We Veggie Runners like to think of ourselves as kitchen innovators, experimental culinary artists who push definitions of (good?) taste and nudge the boundaries of what constitutes ‘cooking.’* In this spirit of epicurean adventure, we have invented what we believe will prove to be our greatest triumph: the Recovery Cake. Yes, one must eat after running. One must eat protein, some carbs and if possible something with anti-inflammatory properties too. Why, then here you have it – Pecan and Pear Recovery Cake, which we invented to make ourselves happy after running the Yorkshire Marathon.
Now, of course, you need to eat something proper – a meal, for example… – within a couple of hours of strenuous exercise. A decent meal sometimes takes a while to get to when you’ve done a big race or a tough workout though. In the interim, we firmly advocate eating a large slab of this moist and delicious cake with a healthy portion of Greek yoghurt (more protein than ordinary natural yoghurt). That should keep you going ’til you can get a proper dinner inside you.
Our tongues are only slightly in our cheeks on this one. It is just cake, after all; it’s not exactly a superfood. It’s pretty well-balanced as far as cake goes though and believe us, eating this after the Yorkshire Marathon brought us unbounded joy and that alone started us on the road to a speedy recovery. If you don’t run, well, it’s a great cake anyway. Certainly, our spectating buddies enjoyed it immensely, and they were only recovering from leaning on road barriers and cheering for the 10 seconds it took us to stagger past them.
Note: It looks slightly separated in the photo but don’t worry about that. This is because a) this is real food photography with no trickery or gimmicks and b) the pears are moist so the steam from them cooking creates small gaps. The cake holds together beautifully though and is nothing short of absolutely delicious.
Pecan and Pear Recovery Cake
2 cups plain flour
Half a cup vegetable oil or melted butter
2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
5-6 firm pears, peeled and finely diced
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
Quarter cup milk or water
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 and a half teaspoons vanilla essence
Half teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 Preheat the oven to 180C / Fan 170C / Gas 4 / 350F and line a 9inch cake tin with greaseproof paper.
2 Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, including the nuts.
3 Add the pears and stir well.
4 Add the vanilla essence and slowly stir in the beaten eggs.
5 Bake for 55-60 minutes until a skewer comes out clean (though slightly moist because of the pears).
6 Cool on a wire rack.
*Sometimes we just make dinner like everyone else.