Parkin has been on “must bake” list for a while and when Sylvie @ A Pot of Tea and a Biscuit made some for British Food Fortnight I decided I had to give it a go.
Parkin is from Yorkshire and traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night. The principle ingredients of parkin are flour, oatmeal, fat (traditionally lard), black treacle and ginger. Lyle syrups are archetypal ingredients in British baking and the tins are kitchen icons. Black treacle reminds me of cooking Christmas cake with my mum. There was always a fight as to who would lick the spoon clean. As a child I was always intrigued by the lion logo on the tin. Innocent little me thought it was a sleeping lion with stars above it; in reality it is a dead lion with a swarm of bees. No I don’t get it either, though wikipedia does go some way to explain it. I perfer to think it is still a lion happily dreaming away!
Black treacle has the ability to be explosive (hence why it tells you on the tin not to open it after best before date and dispose of it). Maybe this is why it appears in so many dishes associated with bonfire night!
I think I may have slightly overcooked it, but with a few days of rest it should begin to go stickier. I was also expecting it to come out a bit darker in colour so next time may use soft dark sugar instead of golden caster sugar. Saying that, it still takes very good!
125 g butter (if using unsalted butter add 1 tsp salt)
125 g golden syrup
125 g black treacle
125 g golden caster sugar
250 g plain flour
250 g medium oatmeal
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, beaten
1) Preheat oven to 150°C/Gas 2/300°F and line a 10×10 baking pan. Gently heat the butter, golden syrup, treacle and sugar in a pan, stirring constantly until all the sugar is dissolved.
2) In a bowl sift together flour, oatmeal, baking soda, salt (if using), ginger and cinnamon. Make a well in the centre and pour in the melted butter mixture, beat until everything is combined.
3) When combined add the egg and mix until you have a smooth soft batter. If the batter seems to be stiff add 1tbsp of milk.
4) Pour into the tin and bake 50-60 minutes. Allow to cool before removing and cut into squares