The other day a keen runner friend of mine explained excitedly how her times had improved dramatically after she began listening to a specially compiled 'Running Trax' album.
It got me thinking. Could a specially created 'Cooking Tunes' album provide more rise in my bread? More flavour to my Florentines? More skill to my piping?
I'm not the first to have thought this. Way back when, Jamie Oliver put together a selection of his favourite Brit Pop songs in "Cookin'" and more recently the imaginatively titled 'Cook Songs' has been released.
If the BigWigs at Song Music came to me for my Cooking Compilation album, these would be my suggestions, niftily split into helpful sections...
'Now That's What I Call....Sizzling'.
(The title is a work in progress).
The Bread Section
Westlife 'You Raise Me Up
Bill Haley and His Comets - Rockin Through the Rye
Meat Loaf - I Would Do Anything For Love
Wheatus - Teenage Dirtbag
The Fruity Bakes Section
Bananarama - Love in The First Degree
The Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever
The Jam - Going Underground
Chuck Berry - Roll Over Beethoven
The Sweet Section
Robbie Williams- Candy
Ricky Martin - Shake Your Bon Bon
Billie - Honey to the Bee
Millie Small - My Boy Lollipop
The Section You'll Hopefully Never Have to Listen to
The Prodigy - Firestarter
Talking Heads - Burning Down The House
Jennifer Lopez - On the Floor
Garbage - The Word Is Not Enough
What music do you cook to? Do you vigorously whisk to Wham? Gently stir to Sinatra? Crack your eggs in time to Coldplay?
I baked this to Radio 4's 'Just a Minute'. Which meant a lot of giggling and guffawing.
Muesli Bars with Yoghurt Topping
(makes 10-12 bars)
For the base:
3 tbsp honey
75g soft brown sugar
200g porridge oats
100g mixed seeds
50g flaked almonds
50g dried chopped apricots
For the topping:
250g white chocolate
125g natural yogurt
1 tsp vanilla essence
1. Heat the oven to 160 C/fan 140 C/Gas Mark 3.
2. Grease and line the base of an 18 x 25cm tin
3. Melt the honey, sugar and butter in a pan over a low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon throughout
5. Remove from the heat. Stir in the oats, the dried fruit, nuts and seeds until the mixture is thoroughly combined
6. Tip into the tin, flatten lightly with the back of the wooden spoon and bake for 20- 30 minutes until golden brown
7. Allow to cool completely in the tin. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a small bowl suspended over a pan of gently simmering water or in short bursts in a microwave. Once completely melted, stir in the yogurt and vanilla and pour the topping over the cooled oaty base.
8. Place into the fridge to set the topping. Once set, remove from the tin and place on a chopping board. Run a sharp knife under hot water, dry off any excess water and cut the traybake into twelve bars
- A wide variety of dried fruit, nuts and seeds can be used in this recipe. Just ensure the total quantity is no more than 250g
- For a simple milk or dark chocolate topping, melt 300g chocolate in a small bowl suspended over a pan of gently simmering water or in short bursts in a microwave before drizzling over the oaty base and placing in the refrigerator to set
- The bars will keep for up to three days when stored in an airtight container. Unless you happen to work with my colleagues, where they last about two and a half hours
- What music to you bake to?
- I am entering this into this months Tea Time Treat bogging challenge, alternatively hosted by myself and Karen from Lavender and Lovage. September is Karen's month and the lovely theme is Flapjacks, Oats and Traybakes.