F1 Christmas Bake Off – Finnish Joulutortut

Today sees another F1 Christmas Bake Off.

This time, we move over the border into Finland to make ‘Joulutortut’ (pronounced ‘YOL-dor-TU’).

These Christmas Star cookies, are literally just puff pastry jam tarts shaped into stars, although the authentic recipe calls for prune jam! I was not brave enough to use prune, so I turned to the jar of strawberry jam I had in the cupboard!

With only 3 ingredients needed, how could I possibly go wrong with this?

The recipe is an amended version, taken from the website ‘curiouscuisiniere.com’

Finnish Joulutortut


  • Packet of ready-made puff pastry
  • Strawberry jam
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Icing sugar


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220 C / 425 F /200 Fan /Gas Mark 7
  2. Lightly flour your countertop and roll out the dough to a rectangle (roughly 12 x 9 inches) that is about an 1/8 inch thick
  3. Cut the dough into 3-inch squares
  4. In each square, make four cuts, one from each corner, each going 1/2 – 2/3 of the way to the center of the square
  5. Spoon 1 teaspoon of jam in the center of each square
  6. Fold every other corner of each square over the jam
  7. Use the beaten egg wash to moisten the corners slightly and lightly press to seal the corners together over top of the jam
  8. Transfer your pinwheel cookie to a parchment lined baking sheet, placing the cookies 1 inch apart
  9. Lightly brush the tops of the cookies with the beaten egg
  10. Bake the cookies 10-12 minutes, until golden
  11. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely
  12. Once the cookies are cool, dust them lightly with powdered sugar
  13. Store the cookies in an air-tight container on the counter for 3-4 days

Super simple to make and very tasty.

And here’s the video, just in case you want to have a go 😉

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F1 Christmas Bake Off – Swedish Pepparkakor

Admit it, you’ve missed these videos and recipes in the last couple of weeks haven’t you?

OK, well I’ve missed doing them, and when I was challenged by @F1trackchat to do a Christmas gingerbread house (not this recipe, it’s on the list) I thought, why not do a few Christmassy bakes from around the world.

So, here is the first one.

Swedish ‘pepparkakor’ – these are just thin ginger biscuits and are totally scrummy. When  I took small pitlane boy to Finland a couple of years ago for Christmas, he pretty much lived on these (well, the Finnish version anyhow).

And, we have it on very good authority that these biscuits are Santa Claus’s favourite – as they are much better for his heart (and waistline) than mince pies!

The recipe I used was from the website ‘All Recipes’ (the UK site), so here you go:

Swedish Pepparkakor

Ingredients (makes 60)

  • 250g butter
  • 300g sugar
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 375g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

NOTE: I halved this recipe and still managed to make slightly more than 30!


  • Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl
  • Stir in the syrup and eggs
  • Sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and cloves in a separate bowl
  • Add to the butter mixture
  • Knead into a stiff dough (you may need at add a bit more flour as this does get very sticky)
  • Pat into a flat circle, and wrap in greaseproof paper
  • Refrigerate at least 2 hours
  • After 2 hours, preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4 / 160 Fan
  • Take the dough out of the refrigerator
  • Roll the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface to about 1cm thickness
  • Cut the dough using a star-shaped biscuit cutter (or any other shaped cutter you wish)
  • Place cookies 3cm apart on ungreased baking trays
  • Bake in preheated oven until the edges are golden brown, about 10 minutes
  • Allow to cool to room temperature before serving


  1. If you’re using real butter (not margarine or dairy-free substitute) make sure you bring it out and leave til it’s up to room temperature, otherwise trying to beat it with the sugar will be a nightmare!
  2. I couldn’t find ground cloves in the supermarket, only whole ones. With the absence of a pestle and mortar, I substituted the cloves with an extra dose of mixed spice
  3. Take note the dough will be very sticky, so make sure you keep flouring the surface
  4. After 10 minutes the cookies might not look cooked, but they harden up as they cool

… here’s the finished product

… and here’s the video:


Keep a look out for the next Christmas bake, coming your way very soon …

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Top 10 Funniest Tweet Awards – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2018

Well that’s it. The fat lady has sung, the sun has set and the final race of the season has been race.

But in the desert dusk, with everyone expecting a bit of a procession, we were treated to a thrilling race and a heart-stopping moment as Hulkenberg was launched into the air and rolled into the fence.

What would the race be without all the tweets? And this week, the final round of the Funniest Tweet Awards did not disappoint.

Without further ado, here is the final Top 10 Funniest Tweet Awards for 2018:

In 10th place is @5liveSport for this tweet after Hulkenberg’s crash

9th place goes to @Flove_30 as the threat of rain, yes rain, reared its head in the desert. The rain did, in fact, fall, but not enough to hamper anyone’s race, it pretty much dried up before it hit the ground

8th place goes to @StephenCole1984 as Gasly became the 5th retirement of the race …

In 7th place is @whatthefuzz1 following Hartley kissing the wall early on in the race – no damage was sustained to Hartley’s car …

6th place goes to @PatrickSikler for live footage of Will Smith (aka The Fresh Prince – did anyone else notice he was there) leaving the building after Hulkenberg’s crash. This was following a rather amusing video posted by @MercedesAMGF1 of Will Smith holding Hamilton hostage and saying he was going to race instead.

5th place goes to @TarasDemerson with on-board footage of the on-track action betweem Ocon and Verstappen … again … but this week it was actually for track position!

In 4th place is @Jontys_Corner for this tweet of everyone watching the race watching Hulkenberg’s crash. Thankfully, Nico emerged unscathed, but it looked horrific…

In 3rd place is @RJoseRazoJr for this hilarious tweet about Hulkenberg’s car channelling its inner Bruce Lee …

2nd place goes to @RenaultSportF1 letting everyone know that Nico was fine, all be it hanging upside down like a cow! (What do they do to cow’s in Germany?)

The final winner of the season, in 1st place is @f1trackchat for live footage of Ericsson trying to control his undriveable car and hold on to 8th place, before the car simply gave up and Ericsson became another retirement…

And that, dear readers, as they say, is that.

Thank you to everyone who tweeted this season, I have had a really difficult task every week whittling, sometimes over 100 tweets, down to just 10.

But, the Funniest Tweet Awards will be back next year, starting in Melbourne, for which, you now have 110 days to practice.

I may, just may, run a Funniest Tweet Awards for the Formula E season which starts in a couple of weeks – after all, we’ve got to have something to amuse ourselves for the next 110 days…

In the meantime, thank you and I hope you’ve enjoyed this season’s funniest tweets.

See you in Australia.



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F1 Bake Off – Round 21 – Abu Dhabi

Well, we’ve reached the final round of the F1 Bake Off challenge.

What can I say?

It’s been a blast – some bakes have been great, some a complete disaster and others surprising. It’s certainly been a journey.

But, here we are, Abu Dhabi, the end of this season. And for this week’s Bake-Off I attempt to make ‘Luqaimat – Arabian doughnuts – and are usually made in the month of Ramadan and enjoyed after iftar. (Iftar is when the fast is broken)

Two reasons to approach this recipe with caution:

  1. The recipe involves yeast – I’ve not had the greatest success rate when it’s come to yeast recipes this year
  2. The recipe calls for deep-fat frying. Something I have never done, and the mere thought gives me nightmares about chip pans catching fire and the house burning down

However, approach this recipe I did and here is the recipe I used, courtesy of “Coffee and Crumpets”



  • 3 cups/430g organic all purpose/plain flour
  • 2 teaspoon yeast (1 package)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon organic sugar
  • 1 cup/236mL warm water
  • ½ cup/118mL warm organic milk
  • 1 organic egg, beaten
  • Oil to fry (sunflower, peanut, avocado, coconut)
  • Orange Blossom Sugar Syrup to serve
  • Powdered sugar to serve


  1. If you know your yeast is fresh and it’s an active dry yeast, you can add the flour, yeast, salt and sugar altogether in a mixer bowl
  2. If you have a food processor, mix with a paddle attachment, otherwise just stir together with a spoon
  3. Add the hand hot water and mix
  4. Add the warm milk and the egg
  5. The batter will be sticky but slightly thin
  6. Cover with a clean tea towel and put aside to rise in a warm place for about 30-45 minutes
  7. After 45 minutes check the batter, it should be very sticky and thicker now
  8. Heat oil in a wok or fryer to deep fry the doughnuts
  9. If the dough is too hard to manage add a little drop of water
    1. You want to be able to drop spoonfuls of dough into the hot oil
    2. You can use two greased teaspoons or spoons dipped in some water to help with releasing the dough
  10. Drop spoonfuls into the hot oil and agitate the dough balls with a spoon to get even colouring
    1. Make sure the oil is hot otherwise the dough won’t ball up but stay flat
    2. However, too hot an oil will brown the outside too quickly and not cook the inside
    3. Adjust the temperature as you are frying
  11. Once the balls are golden brown, drain them on a paper towel
  12. Drizzle with sugar syrup to serve or sprinkle with powdered sugar
  13. They are best eaten warm but quite acceptable room temperature too

I can confirm, my batch turned out rather well and, I must confess to a slight Homer Simpson moment as they were very, very yummy…

And here’s how I got on:


And that, as they say, is that for this season…

Do I do another F1 Bake Off season next year or mix it up with something else. Let me know what you think.

Enjoy the race this weekend, and more importantly have a go at these and enjoy the doughnuts …

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Top 10 ‘Ocon’ Funniest Tweet Awards – Brazilian Grand Prix 2018

Following ‘that’ incident when Verstappen overtook Ocon (who was a back marker) and they had a coming together, resulting in Max spinning off and losing the lead (and his cool for the rest of the race and afterwards – have you seen him shoving Ocon?) there were so many funny tweets, I simply had to do another special edition.

In 10th place is @saskia_staal for this take on what happened …

9th place goes to @lauren_hall88 for this uncanny future glimpse of what would actually happen after the race …

In 8th place is @whatthefuzz1 for actual video footage of this incident

In 7th place is @_SHEVYWOOD for another camera angle of the incident

6th place goes to @PatrickSikler for this look into the future tweet …

5th place goes to @iArunK … who doesn’t love a good Star Wars gif?

In 4th place is @Raymond_Osalla for this, although from the look of what happened after the race, this certainly wasn’t it!!!


3rd place goes to @stephencole1984 after all, Ocon is still without a drive next year …

In 2nd place is @_chrisUK for the potential penalty for Ocon’s actions…

The winner of the  ‘Ocon’ special edition, in 1st place is @dibhayles for what everyone on the Force India pitwall muttered after the incident…


And that concludes this week’s special edition of the Funniest Tweet Awards.

There’s only one more round of the championship left, before I announce this year’s Funniest Tweet Award Champion.

If you want to have a go in the final round in Abu Dhabi it’s really easy.

Follow me on Twitter (@Pitlane_Girl) and simply tweet something funny between lights out and the chequered flag. Make sure you tag me, otherwise I might miss it, and that’s it.

Last race of the season in two weeks.

See you in the desert sands of Abu Dhabi.

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Top 10 Funniest Tweet Awards – Brazilian Grand Prix 2018

Well nobody can say that race wasn’t exciting!!

The Red Bulls were on a charge and Max Verstappen certainly seemed to have had rocket fuel for lunch, he was flying.

Vettel went backwards, Hamilton was in the lead, then he wasn’t, then he was, then he wasn’t, then he was and broke the duck of never having won a race after winning the championship before the end of the season.

Ricciardo got so close to the podium only to be denied in the end by Kimi, who Ferrari even let pass Vettel as he was the faster car.

Ericsson had a problem even before the race started, and he was the first retirement, then Hulk went as well.

Alonso FM was in full fight this afternoon, well that is until he told the pitwall not to talk to him for the rest of the race!

And then there was that small incident with Ocon – but that is a whole other story that is deserving of a Top 10 all to itself.

With all that going on it meant funny tweets were flying into my timeline like the Milennium Falcon doing the Kessel Run.

And having carefully, deliberated, cogitated and digested them all here are the results of the penultimate race of the season:

In 10th place is @timwagner66 with this tweet after Daniel Ricciardo set the fastest lap on old tyres on lap 33


9th place goes to @F1Racing_mag following the pit-to-car communication to Stoffel after a nice little on track battle where he overtook Alonso. (OK, so they were pretty much at the back of the pack, but it was still exciting)

8th place goes to @whatthefuzz1 as Verstappen closed in on Hamilton during the closing laps of the race

In 7th place is @PatrickSikler with this accurate description of Ericsson’s afternoon…

In 6th place is @chainbearf1 with live, on-board footage of everyone’s side mirrors during the race (have I mentioned that Max had clearly had rocket fuel for lunch?)


5th place goes to @RJoseRazoJr with live footage of Max at the start of the race – talk about a bull in a china shop, but with less breakages …

4th place goes to @F1trackchat after Verstappen was advised to creep up on Hamilton in a bid to overtake him. This was before the first round of pitstops and Hamilton’s tyres were wearing.

In 3rd place is @dibhayles as Verstappen was reeling in everyone in front of him with style…

2nd place goes to @Jontys_Corner with live footage of Otmar talking to Crofty after that Ocon/Verstappen incident!!!


This week’s winner in 1st place is @TarasDemerson and his take on the start of the race after Martin Brundle said they all got away cleanly like grandma at the supermarket. The response from Crofty was: “Hope they didn’t spill the shopping!!”

So that concldes this week’s Top 10 Funniest Tweet Awards for the Brazilian Grand Prix 2018, but stay tuned as a special ‘Ocon’ edition wil be hitting your screens very shortly.

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F1 Bake Off – Round 20 – Brazil

Brazil – home to the samba, carnival, Copacabana and many other things.

Including cake!

The original cake for this round of the bake-off bared such a similar resemblance to the Tres Leches Mexican cake, I had to abandon that idea and search for something else.

The options I ended up with were a bolo de rolo, which looks like a huge, fat, swiss roll and a bolo de fuba, a cake made using polenta.

I decided to go with what I thought was the simpler option and cook the bolo de fuba … it was only after I realised maybe I should have done the fat swiss roll!

I even made two attempts at this cake, using two completely different recipes.

I started with a Jamie Oliver recipe I had found and followed it to a tee.

OK, well maybe the egg whites weren’t stiff enough that they stayed in the bowl when I tipped it upside-down, but to be fair the recipe just said soft peaks. That aside, I certainly wasn’t expecting the cake to explode when I mixed it together using my electric whisk – this was before adding the egg whites – as the mixture took on a dough like consistency and splattered, me included! It wasn’t as bad as it sounds, but there was some splattering. But that was nothing compared to what happened in the over.

After putting the mixture in a loaf tin – the biggest I had (2 pounds), and to be fair the picture on the website looked a lot smaller – it went in the oven and literally foamed out of the tin. Thankfully the bottom of my oven always has a tray with foil over it just in case accidents happen. And after the required cooking time, the cake was still as liquidy as when it went in the oven.

Cue a sugary treat for the ants in the garden and a trip to the supermarket for more ingredients.

More searching for a recipe, that was in English and with English measurements – why have cups? I have a set of cups but they are UK cups, which are different to US cups. Who knew?

Anyway, I then found a super simple recipe that is pretty much just ‘chuck everything in the bowl and mix up’. Always love those recipes, they can never go wrong, right?

We’ll see!

So, here is the recipe I used, from a website called ‘Around the World in 80 Cakes’:

Bolo de Fuba


  • 2 cup (16.5 oz) milk
  • 1 cup (8 oz) canola oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ cups (10.9 oz) sugar
  • 2 cups (9.5 oz) fine cornmeal
  • 1 cup (4.8 oz) All-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ½ – 1 cup shredded coconut (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F / 180 C / Gas Mark 4 / 160 Fan
  2. Grease and flour a large Bundt pan, loaf tin or circular cake tin
  3. In a large blender or food processor add all of the ingredients in order (milk, oil, eggs, sugar, cornmeal and flour) except for baking powder and coconut
  4. Process for 30-60 seconds until smooth. You may need to scrap the sides of the blender a few times to evenly incorporate the ingredients
  5. Add the optional coconut and process again for 10-20 seconds
  6. Then add the baking powder and process for another 10-15 seconds
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan
  8. Tap it on the counter a few times to get out any air bubbles
  9. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  10. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then unmold
  11. Allow to cool before serving or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator


  • I didn’t have a Bundt pan, so I used an 8 inch loose-bottomed deep cake tin
  • I didn’t use coconut, but it is optional. Apparently another optional instead of coconut is to add parmesan cheese!
  • My oven is a fan oven, but after 55 minutes at 160C the cake was cooked around the edges but completely uncooked in the middle. I turned the oven up to 180C and it took another 45 minutes to get the middle to cook
  • Did it not cook because I didn’t use a bundt pan? The resultant effort would not have won me star baker, the outside edges were too cooked the middle was just right
  • I couldn’t find fine grain polenta or polenta flour, so I just used normal polenta – this made the cake rather grainy
  • Taste-wise it was OK without the coconut
  • Conclusion, not one of the better bakes of the year!

And, if you need inspiration to have a go and make a better attempt than I could manage, here’s the video:


Can you believe it? I have only one more bake-off to go before the end of the season.

Best get practising, want to finish the year on a high, not with a soggy bottom!!

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