I thought we all needed (well I certainly did) a bit of light relief after a whole week of BT_PM1.3.
A bit of light relief is an essential component of any study programme.
This not particularly scientific article suggests a number of ways in which you can improve your concentration span, most of which seem quite sensible.
One of their suggestions is to take a break. If you have been following the blog for a while, you may know that I need little excuse for a break.
One of my favourite things to do, if I just need a mental break, is to bake!
To me baking has numerous advantages:
- the process itself is quite meditative
- it requires no real brain power, just follow the recipe
- it makes a bit of a mess – quite therapeutic in my books
- you end up with something delicious at the end
- the end product can be consumed on a future breaks, perhaps with a cup a coffee, to improve your concentration even more (see link above)
Below are a few of my favourite simple recipes. Believe it or not, I am not really one to photograph food, so you will have to use your imaginations. These recipes are pretty well bullet proof and very tasty (especially if, like me, you LOVE ginger and rhubarb).
The easiest of all, Chatter’s Crack, I have already shared with you here.
The next one Gingerbread, from my friend Eliza
- 110g unsalted butter
- 110g golden syrup
- 110g treacle
- 225g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 dessertspoon ground ginger
- 60g caster sugar
- 150ml milk
- 2 medium sized eggs, beaten
- 100g caster sugar
- 100ml water
- 5cm piece fresh root ginger peeled and grated
Preheat oven to 150ºC (not sure whether this is fan forced or not. I have tried both and didn’t make much difference, but I would go with fan forced if available). Grease and line a 900g loaf tin.
Melt butter, syrup and treacle together in a saucepan over low heat. Sieve the flour, bicarbonate soda and spices in a bowl, add the caster sugar and mix well. Add the syrup mixture, milk and eggs and mix.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40mins or until cooked (Eliza says an extra 5-10 mins). [N.B This is a moist cake]
For the ginger syrup, dissolve the sugar in the water with the ginger over low heat and boil for 2 mins.
Remove the cake from the oven and drizzle with the ginger syrup whilst still hot. Allow to cool in tin before serving. Keeps for a week (so I am told – it never lasts that long at our place!)
Third, from David Herbert’s Best Ever Baking Recipes. Super easy, delicious and also pretty foolproof.
You can see that this one is a favourite (and that I am a messy cook!)
And last of all, this is the cake I think I have cooked the most of any, in the 22 yrs since the book it is in, Stephanie Alexander’s A Cooks Companion, was published. The oven temperature is for conventional, not fan forced (drop to 140C if using fan forced).
I will concede the current weather is not ideal for baking, but I encourage you to give one of these a go the next time you need a bit of light relief.