Parkin is a sticky ginger flavoured traditional regional cake from Yorkshire. It makes an ideal sweet course to follow the mug of warming soup and sausage and onion filled rolls usually eaten round the bonfire whilst watching fireworks on November 5th. It is ideal for packed lunches as well.
The original recipe comes from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course. The quantities given will fill a small square tin but I usually double the quantity to fill a larger oblong tin which is worthwhile as Parkin keeps very well. Dried fruit can be added along with the flour, or ginger lovers can add some chopped crystallised ginger. Ideally Parkin should be stored so it can soften, but I usually find it is all gone well before any suggested storage period is over. Delia writes: ‘… if kept in an airtight tin it matures to a lovely chewy consistency. One week’s keeping is enough, but two weeks is even better.’ Perhaps I ought to hide the tin?!
Yorkshire Oatmeal Parkin
(Makes 8 or 9 pieces)
175g/6ozs medium oatmeal (I use porridge oats)
75g/3ozs self-raising flour, sifted
A pinch of salt
110g/4ozs golden syrup
25g/1oz black treacle
75g/3ozs soft brown sugar
1½tsp ground ginger
1 small egg, beaten
1 dessertspoonful milk
1. Pre-heat oven to Gas 4/275oF/150oC/ 140oC Fan. Lightly grease a small square cake tin about 6inches/15cm square – I use one slightly larger about 8inches/20cm square.
2. Weigh a saucepan on the scales and then weigh the syrup and treacle into it, followed by the margerine and sugar. Place on a gentle heat and watch carefully until the margerine has just melted down. Do not leave it unattended – it must not boil.
3. Weigh the oatmeal, flour and ginger into a bowl, add a pinch of salt and then stir in the warm syrup mixture. Stir in the egg and finally the milk. Mix well.
4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
5. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1¼ to 1½ hours or until the centre feels springy to the touch. Be careful that it does not overcook. The Parkin should be soft rather than crispy.
6. Cool in the tin for about 30minutes before turning out and cooling on a tray and cutting into squares or wedges. I understand that it can sink in the middle, but this does not matter.