Monday, 7 November 2011

Operation Parkin.

Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Night, is a big thing in England and, just as with Christmas, there are a few little foods that are synonymous with the occasion. One of these is Parkin. Parkin is a cake which originated in the North of England (where I'm from) and is traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night. It's made from oatmeal, flour and black treacle (or molasses) and it tastes just like cinder toffee. A friend of ours gave us her recipe for Parkin which I thought I'd try out. It smells amazing... but there's a catch: You have to wrap your cake in tin foil and leave it to stand... for a week. A whole week. Ten days, if you can. So if you can hack waiting that long for it, here's the recipe:

8oz plain flour.
1 pinch of salt.
2 teaspoons of ground ginger.
Half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.
8oz of medium oatmeal.
6oz black treacle.
6oz butter.
4oz brown sugar (I used white and it turned out fine).
1 large egg.
1/4 of a pint of milk.

1. Set your oven to Gas Mark 4.
2. Put all of the above in a bowl and mix together.

The flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and oatmeal combined.
3. Add the black treacle, butter and brown sugar to a pan and melt together. When the mixture is runny, turn off the heat and allow to cool.

The black treacle, butter and sugar melted together.
4. Whilst waiting for the pan to cool, add the egg and milk to your dry mixture in the bowl and mix together.

Please note, only use one egg. I did but because mine were free range, it had a double yolk.
5. Add the cooled treacle mixture from the pan into the mixing bowl and mix everything together thoroughly.

This is what it looks like when you've given it a good mix together.
 6. Line your tin with greaseproof paper and add your mixture evenly.

7. Cook your mixture on Gas Mark 4 for 75 minutes, turning in the middle. Remove it after this time if it is firm to the touch.

Now's the spoiler: When your cake is cool, wrap it in tin foil and leave to 'mature' for one week. Then, enjoy! :)