F1 Bake Off – Round 6 – Monaco

So, for this week I thought I would attempt to make a Fougasse Monegasque, which is effectively just a sweet kind of biscuit/bread flavoured with aniseed.

For this recipe you need to use fresh yeast, in the absence of finding any in my local supermarket I substituted with dry active yeast. However, the instructions on the packet and other instructions found on the world-wide wonderweb varied.

Seeing as you’d think the actual yeast packet would carry the correct instructions I followed that, cue for a complete disaster…

If you fancy having a go at making a Fougasse Monegasque, and doing a much better job than I, here is the recipe I used, from a website called marmiton.com.

I have lovingly translated the recipe and instructions from French to English… (OK, I didn’t, Google Translate did 😉 )

Fougasse Monegasque


  • 1 kg of wheat flour
  • 15 cl of dry white wine
  • 15 cl of oil (sunflower or peanut type – not olive)
  • 15 cl of orange blossom water
  • 150 g of butter
  • 350 g caster sugar
  • 20 g of baker’s yeast (fresh in cubes at the baker’s)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon anise nature (I assume this means anise extract, or anise liqueur)
  • 8 whole almonds
  • 8 sugared almonds
  • 1 teaspoon of red and white anise (not easy to find everywhere)


  • Dissolve the yeast in a tablespoon of warm water. Make a small soft ball and put it in the middle of the flour. Let stand 15 minutes
  • In a bowl put 1/2 glass of water; add the sugar, the softened butter, the oil, the wine, the grains of anise and a pinch of salt; let it come to room temperature
  • Mix this liquid with the yeast ball in the middle of the flour, then knead the whole to obtain a fairly flexible mixture (almost like bread)
  • Let rise for 24 hours, covering the dough with a clean cloth to keep it warm: it must double in volume (mine SO didn’t)
  • The next day, spread pieces of dough 1 cm thick on oiled plates
  • Garnish with red and white anise; add 3 or 4 almonds and 3 or 4 sugared almonds per dish
  • Bake 20 to 25 minutes in preheated oven (190/200 ° C / Gas Mark 7). Watch the cooking to prevent the fougasses from burning!
  • At the end of the oven, wet with orange blossom water (at your discretion)
  • Powdered sugar can also be added for those with a sweet tooth
  • Let it cool and eat

This biscuit is a specialty of the Principality of Monaco and is used mainly at Christmas time.

It is will keep well for about 1 week in aluminum paper or a tin (no plastic box) and also freezes very well.

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Top 10 Funniest Tweet Awards – Spanish Grand Prix 2018

After three rather exciting races, Barcelona proved to be a bit of a damp squib. It certainly won’t go down in the history books as a nail-biter.

Aside from the turn 3 crash instigated by Grosjean flooring the throttle, spinning back onto the track, creating a fog wall and collecting the unfortunate Hulkenberg and Gasly very little happened.

There were a few good overtakes, the obligatory Max playing bumper cars moment and a rather dodgy Ferrari pit-stop, but that was about it.

Of course, after the Grosjean crash my Twitter timeline was inundated with hilarious tweets and memes on the subject and the more boring the race the more funny tweets there seem to be.

This week was no exception.

First off an honorary mention to @RenaultSportF1 for their reply to Haas F1 following THAT lap one Grosjean crash:


But here are this week’s tweets that made it into the Top 10 Funniest Tweets:

In 10th place is @tasha_dragonfly for this depiction of the sea of Carlos Sainz fans in the stands


9th place goes to @LBraking showing Grosjean following that lap one crash and smoke screen


8th place goes to @charlie_whiting as Alonso debates his tyre change strategy for this race. After getting back to the pits with only 2 wheels in Baku, can he manage it with just 1?


In 7th place is @IndycarUK for this tweet following Hamilton’s radio communication about the threat of rain …


In 6th place @timwagner66 for a behind the scenes look at Ferrari’s strategists following Vettel’s ‘unnecessary’ pit stop under the virtual safety car, leading to him losing his podium place to Verstappen


5th place goes to @chainbearf1 for this tweet about Christian Horner’s mood following the first round of pit stops, when Hamilton found himself in the middle of a Red Bull sandwich


In 4th place is @ymofficial following Max’s little bump into Stroll’s Williams leading to some damage to his front wing which subsequently fell off at the next corner and under the car of Sergio Perez


3rd place goes to @autosport showing how the marshalls get back to the pitlane after a crash


In 2nd place is @TomVanBael with some advice to Red Bull following yet another race where Max played bumper cars


This week’s worthy winner in 1st place is @dibhayles showing Grosjean’s epic failure at leaving the circuit following his lap one crash …


Thank you, as ever for tweeting such an enormous amount of funny stuff. It makes my decision ever more difficult each week.

The next round of the championship is in Monaco, so if you want to take part:

  1. Practice
  2. Follow me on Twitter (@Pitlane_Girl)
  3. Tweet funny (relevant) stuff during the race, from lights out to the chequered flag

Happy tweeting.

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F1 Bake Off – Round 5 – Spain

Well, I’ve reached the 5th week of the ‘F1 Bake Off’ challenge.

The last couple of weeks have been challenging, to say the least, resulting in a couple of complete disasters!

Still, this week’s recipe is a lot simpler.

For Spain, I have chosen to make a ‘tarta de queso’ which is a baked cheesecake. The recipe I used was from http://www.bascofinefoods.com and replicates the famous recipe used by La Vina in San Sebastian.

Anybody can make this cheesecake, it really is just a case of piling all the ingredients into a bowl, whisking together, putting in a tin and cooking.



  • 1Kg cream cheese
  • 500ml whipping cream
  • 5 eggs
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of plain flour


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6/xxx fan
  2. Grease a 26cm in diameter clip-on cake tin
  3. Take a large bowl and measure all the ingredients into it
  4. Use an electric whisk and beat all the ingredients together until you have something that looks like smooth batter
  5. Pour the batter into the tin
  6. Bake in the over for 50 minutes (…at least)
  7. To test if the cheesecake is ready insert a small knife or skewer into the centre of the cheesecake, if it comes out clean, the cake is ready
  8. Allow to cool
  9. Serve with cream, fruit compote or just on its own!

My version:

What it should look like…


  • I found it took a little longer than 50 minutes to cook. It took nearly an hour and a half, but that maybe because I should have ignored the fan oven temperature and just whacked the oven up to 200??
  • It might have taken longer because the only thing to bind the stuff together is 1 tablespoon of flour! But that’s what the recipe said.
  • Irrespective of the above, it is super scrummy and I am totally going to San Sebastian to try out the authentic version

Best hone my break-making skills for the next challenge!!

Until Monaco, enjoy…

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The Girlie Guide to … Endurance Racing (Part 2)

With the first race of the WEC ‘Super Season’, the “Total 6-hours of Spa-Francorchamps”, just having finished, what better time to do the second part of my introduction to endurance racing.

So, in Part 1  I covered the different types of cars, driving licences and how long each driver can drive for.

This article will deal with qualifying, the actual race and how to score points.

Let’s start with qualifying. How does that work?

It seems to be a fairly straightforward process. There are two qualifying sessions both of which are 20 minutes long.

Each team must choose two drivers to take part in qualifying and they must both set a timed lap during the session.

The grid is determined by the average of the two best lap times (one from each driver) with obviously the quickest average being on pole, next fastest in P2, etc.

Now, there are a few provisos, as you would expect.

I believe, from what I read and my understanding of the regulations, that in the LMP2 class one of the designated drivers must be a silver or bronze driver and in the LMGTE Am class one of the drivers must be a bronze driver. If I’m completely barking up the wrong tree, please tell me 😉

That seems fairly straightforward, but I do have one question that was not covered.

I assume that all cars, irrespective of class go out during the qualifying sessions and that there are not separate qualifying sessions for LMP1/MLP2 and LMGTE Pro/Am?

So once qualifying is over, it’s time for the race.

This year, I believe it’s the first one, WEC have a ‘super season’. This runs from this weekend’s 6-hour race at Spa through to and including next year’s Le Mans. Races include in the super season are:

  • The Prologue (6-7 April) – 30 hour non-stop testing (not a race)
  • Total 6-hours of Spa-Francorchamps (5 May 2018)
  • 24 hours of Le Mans (16-17 June 2018)
  • 6 hours of Silverstone (19 August 2018)
  • 6 hours of Fuji (14 October 2018)
  • 6 hours of Shanghai (16 November 2018)
  • 1000 miles of Sebring (15 March 2019)
  • Total 6-hours of Spa-Francorchamps (4 May 2019)
  • 24 hours of Le Mans (15-16 June 2019)

But what happens during the race? I guess the first question is how long can the drivers drive for?

This varies with car type.

  • LMP1 and LMGTE PRO drivers must drive a minimum of 40 minutes but no more than 4½ hours in total.
  • LMP2 drivers must drive for a minimum of 1¼ hours but no more than 3½ hours in total
  • LMGTE AM bronze and silver licence drivers must drive for a minimum of 1¾ hours, other drivers a minimum of ¾ hours with no driver exceeding 3½ hours in total

With the minimum time between drives being 30 minutes.

BUT, the Le Mans is 24 hours long and 1500 miles of Sebring is roughly a 12 hour race. What happens then?

Apparently, during Le Mans, the driving times follow a completely different set of rules as set out by ASA ACO and they can drive for a minimum of 6 hours, but no more than 14 hours in total.

For the Sebring race no driver, irrespective of category and licence, can drive a maximum of 8 hours.

My second question on the actual race is about the pit stops. What happens there?

Obviously a pit stop is when drivers change can change over, but also, in these races there is the element of refuelling as well as tyre changes. And, from what I have read, this season sees a change in the regulations, whereby teams and drivers can change tyres during refuelling.

Apparently, this will (should) prevent advantages being gained from quick tyre changes and adding stints to tyres to gain track position.

The change has not been made on safety grounds, but purely on the fact that WEC series has the slowest stops of all major motorsport series.

There is a whole ream of information about what you can and can’t do during pit stops in the technical regulations such as where to park the car, turning the engine off, repairing the car, how many people can work on the car, etc. Reading it gave me a headache, I can tell you.

A third question is once the race finishes, how do we know who wins?

According the WEC website, “The overall winner is the car that has covered the greatest distance by the time it passes the chequered flag (starting grid positions are not taken into account).”

So, would I be right in assuming that after 6 hours (or whatever the duration of the race is) the chequered flag is raised and cars go through it. BUT this could mean that the back of the field could go through first with the race leaders going through the chequered flag half a lap later.

Thus meaning, it’s not first passed the flag who wins, but who has driven the greatest number of laps as they pass the flag. Right?

I think, please correct me if I’ve misunderstood, but I think that not only is there an overall winner, but also winners for each class.

In order to be classified as finishing the race cars must:

  • cross the line when the chequered flag is shown
  • have covered at least 70 per cent of the distance covered by the overall winning car

And, finally, how are the points allocated?

For 6 hour races the top 10 positions are awarded points as for Formula 1, i.e., 25, 18, 15, etc, and every place after position 10 is awarded half a point.

This point allocation is the same for both the driver and manufacturer championships.

Am I right in thinking that points are awarded for all categories? That is LMP1, LMP2, LMGTE Pro and LMGTE Am. Or is it just LMP category and LMGTE category?

And, then another question springs to mind, is there also points for overall classification of the top 10?

So, if the top 10 includes all categories does this mean that there is an overall top 10 points awarded, PLUS the top 10 for each category??

So, if an LMP 1 car wins it could get 25 points for the winning overall, plus 25 points for winning the LMP category??

There are different points awarded for the race at Sebring and Le Mans, as they are of longer duration.

Position 6 hour race Sebring Le Mans
1st 25 32 38
2nd 18 23 27
3rd 15 19 23
4th 12 15 18
5th 10 13 15
6th 8 10 12
7th 6 8 9
8th 4 5 6
9th 2 3 3
10th 1 2 2
11th + ½ 1 1

So there you have it.

Not a comprehensive guide, but a general gloss over some of the main points and if you could answer any of my unanswered questions that would be fab…

Hope you enjoyed the race in Spa?


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Top 10 Funniest Tweet Awards – Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2018

What. A. Race!

Wow! Just wow! For the second year in a row the grand prix around the street circuit of Baku did not disappoint.

Safety car on lap one, plenty of overtaking, a crash, another safety car, and then a complete shift of order on the final couple of laps. It was real edge-of-the-seat stuff.

On top of all that Renault managed to lose one of their drivers and sent out a Twitter cry for help:

lost hulk

As for my GP Predictor League, let’s just say I have made a mental note that next year, for this race, I am just going to pick the Top 10 out of a hat.

With all the on-track action there was mirth a-plenty on Twitter as always and a very difficult decision to whittle it down to just ten tweets that made this week’s Funniest Tweet Awards.

But decide I did, so without further ado, here are this week’s Top 10 Funniest Tweet Awards:

In 10th place is @TarasDemerson for the video footage of how Grosjean’s crash into the wall under the safety car really happened. It was not Ericsson’s fault Romain!


9th place goes to @_HelenaHicks for this tweet on how Formula One is branching out!


In 8th place is @LBraking for depicting the scenes as the marshalls attempt to remove the stray branch on the circuit


7th place goes to @BadgerGP requesting we all grab our brooms and join in the carbon fibre cleaning up party after the crash on lap 1


In 6th place is @GvanderGarde with the scenes in the pitlane as Alonso limped back to the pits with not just one, but two punctures (the internet went into meltdown as to how he managed it)


And here’s this week’s top 5. In 5th place is @F1archives for exclusive spy-cam footage of Christian Horner during debrief following this race. Oh to be a fly on the wall of that one!!


4th place goes to @RacecarEngineer for Max’s engineer’s instructions to his driver just before … well you know what happened after (THAT racing incident) … oops!!


3rd place goes to @timwagner66 showing how Vettel peeled off into the pits …


2nd place goes to @Mattzel89 for depicting what can happen Hulk followed his GPS directions. It was after this that Renault lost him. Hmmm????


This week’s winner in 1st place is @StoffsCar for this absolutely sheer genius of a tweet after Grosjean drove into the wall (again, not Ericsson’s fault Romain) under the safety car, resulting in the medical car being deployed! (Hope it wasn’t fatal for his ego)


Hope you enjoyed both today’s race and this week’s Top 10 Funniest Tweet Awards?

The Funniest Tweet Awards will be back in Barcelona in two weeks time. In the meantime if you want to join in the hilarity you have a fortnight to flex those funny muscles 😉

To take part, simply follow me on Twitter and read the rules on the front page of the blog.

Until Spain, adios amigos.

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F1 Bake Off – Round 4 – Azerbaijan

A new race means a new bake-off challenge. This week sees me attempting to make ‘Baku-style Kyata’. (Note ‘attempt’ being the operative word here!)

A ‘kyata’ is a sweet pastry common across the Middle East, with each nation having its own name and recipe, but the basic recipe remains the same: butter, sugar and flour.

I found this recipe both challenging and quite frankly a complete disaster. I think I should have done more research into the ingredients that I had to substitute, that said however, I’m still not sure they would have turned out any better than the disaster they were!

The recipe I used was from a website called ‘Flavours of Baku’.

I would like to state there were definitely no soggy bottoms in the making of this recipe, talking of which here it is:

Baku-style Kyata

Ingredients for the dough

  • 360g flour
  • 227g butter (cold)
  • 230g sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 1 egg white (keep the yolk, you need it for the coating later)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
  • pinch of salt

Ingredients for the filling

  • 225g granulated sugar
  • 120g flour
  • 113g butter (cold)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar


  1. Make the dough
  2. Sift the flour onto a chopping board
  3. Grate the butter onto the flour and lightly mix them together
  4. Take a small jug or bowl into which mix the sour cream, baking soda and the salt
  5. In the middle of the flour/butter mixture pour the sour cream mixture and add the egg white
  6. Chop all the ingredients together with a chopping knife, bringing them into the centre of the board and continue until you have a smooth dough
  7. DO NOT over-knead the dough, you need to be able to see little bits of butter in it
  8. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, shape into a ball and dust with flour
  9. Cover with cling film and stick in the fridge for an hour
  10. Prepare the filling
  11. Grate the cold butter and lightly mix it with the sugar, vanilla sugar and flour
  12. Make the kyatas
  13. Remove one ball of dough from the fridge
  14. Dust the surface you will be using with flour, to stop the dough sticking to it
  15. Roll out the pastry to a thickness of about 3-5mm
  16. Spread half the filling over the top (yes, that’s right the powdery, sugary filling)
  17. Slowly roll the dough up into a tight roulade shape
  18. Gently press down the top to flatten it out
  19. Make the coating
  20. In a small bowl mix together the egg yolk, ½ teaspoon of olive oil (!) and ½ teaspoon of saffron infusion (a few strands of saffron steeped in a teaspoon of boiling water will make the infusion)
  21. Coat the roulade and then cut up into 5cm wide pieces – cut on the diagonal and preferably with a crinkle cutter/knife
  22. Arrange on a baking tray
  23. Bake in a pre-heated oven (180 C / 160 Fan / Gas Mark 4) for 20 minutes until golden
  24. Repeat with the other dough ball!

Having written the recipe down now, I can see where my feeble attempt failed disastrously.

  • I had no vanilla sugar – this is a common baking item in Europe and you can buy packets of vanilla sugar, here in the UK you need to add a vanilla pod to a jar of sugar to create vanilla sugar
  • Because I had no vanilla sugar, I improvised and used vanilla extract, which I added to the sour cream mixture – this might not have been a good idea, but I don’t think this alone was the cause
  • I made the dough in a mixing bowl and not on a chopping board with a chopping knife – again this was probably a huge mistake
  • I possibly didn’t roll up the roulade that tightly as when I transferred the kyatas to the baking tray half the filling fell out – in my defence, let’s face it is only powder, so it’s not that difficult for it to spill out!!
  • Definitely made a right pig’s ear of the coating – not the actual making of the coating, but the stage when I added the coating – that will teach me to read instructions properly and not half-heartedly. If you make these coat the kyatas before cutting up, if you leave it until the they are cut, it proves very difficult, as can be seen in the video

To be honest, these kyatas did not taste good, even with the added cinnamon.

If you want to know how I got on making them, check out the video …

Next up is Spain, that recipe is so much simpler!!

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Top 10 Funniest Tweet Awards – Chinese Grand Prix 2018

With an early alarm call, the first few laps of the race were not the best to write home about. No overtaking, procession status had been established, cue for another 50 laps of dullness.

But then, last week’s star Pierre Gasly had a little meeting with his team-mate which resulted in a safety car. Some drivers took advantage of this and dived into the pits, and when the safety car came back in the race came alive.

With all the ensuing on-track action the funny tweets really came alive.

As usual the judging decision was really difficult, so many funny ones to choose from, but choose I did.

So here are the results of this week’s Funniest Tweet Awards:

In 10th place is @f1trackchat for this tweet as Daniel Ricciardo overtakes Lewis Hamilton for third after the safety car restart


9th place goes to @F1archives following Ferrari’s strategy for Kimi, leaving him out whilst all about him were pitting and when they eventually pit him he ends up in 6th.


8th place goes to @dibhayles for bringing up the possibility of a ‘you-know-what’ happening on the podium


In 7th place is @coledinho1984 dedicating the newest award in the paddock to last week’s superstar driver, Pierre Gasly, following his clash with his team-mate


@GrandPrixDiary gets 6th place for this tweet as Daniel Ricciardo put his foot down after the safety car restart


In 5th place is @Stambalova following Mad Max’s rash/impetuous/feisty* attempt at overtaking Vettel (* delete as you see fit)


4th place goes to @Tiametmarduk with a new conspiracy theory about the Toro Rosso crash …


3rd place goes to @LastLapPodcast for accurately depicting Gasly’s move on his team-mate


In 2nd place is @ScuderiaF1Pod for this tweet about Max’s overtake on Vettel


This week’s winner, in 1st place is the wonderfully funny @GvanderGarde doing his David Attenborough impression following the Toro Rosso crash


Thank you, as always for all the tweets. Without you, these awards could not take place.

If you would like to take part in the original (accept no other imitations) Funniest Tweet Awards all you need do is:

  • Follow me on Twitter (@Pitlane_Girl)
  • I will follow back
  • During the race tweet away
  • I choose the 10 funniest that appear in my timeline

You win … absolutely nothing but bragging rights and kudos until the following race. However, I do run a championship over the year, so every time you appear in the top 10, you win points, just like the F1 drivers and at the end of the year I award an overall champion.

Next up, Baku – always fun there 😉

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