One year of blogging – Apricot Couronne and Cycling with Rhinos…


The band is playing, the sign for the start is up except it says “Finish”.  We are off.  The road is closed and it’s amazing whizzing down the Nakuru high street with no tuk tuks or motorbike taxis to contend with! We take a few turns,  excited kids peddle manically in and out of us. We enter the Nakuru National Park where Andrew and Lucas cheer us on. Then we turn in to the park grounds and pick up some speed, seconds later we are forced to halt as a herd of buffalo run across the road. After we push on through the many muddy ditches caused by the heavy rains overnight, a baboon runs out in front of us as flamingos fly above us.  We are cycling in the “Cycle with the Rhinos” bike race through the Nakuru National Park. 16km later we exit the park to continue on road which must be the best tarmac I’ve seen since moving to Kenya, our tyres glide effortlessly as the equatorial sun starts to heat us up.


Kat has GPS on her watch, it beeps at 21 miles to let us know we are half way. The road just keeps on going and going till we eventually end up back on dirt tracks. This is meant to be a loop but we seem to have been going in one direction for a very long time now.  We pass a check point, a further 10 miles later and we are still heading away from Nakuru. It’s really hot now and I think the altitude is getting to Kat, we end up missing our turning but keep on going.  I haven’t seen a checkpoint in a while and we seem to be heading in to a more remote area away from the park. As we begin to question where and what we are doing –  we become acutely aware that we are lost! As we know there should only be 10 miles to go we get out our phones and call a race organiser. We eventually manage to find the right way. Under the impression we are within 10 miles of the finish, a huge truck beeps at us.  I pull over for fear of being knocked off. It turns out it is the pick up for the stragglers! After a short argument with the driver, reluctantly (and gratefully) we climb on!

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Already half full of fellow stragglers, we get going, we hold on with our legs sandwiched between a huge pile of bikes, we duck altogether as we brush by thorny trees. The truck swings us from side to side, then we hit a deep puddle and become stuck. The driver revs and revs slipping and sliding all over the place. I get the fear factor we are going to tip over so we jump down, I really want to just grab our bikes and go but they are tangled with one another!

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Sometime later, after numerous attempts, the truck is prized out and we continue the 2hr drive back.  It’s during this time and after picking up many other cyclists, who are also seemingly tired and confused that we realise more amateur cyclists are on the truck than on the road. Kat looks close to punching an official who has said we should have prepared better. Kat, who has since checked the route and her GPS data, points out is it they who should have prepared better. They had advertised  the cycle as 64km it was actually 64miles!

Episode 6 technical challenge.

As you know I love learning new techniques and the GBBO technical challenges (complicated by our random temperature generator) so here you go Paul Hollywood! By the way it’s really fun to make, the folding technique is just great!  I can wait to do it with some savoury doughs too.


Recipe – Apricot Couronne


For the dough

250g strong white bread flour

50g unsalted butter, softened

150ml whole milk

10g fast-action dried yeast

1 large egg, beaten

For the filling

120g dried apricots, chopped

150ml orange juice

90g unsalted butter

70g light muscovado sugar

35g plain flour

60g raisins

65g chopped walnuts

grated zest 1 orange

200g marzipan

To finish

50g apricot jam

200g icing sugar, mixed with enough water to make a runny icing


The night before, put apricots and orange juice in a bowl and set aside.  Or I just simmered in the orange juice.

To make the dough, put flour, 1 tsp salt, butter, milk, yeast and egg in a bowl, and mix together to form a dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 6 mins.

Transfer dough to a mixing bowl. Cover, then set aside to rise in a warm place for 1 hr.

Meanwhile, drain the apricots. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and muscovado sugar until fluffy. Mix in the apricots, flour, raisins, walnuts and orange zest.

Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it out to a rectangle, about 25 x 33cm. Evenly spread over the apricot mix, then roll out the marzipan and lay it on top. Roll up the rectangle tightly so it looks like a Swiss roll. Roll slightly, then cut lengthways along the roll, leaving 1 end joined. Twist 2 lengths together, then shape into a ring on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Set aside to rise for 1 hr.

Heat oven to 200°C/180C fan/gas 6. Bake the twist for 30 mins until risen and dark golden. Towards the end of the baking time, gently warm the apricot jam in a small pan. Brush the freshly baked loaf with the warm jam to glaze it, then set it aside to cool. Once cooled, drizzle the twist heavily with the runny icing.

Madeleine and Kat getting ready to start at the “Finish” sign which is not the finish… 

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As well as celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary, this is the one year anniversary of Eye Bake Kenya blog – happy anniversary to those who’ve joined us on the journey x

7 thoughts on “One year of blogging – Apricot Couronne and Cycling with Rhinos…

  1. Congratulations on your wedding anniversary! I can’t believe its been a year since you left. What an incredible experience. You continue to inspire me both of you and not forgetting Lucas and his starring role xxx

  2. Happy Anniversary!!!
    Well done too on the bike ride….kilometres, miles, pah who cares! Looks like Kat also had the world’s most uncomfortable bike seat :-/

  3. Pingback: Sukuma wiki spelt courone bread, no water! | Eye Bake - Kenya

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