Crunchy on top Bran Muffins at the Tip of Africa endurance ride…

After a failed “first attempt” last year to join Evelyn at the Tip of Africa Endurance ride, I made it there this year… Horses, greener than green fields with bright yellow canola fields, prettier than that you cannot get. Horses, let me say this right here, I am a bit scared of horses, but with my camera between me and them I have no fear…

Early morning before the start of the ride at Bredasdorp Megapark

Early morning before the start of the ride at Bredasdorp Megapark

I’ve decided to treat the “horsey girls” with something nice and decided to bake these yummy bran muffins. A recipe that’s been in my “to try” file for nearly 3 years. And I had to keep myself busy with something as being part for the “groom” team I was not really planning to get close to the horses.

Evelyn whispering lovely words of encouragement to Asha..

Evelyn whispering lovely words of encouragement to Asha..

These muffins are really great and worth a try. I took lovely jam and cheese with, and it was not necessary, they are great as is…. The recipe makes at least 40 – 50 medium size muffins and they will last for up to 4 days in a sealed Tupperware container. The raw mixture can also be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days for daily fresh muffins.

Maya "the best dressed groom"...

Maya “the best dressed groom”…

For the Crunchy on top Bran Muffins you will need:
3 and 3/4 cup digestive bran
1 and 1/2 cup boiling water
1 and 1/4 cup canola oil
5 Jumbo eggs
2 and 1/2 cup brown sugar
5 cups normal cake flour
3 and 3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 packet dates (the hard block type)
3/4 cup soft dried cranberries (optional)
3/4 cup walnuts (optional)
1 cup sultanas or raisins
3 and 1/2 cup milk
(extra brown sugar for on top of the raw muffins)

CLICK on THIS link for a printable recipe card<a Crunchy on top, moist Bran Muffins ………. RECIPE CARD

Add the Bicarbonate of soda over the chopped dates, cover with half of the boiling water.

In a LARGE bowl mix the digestive bran with the other half of the boiling water and let it rest for 10 minutes. Add the oil, eggs, sugar, and mix by hand after adding each ingredient.

Add the salt and flour alternating with the milk. Add the chopped dates and sultanas, soft cranberries and walnuts and allow the mixture to REST overnight in the fridge. This is very important as the dates needs to soften.

Bake in a medium size muffin tin and fill nearly to the top. ADD half a teaspoon of brown sugar on top of each “raw” muffin.
This creates a crunchy top, just lovely. Bake at 180 degrees for 25 minutes. Don’t over bake as it will dry out the muffins.

IMG_3978

And off they go…

Early morning start to the Tip of Africa 2013 endurance ride

Early morning start to the Tip of Africa 2013 endurance ride

Now it is time for the “grooms” to jump in their “4×4 bakkies” and believe me we did need it on the slippery farm roads, and meet the riders at the first “Vet check”…Prinskraal Farm between Bredasdorp and Arniston.

No 33. tip

Prinskraal, a beautiful farm on the gravel road connecting Arniston and Struisbaai… strangely I’ve driven past this farm so many times before, and never thought I will visit it one day with a lovely picnic table on the green fields..

Keeping our spot...

Keeping our spot…

Finding the “right” spot was very important as the riders needs to rest and “re-fuel” before they can continue the ride to the beach…

Abby, the young groom in making...

Abby, the young groom in making…

Abby really wanted to come with me and I am so glad I allowed her to, she LOVED every moment of being with the horses.

The table...

The table…

I had to keep myself busy, ….

And then they came in… busy busy and lots of stress, the heart rates needs to come down,and rest before they can continue with the next loop…

No 43. tip

Stones End port… just what we needed in the very cold and wet conditions, next year we will bring a box , not just one bottle… it was a really nice port…

Stones End Port

Stones End Port

What I LOVED about this day was the “differentness” of it all… the visual mind blowing scenery with the yellow canola fields, the strangeness of being so close to lots of horses, meeting GREAT people and just a couple of girls having lots of fun.

Meeting lots of new and interesting people...

Meeting lots of new and interesting people…

and then it rained…. no it poured ….. so the “grooms” had to take shelter..

Grooms taking shelter

Grooms taking shelter

And here they come again...

And here they come again…

On these endurance rides the horses are everything…. they really get pampered and cuddled…

Evelyn and her beautiful Asha

Evelyn and her beautiful Asha

And Abby, she also made friends…

No 62. tip

And off they go again, back to Bredasdorp Megapark…. a bit of stress, heart rates needs to come down yet again , a stressful VET check , and then it is all over…

Maya taking the last heart rate check

Maya taking the last heart rate check

We did not want to go home, …….

WE had to stop along the road to find a “horse” for Abby to ride in next year’s Tip of Africa endurance tide.

No 67. tip

No 68. tip

And next year, WE WILL BE BACK… I will have to start thinking what to cook for the girls, the one thing I know is that I will take lots of Stones End Port….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s