From Tallulah’s Kitchen: Traditional Parkin

Hello my fellow foodies!

This month I would like to share with you a traditional recipe for Parkin. Traditionally made of the first Sunday of November and enjoyed mainly through the winter months – such is the warming effect of the fiery ginger! There is one thing to note before you embark on a Parkin baking adventure; the cake, once made, benefits greatly from being left for five days to develop in texture and flavour, so please remember to allow for the extra days when making it! One note of interest, this is the traditional recipe for Yorkshire Parkin. Lancashire Parkin is all golden syrup and consequently is lighter in colour and sweeter in flavour… Which is best? That is yours to decide!

You will need:
– 1 x 20cm square deep-sided tin, lined with greased baking parchment
– Parkin
– 220g oats, blitzed in blender to a medium course consistency
– 100g self raising flour
– 2 tsp ground ginger
– 1tsp mixed spice
– 1/2 tsp ground mace
– 200g black treacle
– 60g golden syrup
– 130g brown sugar
– 100g butter
– 25g lard
– 50g finely diced crystallised ginger
– 1 egg from happy and free running hens
– 2 tbsp milk

To begin, pour the oats, flour, and spices into a large heat proof bowl and stir together. Meanwhile, in a heavy bottomed saucepan, add the brown sugar, black treacle, golden syrup, butter and lard and heat gently until the butter and lard are melted, the sugar has dissolved and all ingredients are combined together but take care NOT to let the mixture boil. Now leave this to cool for five minutes.

Next pour the liquid mixture onto the dried ingredients and stir well to ensure there are no pockets of flour remaining. Now stir in your crystallised ginger, the beaten egg and the milk until you have a liquid sticky mixture.

Pour into the lined baking tin and pop into the oven for around an hour. Because of the dark colour of this cake you will need to be careful not to over cook it. A cocktail stick or skewer will be clean when inserted into a cooked cake and the top will be springy to the touch – although firmer than a traditional sponge. When you are happy the cake is cooked, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin. Once cool turn the cake upside down, remove the baking parchment and cut into portions then turn the correct way up and leave in an airtight tin for five days to allow the flavours to mature and the “stickiness” to develop. This cake is best enjoyed around a roaring bonfire with good friends but stay safe dear readers, and always practice good bonfire etiquette-remember to check for nesting hedgehogs before you light up!

Until next time dear reader…

Tallulah Le Fey x