Christmas is more about food than presents for me. Imagine, then, my despair at the fact that my brother’s wedding is the week after Christmas and if I gain a smidgen of weight I won’t be able to zip up my dress. Having a lean Christmas is not particularly tempting, but I am trying to cut back on my usual indulgences and enjoy things merely in moderation. This is helped by the fact that I’ve finally joined the gym since moving back and am dragging myself along for a few early morning spinning classes.
I never thought I would say it, but I truly miss my spinning instructors from Hong Kong. Yes, the playlist often included abominable Canto-pop. Yes, sometimes the only English expression they used in the whole bilingual class was “Ready?”. Yes, they used to say bewildering and slightly self-explanatory things like “Your knees should be in line with your toes” (how else could you be doing it?!). But at least they had simple things like a warm-up and cool down, both of which are absent at my new leisure centre. And a narrative! “We’re going uphill for the next three minutes, getting steeper and steeper,” they would announced, and I created a little image of myself battling up the Alps (of course), and willing myself to continue because if I stopped I would be stuck halfway up a mountain. Alas, my new instructor provides no narrative to spur me on. Every track is simply: “Turn up, stand up, speed up”, followed by “Turn it up as far as it will go…now turn it up more!”, and finally “10 second break”. Repeat for 45 minutes.
But while it may not capture my imagination, it does at least allow me a few treats – and what a treat this is. Rocky road is one of my all time favourite things, and this is essentially a ginger rocky road. Simply divine.
Chocolate & Ginger Delight
From BBC GoodFood, makes 32 squares
300g ginger nuts
140g crystallised ginger, finely chopped
300g plain chocolate
100g vegan margarine/spread
100g golden syrup
1. Line a 20x30cm tin with baking paper (or save yourself the hassle and open a packet of foil dishes).
2. Crush the biscuits roughly, mix in most of the crystallised ginger (reserve some for the top) and set aside.
3. Melt the chocolate, spread and golden syrup in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
4. Pour the chocolate mixture over the biscuity crush and mix everything together well.
5. Pour it all into the prepared tin.
6. Sprinkle the reserved ginger on top, and smooth it as best you can.
7. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
8. Cut into squares and treat yourself/your loved ones. It can be kept in the fridge for a week or freezer for a month.