A few days ago, one of my readers suggested that all this stuff is a bit too, erm, male.  “How about something on cupcakes?”, she pleaded.  Never one to miss out on food, least of all cake, what else could I do?

Way back in the mists of time, before cycling became my passion, I moved in the dark world of club cricket, turning out for Littlehampton CC every summer between 1986 and 1998.  As everyone knows, one of the key principles on which cricket is built is that at some point in the proceedings, everything stops for tea.  It’s both civilised and essential, but it’s also a good excuse for cake.  Now, for home games, the host team provides sandwiches and cake and it soon became part of my routine to knock up some sugary stuff to supplement (or complement) the tuna and cucumber butties.  Favourites were rock cakes, Victoria sponge and chocolate brownies, with the brownies always the first to vanish from the plates.  They are still a favourite in this household, so here’s the recipe, should you wish to give them a try.  I might add that the recipe comes from a Marks & Spencer’s book, so they are, unquestionably*, the best  chocolate (walnut) brownies in Christendom.  I rarely add the walnuts:


*This may not be true, and brings things nicely back to cycling.  One of the main reasons I enjoy cycling is that I also enjoy my food.  Cakes, if not necessarily cupcakes, are great motivational tools, so the cafe stop has become an integral part of the Saturday club run.  We tend to rotate three favourites, but my favourite of the three is the cafe in Long Clawson ( where I can get a proper cup (pot) of tea, (y’know, made with tea-leaves and served with a strainer) and an absolutely fabulous slice of chocolate brownie, right up there with my own creations.  Last time we were there (late May/early June) it was still so cold that we really found it difficult to leave; just be careful on the sloping tiled floor if you are wearing cleats.  Lethal.

Finally, something for the ladies.  Probably stating the obvious, but cycling is one of the best ways to burn calories and keep in shape; it’s also really good fun and, if you get involved with a club, it can be an opening to a great social scene.

Oh, and you get to eat cake with men with nice legs.

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