Design: Saint Cuthbert’s Way Ultra Trophy

Saint Cuthbert's Way Ultra Trophy

We were asked to make a trophy base for the Saint Cuthbert’s Way Ultramarathon Race by the organisers of the race, Trail Outlaws. They had purchased a lovely replica St Cuthbert’s cross made by Wild Goose Studio and needed a mount and base with plates for engraving.

Saint Cuthbert's Cross from Wild Goose Studios in Ireland
Saint Cuthbert’s Cross from Wild Goose Studios in Ireland

Originally the base was supposed to be an ‘impossible wood’ design but unfortunately it didn’t quite work out and we went for this sandwich-style design instead. We both thought it looked better anyway. The woods are walnut and oak and are finished with Danish Oil which acts to protect and darken the wood.

The stand itself has a uniquely-designed celtic style detailing, carefully cut with a mini scroll/fret saw. It is fully removable to allow for engraving to take place. A small dowel holds the cross in place.

The engraving plates and name plate are made of copper and hand stamped. The letters will oxidise over time and add a lovely effect. I thought about adding another couple of plates on the sides but it would have overwhelmed the design with the amount of copper.

 

To finish it off we added these little rubber feet.

Rubber feet on the trophy base to help prevent scratches
Rubber feet on the trophy base to help prevent scratches

We were both pretty proud of the result!

Saint Cuthbert's Way Ultra Trophy
Saint Cuthbert’s Way Ultra Trophy

Congratulations to everyone who finished the 45 miles from Holy Island to Melrose along the Saint Cuthbert’s Way. We hope everyone had fun in the race and congratulations to Peter Gibson who came in first place and will be the first proud owner of this trophy … until next year!

Saint Cuthbert's Way Ultra Trophy ready to be awarded
Saint Cuthbert’s Way Ultra Trophy ready to be awarded!
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OMG: It’s A Rolo-Over Millionaire’s Shortbread

I meant to post this months ago after a request, but a wonderful card from the Friends of Seaton Park has spurred me on to actually write this down. Now I don’t like to blow my own trumpet but these are pretty amazing! They may not have won Cakefest 3 (sob) but the local councillor did buy a whole tray…

So what’s in a Rolo-Over Millionaires Shortbread I hear you cry? (By the way – you heard it here first!!)

They have a crunchy shortbread base smothered with delicious caramel sauce, a layer of fresh whipped cream and sliced banana, are topped with dark chocolate icing ganache and all rounded off with a dark or milk chocolate rolo in the centre. So many good things in one place – what’s not to like! It’s banoffee pie meets millionaires shortbread meets Rolos!

Now there are quite a few stages involved so I suggest you start the night before you want to eat.

Shortbread (buy it in a box if you don’t want to make it!)

This is my go-to shortbread recipe collected from the Marshalls’ Farola Semolina packet. It’s very good and highly recommended even on its own.

  • 250g plain flour
  • 125g semolina
  • 250g butter or margarine (I usually do 50:50 butter:margarine)
  • 125g sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 130oC fan. Grease and line a couple of baking sheets. This recipe makes 16-18 biscuits depending on how large you make them!
  2. Cream the butter/margarine with the sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the flour and semolina to make a light dough. Do no overwork.
  4. Flour a surface suitable for rolling out the dough until it is approx 3/4cm thick. Use a round cutter, or other shape if you like, to cut out shortbread biscuits.
  5. Place on baking sheet and prick each biscuit with a fork a couple of times.
  6. Cook for 20 minutes then swap trays round in the oven. Cook for another 20 minutes.
  7. Take the biscuits out of the oven and sprinkle with caster sugar.
  8. Finally here’s my ultimate, non-soggy, super crispy, shortbread tip – turn each shortbread upside down before returning the trays to the oven. Leave in the oven until almost cool. Then take out for final cooling on a wire rack.
  9. Store in an airtight container.

 

Caramel Sauce (buy it in a tin if you don’t want to make it!)

  • 100ml double cream
  • 65g light brown sugar
  • 20g salted butter
  1. Put all ingredients into a pan over a low heat, stirring gently until sugar has dissolved and butter has melted.
  2. Slowly bring to the boil and simmer gently for two minutes until it thickens. Don’t stir at this stage.
  3. Allow to cool before ‘Construction’.

Chocolate Icing (you can probably buy it in a tube or a tub!)

Now I can’t actually remember how I made this part. Basically you need to melt a bar of dark chocolate, add a little butter and then add some icing sugar to make a thick enough icing to put through a pipetting bag. You can also add 1 part chocolate to 1 part double cream to make a more traditional ganache. Use milk chocolate if you like but I find it too sweet.

Other Fillings (you can manage these I’m sure…)

Whip some double cream – enough to provide cover for all your shortbread biscuits.

Chop up some bananas (you’ll probably need about 2-3) into halved slices. Make them as thick or thin as you want.

Construction

  1. Take a shortbread base. Smear on some delicious caramel sauce if you haven’t eaten it already. If it’s a bit runny put it in the fridge for a few hours to solidify.
  2. Add a rolo to the centre of the biscuit. I discovered that there is such a thing as dark rolos. Use whichever you prefer.
  3. Arrange slices of banana around the central rolo. I thought these looked so artistic until….step 4.
  4. Use an icing bag to whirl on some whipped cream. They looked neat and tidy until this point! You could use a pallet knife also.
  5. Use an icing bag to whirl around some chocolate ganache. If it’s not thick enough and/or is too warm it will slide off the cream. I worked outwards from the centre after a few tries. It kind of looks like a rolo if you squint!
  6. Eaten best fresh but will keep for a day or two in a cool place. You could add the cream and bananas fresh on top each time if you want them to last longer.
  7. 2016-03-18 20.42.26

It’s a Rolo-over Millionaires Shortbread

What do you think?

I would like to work on the presentation a bit – I’m sure you can do better. They taste so good though that it doesn’t really matter. I’d love to see your pictures if you make them. Let me know in the comments below if you have any success, or not!!!

Annette X