Tuesday 8 March 2016

Cycling Flapjack - Another revision

It probably goes without saying, but when you're cycling, you can burn a lot of calories. I burnt in the region of 15-16,000 calories last week in Spain, just in the time I spent cycling. Add on my basal metabolic rate of ~1700 calories a day (I'm a pretty lightweight build), so it's reasonable to assume I needed about 27,000 calories last week (about 118 Mars Bars!).

You can spend a fortune on ride fuel, normally in the form of gels and energy bars, however this can get pretty expensive, and gels are not exactly the most palatable food in the world (think body-warm slime). I prefer to have something a bit more substantial to munch on, and over the last couple of years I've been tweaking and refining a flapjack recipe that I like to use when I'm in the saddle.

This week I was using a new variation...trying to knock the fat levels down, and increase protein and carbs (both sugars and "slow burn" complex carbs). I also want to try and have an even mix of two types of sugar (this helps the body absorb the sugar quickly, giving you more fuel to burn), and based on feedback also try to reduce the sweetness a little. The changes I made were;
  1. Use an egg instead of some of the butter, to act as a binding agent
  2. Use dark chocolate chips instead of some of the glucose (caster) sugar
  3. Reduced the caster sugar (balanced off by sugars in chocolate)

I've found previously that reducing butter also reduces the flavour somewhat, so the addition of chocolate was used to limit that. I found that this recipe tasted lovely, but was possibly a bit too soft (ideally for a ride you want the flapjack to have some structural integrity), so maybe a bit less condensed milk or butter next time.

This recipe uses the classic flavour combination of cherry, almond and chocolate...

Rocketfuel Flapjack - Version 3!

  • Pre-Heat oven to 160'C
  • Line a 20cm x 30cm traybake tin with baking parchment


  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 150g ripe bananas (approx 1½ bananas)
  • 80g golden syrup
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 150g fructose sugar (you can buy this from Holland and Barrett in the UK)
  • 1 large egg (about 70g), lightly beaten
  • 200g condensed milk
  • 400g porridge oats
  • 100g flaked almonds
  • 100g dried cherries (not glacĂ© ones!)
  • 100g dark chocolate chips
  • A few drops of almond essence

1) In a large saucepan (large enough to fit all the ingredients) put the bananas and butter in, and mash with a fork

2) Add the glucose syrup, caster sugar and fructose sugar

3) Put on a low heat, and stir until all the sugar is dissolved, and the butter has melted.

4) Take off the heat, and stir the condensed milk and almond essence in

5) Add in the beaten egg, and mix thoroughly

6) Add in the oats, flaked almonds, cherries and chocolate drops, and mix thoroughly until all the dry ingredients are covered in the wet mixture. Make sure there are no dry pockets left.

7) Put all the mixture into the lined traybake tin, and using the back of a fork push it into all the corners, and level off the top

8) Bake in the oven for 20-22 minutes. The top should just be turning golden

9) Remove to a wire tray, and allow to cool completely in the tin

10) Once cool, turn out onto a chopping board, and place in the fridge overnight (this make it easier to cut up)

11) Chop up into 48 bits (chop it into quarters, then each quarter can be cut into a 3 x 4 grid, providing 12 pieces). These can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

12) When cycling/exercising, 2 chunks an hour will provide approximately 220 calories. You can normally work on being able to absorb ~4 calories/kg of body weight per hour.

Nutrition Breakdown