This was a brave bake for me. I'd never even heard of Yorkshire Parkin until about a month ago, never mind bake it. I had my wonderful Yorkshire-born Neil demand I make it for my next blog recipe so I baked it blindly - not knowing what it was nor what it taste like!
Of course Neil watched over my every move like a curious cat, telling me how to do it. He used to bake it as a wee one so I learnt from the best! If some of you are as unaware as I was, parkin is not dissimilar to ginger cake with oats thrown in for good measure... and copious amounts of treacle. It's a heart attack in a bowl but tastes bloody good and I'm pretty impressed at the results (even if it was so dry it made Neil thirsty!) I've up-ed the treacle measurements accordingly so next time it'll be juicier than a Jamaica Ginger.
Ingredients (for about 6 chunky slices)
110g soft butter
55g soft dark brown sugar
40g black treacle
100g golden syrup
100g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 large beaten egg
1 tbsp milk
1) Pre-heat the oven to 140 degrees (gas mark 1) and remember if you're having an oven dinner, cook that first because this bad boy is a slow burner.
2) Grease a cake tin (20cm x 20cm should do the trick). I used this one.
3) In a big saucepan, melt together the butter, brown sugar, treacle and golden syrup over a low heat. Try not to let it boil.
5) Gradually add in the melted mixture and combine thoroughly.
6) Beat the egg in a separate bowl and mix into the mixture a few tablespoons a a time. Keep stirring, and then finally add the milk.
7) Pour the mixture into your greased cake tin and pop it in the oven for 1 hour 15mins (or until you can put a fork through the centre and it comes out clean).
Once it's baked, some people are crazy enough to leave the parkin to cool for two days (!!) to allow the flavours to develop. We waited 20 minutes for a first taste, but we kept the leftovers in an air locked tin and gave it a taste after 3 days, and it tasted a million times nicer. So if you can resist, leave it as long as you can!
Images by Mr Shaw