need …
Note: Good hill fitness is required in order to walk off more than one slice of Chocolate Brownie.
Frequently Asked Questions
How good do I need to be?
You can start at PS 1 level with little or no experience. Once you start to build up confidence and an awareness for your oven’s temperament try PS 2. PS 3 should be ok too but be prepared to go back to PS 2 or even 1 if this doesn’t work out.
Can I start at the PS2 or PS3 level straight away?
We would probably ask you about your previous experience and abilities to determine whether such a (rash) move would be appropriate for you, but yes this is possible.
If I sign up for the PS3, can I borrow a tent from you?
No. No tents are needed for baking.
If I sign up for the PS3, can I borrow a pudding bowl from you?
No. Use your own.
Phill is short for Philippa, aka Mrs Will4Adventure – a hardy adventurer with a string of summits and mountains in her bag from the Peaks to the Lakes, from the Pyrenees to Peru. Now mostly found at home on a weekend, grooming the brood of small W4Aers to take over the empire in years to come. On a week-day she has a real job too!
Why’s chocolate no good as hill-food?
Chocolate is not so good – it provides a big quick sugar rush followed by a quick sugar low. It’s comfort food and must not form the sole basis of your energy and nutrition for the hill.
… Your body needs to maintain its blood sugars in a given range. When you eat sugars the pancreas produces insulin to keep the blood sugars (down) within the required range. Hence if you eat a lot of easily absorbed sugar in one go a lot of insulin is produced and is produced after the sugars have been absorbed. Hence you end up with what is called a sugar low.
Better is to eat a combination of quick and slow release food that packs the calories you need while not messing with your blood sugar levels.
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