Cooking: Kitchen Rouleur.

A couple months ago when it was still wet, moody, and generally unpleasant to be outside I was still in the base training phase of the cycling year – many steady miles of slow-ish riding. I don’t think that anyone really enjoys these crappy days but at least in the past it was to be expected, now it is mid-May and looking out of my window in Bristol I’m met by the familiar feeling of dread and depression at riding in this foulness. Shit.

There are always memories to lighten the darkness however and perhaps my most fond memory from this winter is in the form of a cake. In short, i had blown-up at the end of a particularly miserable 80 miles and found myself in Chipping Sodbury, which has a particularly lovely old high street. I was desperate for some sort of energy and a coffee hit so wandered into Hobbs House Bakery which was a very welcome sight as I was fully expecting a plethora of low-end Martin’s and Spar’s. Greeting me upon entrance was a glorious stack of these ‘Hiker Bars’, surely more than capable of fueling me for the short leg home. Summoning up all the strength I had from my sodden, shivering existence I whimpered ‘Hiker’s Bar please’ and I received graciously. The old cliche of the first bite being heaven etc. has never been more true.

So now I have my anti-depressant to this most awful of weather, home-made Hiker Bars. I have changed the recipe slightly to replace the flour with Amaranth to make it a little easier on the blood-sugar + is Gluten Free. I also use mostly organic produce but it’s up to you. I’d like to call these:

Cake Le Rouleur

Be prepared.
Be prepared.


  • 180g Butter
  • 270g Demerara Sugar.
  • 2 Free Range Eggs.
  • 180g Flour (I used Amaranth Flour, but use what you feel)
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder.
  • 150g Currants
  • 150g Sultana
  • Vanilla Oil (not extract)
  • Maca, Lucuma, any boosters you like (optional)
  • Approx. 30x20x5 Baking Tray
  1. Pre-heat oven to 185C.
  2. Mix your butter and sugar together until slightly whitened and fluffy-ish.
  3. Add whisked eggs.

    Hard work with a wooden spoon.
    Hard work with a wooden spoon.
  4. Add sifted flour + baking powder to your bowl and mix thoroughly.
  5. Stir in the dried fruits and any other optional ingredients and place in a baking tray with baking paper.

    Try to keep evenly dispersed.
    Try to keep evenly dispersed.
  6. Bake in the middle of your oven for an initial 15 mins and then press down all over the mixture to make it dense.

    Use a flat faced utensil and work from edges inwards.
    Use a flat faced utensil and work from edges inwards.
  7. Bake for a further 15 minutes and press again.

    It won’t be hard until it’s cooled.
  8. Allow to stand and fully cool.

    As it should look.
    As it should look.

I bake these for powering my own efforts, but I have the great pleasure of sharing these with the riders who come out on my shop rides. I hope that if you use this recipe it lifts your spirits in the same way it does mine, whatever the weather.

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