Sunday, 6 November 2011

Yorkshire parkin

As my love affair with all Yorkshire related baking grows, I chose to make parkin
this week. Parkin is traditionally eaten in Yorkshire on 5th November, Bonfire Night, and as I was heading to a firework display with Mr CC and the CCMIL (Caked Crusader’s Mother in Law) it seemed an appropriate treat to have waiting for us on our return.

Parkin is a true test of willpower as it needs to be allowed to age – you can’t leap on it and gobble it up the minute it comes out of the oven! It needs to be stored, in an airtight container, for at least 4 days so the spice and treacle can mellow and mature; the texture also changes and becomes darker and stickier.

I have to admit that when my parkin came out of the oven I was a little disappointed, because it didn’t look particularly dark or sticky. Here it is, freshly baked:

Now, I understand the need for aging. Just look at the difference after two days in an airtight container. It’s sunk, it’s darker and it’s sticky to the touch. If ever there was a reward for patience, this is it:

After four days it had improved even further:

What makes parkin different to gingerbread is the inclusion of oatmeal. This was a stumbling block as I couldn’t find oatmeal anywhere; so I bought rolled oats and blitzed them to a fine, gritty flour in my food processor. The look and taste of my finished parkin matched those I’d eaten in Whitby, so I’m assuming this is an acceptable substitution:

When a slice of parkin is put in front of you, you have a big decision to make – to butter or not to butter? In the interests of science I tried both and liked both. I think buttering the parkin makes it a more substantial bite to eat, and I liked the salty contrast of the butter with the sticky spiced cake. Remember the rule re:buttering - it must be so thick that you can leave teeth marks in it! My dentist could probably identify me from this photo:


300ml milk
225g golden syrup
225g black treacle
115g unsalted butter
50g dark brown sugar
450g plain flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger – next time I would use more, probably 4 teaspoons
350g medium oatmeal – I couldn’t find this so blitzed rolled oats (i.e. porridge oats) in the food processor until it resembled coarse flour
1 egg

Optional extra: pinch cayenne pepper

To serve: butter


Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.

Line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper that comes up above the height of the tin – this makes it easier to lift the baked parkin out.

Place the milk, golden syrup, black treacle, butter, and dark brown sugar into a saucepan. I placed the saucepan on the scales and weighed the syrup and treacle directly into the pan – it stops the scale’s tray getting icky.

Place the pan over a gentle heat and stir continuously until the ingredients have melted and combined. Do not let the mixture boil.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes.

Place the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger, oatmeal and – if using – the cayenne into a large bowl and mix.

Stir in the egg, then make a well for the wet ingredients.

Stirring all the time, pour in the wet ingredients (from the saucepan) and stir until well combined. It will look a bit gritty because of the oatmeal, so don’t panic.

Pour into the prepared tin and level the surface.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes or, until the surface of the parkin is firm to the touch. The skewer test isn’t great here because you want to retain some squidginess.

Leave the parkin to cool in the tin, until the tin is cool enough to handle.

Remove the parkin from the tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Store in an airtight tin for at least 4 days before eating. You can eat it plain, or buttered.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Soo said...

Another recipe I love the look of! Yummm.

(And even without trying it I know I'd be a butter-er.)

Rachael said...

I've never had Parkin before but hmm it looks tasty! Definately a wise choice to butter! Keep the Yorkshire themed bakes coming :)

C said...

Parkin is always delicious isn't it. I didn't bother making any this year, but seeing this reminder is making me wish that I had. I agree that the hardest bit is definitely waiting for it to mature and get all sticky and delicious!

Lisa Marie said...

This looks divine!! The change in the cake, even in appearance, is remarkable. Is this what happens to Christmas pudding?

MissCakeBaker said...

I was born in yorkshire and this brings back bonfire night memories! Lovely!

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

I think you've hot the nail on the head there- the key is the ageing but blimey its tricky resisting the lure of a cake tin filled full of parkin!

Brownieville Girl said...

Delia's parkin is the only recipe of hers that I didn't like!!

This looks much nicer. Love the comment about your dentist!!!

Nom! The Indulgent Baking Blog said...

I know what you mean about patience when it doesn't look how you want. This looks soooo hearty and warming, lovely as always!

Nom! x

Lady Chutney said...

This looks and sounds lovely. I didn't know it had to be aged so thank you for that. I'm afraid I would be a butter-er too.

Cakelaw said...

Yum, I think I'll butter my Parkin please.

Anonymous said...

Yey - more people should understand the wonders of Parkin. Mr-Pigling-Bland introduced me to it and I have to make it for him every bonfire night. Look:

P.S I still miss Iron Cupcake!

Katie said...

Looks delicious and I love how sticky it goes the longer you keep it. Very warming.

BTW, you've won the Hotel Chocolat giveaway I did on my blog. If you'd like to email me your address I'll get it sent out to you!

Anonymous said...

That looks like a serious amount of butter! I really want to try making parkin, it looks so sticky and delicious. Loving the Yorkshire themed bakes (as is Doncaster born boyfriend!) :-)

tori said...

Oh gracious me- just gorgeous stuff. Can't wait to try this.

Maggie said...

I have only made parkin once and was disappointed, maybe I didn't leave it to mature long enough after seeing your photographs. I had no idea you slathered it in butter CC but I think I may have warmed to mine if I had done this too.

Christy said...

I've never tried parkin before yet, but this makes me wanna jump the wagon and grab a bite!:)
These look heavenly and I bet they taste that too ;)

Lucy said...

Wow I love the parkin transformation - must have taken lots of willpower to resist it! Looks so delicious.

Jacqueline said...

Never had it before, but is sounds really tasty, especially after it has gone sticky. Mmmmmmmm!

You should submit this to Karen's Teatime Treats, her topic is bonfire night. This would go down a treat :)

Gloria said...

This look and souns absolutely amazing! gloria

Ling's Passion said...

This is something new to me. But sure look delicious.

Miz Ratti said...

This looks lovely, but I don't know if I could last a few days to wait before eating it. I'm a glut, what can I say. I'd probably have to give it to a friend to take care of it and then hand it back to me at the 'eat' date.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

I made parkin for bonfire night too, but the gluten free version doesn't need to age; so gobbling immediately is de rigeur :-)
And I didn't know the butter rule, so glad to have learnt it. Do you know the clotted cream rule? that it has to be the same thickness as the scone itself? Yum...
Pig x