Yorkshire Parkin for Best of British
I had to put my thinking cap on a bit for Best of British this month. Yes I know how to make Yorkshire puddings and yes I really like them…but, I like them best with roast beef and roast potatoes on a cold winter’s day. I’d heard of Parkin but never actually tried making it before, so I googled and found a few recipes online and became a little intrigued. Could this be the perfect bake for a small household or for someone who is trying to lose weight? It involves black treacle and golden syrup, oatmeal and ginger, all mixed up together. But, the unusual thing about Parkin, which is a kind of oaty gingerbread cake, is that you are supposed to let it mature for a week or two. Apparently (and mine is only a day old at the moment), it becomes moister and stickier as it ages. It seems to be working because the ‘sample’ I ate with coffee this morning was definitely stickier than yesterday’s trial piece. All of this, you understand, is in the interest of research and has nothing to do with the fact that it’s rather good!
Making it did remind me of one of my mum’s baking disasters. Just after rationing finished (about 1955) my mum offered to make my dad his favourite dessert, Treacle Pudding. Now, remember that until this point, sugar, eggs and margarine had been rationed…so, I doubt mum had ever seen this recipe made by her own mother. The book asked for half a gill of golden syrup and my mother in her slightly ditzy fashion got a bit confused between a quart (two pints) and a gill (an eighth of a pint). If you do the maths, you will spot that my mum’s version of the pudding for two had a pint of golden syrup…apparently it was quite sticky!
I followed Delia Smith’s recipe pretty much to the letter.
The only adjustment I made was that I mixed the whole thing in my stand mixer, so I decided I could risk adding all the treacle and margarine in one gloopy go.
You bake the parkin in a very low oven for an hour and a half…after which time, you have to try to be patient and let the mixture cool before you take it out of the tin.
My recommendation (and not what I did this time), is that the base of the tin at least needs lining with greased baking parchment. Delia talks about an ’8 inch (20 cm) square cake tin, lightly greased.’ But the photo is actually a lined tin. I did get my parkin out without too many tears, but I had to cut it in the tin, which risks damaging the base of the tin…so, next time I will line first!
I’m sending this to Karen at Lavender and Lovage for this Month’s Best of British Challenge which comes from YORKSHIRE. If you’d like to enter, you can find more information on the FaceofNewworld blog here.
PS. I hope you all noticed the little lavender tribute;) I’m sure Karen has her own recipe for Yorkshire Parkin!