Friday, 10 November 2017

Parkin.



Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

It is most definitely Parkin weather.

This traditional cake has been baked in Yorkshire and Lancashire since practically forever.
Usually enjoyed on Bonfire Night and throughout Winter in general, it's a sticky ginger cake which is heavy with oats, syrup and treacle and keeps really well. Basically it's the perfect antidote to the Winter months around these parts.
I'd always heard about it but never had the chance to make it for myself. Until this year, when I got hold of the recipe and baked it up last week. The cake comes together really quickly but the bake is low and slow. I'm talking around 1 and 1/2 hours. So worth it!
I would describe this version of Parkin as being a cross between a flapjack and a cake - with the flapjack winning! The main ingredient holding everything together are the oats. They give the Parkin structure which it most definitely needs. After all, it's really sticky at the same time using plenty of golden syrup and treacle - two ingredients which are used in abundance at this time of year.

Parkin is traditionally baked and then not eaten for a few days or weeks. The longer you keep it in an airtight tin, the better the flavour gets. We only managed two days before giving up and digging in but I'm sure you will have more self-control than us. Serve up with a steaming hot cup of tea to ward off any Winter colds.

A Simple List of Ingredients:
1. Golden Syrup
2. Black Treacle
3. Butter
4. Soft Dark Brown Sugar
5. Medium Oatmeal (I made mine at home with rolled oats. Details in the recipe!)
6. Self-Raising Flour
7. Salt
8. Ground Ginger
9. An Egg
10. Milk

Bismillah, let's begin!


Pre-heat the oven to 140C or Gas Mark 1 or 285F. Parkin traditionally bakes in a very low temperature oven for a long time. Also, take an 18cm round cake tin and line it with ...

... greaseproof paper or put in a pleated paper liner. I got mine from Lakeland. They were a bit too big for the tin but it worked out fine in the end.


Let's now work on the wet ingredients. Take a deep saucepan and place onto a weighing scale.


Crack open the golden syrup. The tin version is cute but so sticky to work with. I much prefer the squeezy bottles but wanted to finish the tin first.


Drizzle 225g Golden Syrup into the pan.


Then, crack open the treacle. I store mine in a plastic bag to stop it getting the shelf sticky. Do they make squeezy bottles of treacle? 


Pour in 50g Black Treacle.


The colour gets me every time. Ps. If you're in America, I believe you call this molasses.


The combination of the syrup and treacle is what will make our Parkin really sticky and sweet.


Next to the pan, add in 110g Butter, cubed.


And to make things even more dark and sticky, 110g Soft Dark Brown Sugar.


Time to melt everything up!


Place the pan over a low heat and let the mixture slowly melt, stirring every now and then. You don't want this mixture to boil.


Once everything is melted and smooth, take it off.



Next, let's stir up the dry ingredients. To a mixing bowl, add 225g Medium Oatmeal. You can find this in large supermarkets but I made mine at home using rolled oats.

3 pulses was fine for me


All I did was pulse the same amount of rolled oats in a grinder until coarsely ground - 3 pulses was enough for me. To show you the difference in the texture between the two, on the right, normal rolled oats. On the left, my medium oatmeal which is just slightly finer than rolled oats.


To the oats, add in 110g Self-Raising Flour.


Along with a Pinch of Salt.


And, 2 level teaspoons Ground Ginger.


Stir well.


Then, gradually pour in the syrup mixture ...


... stirring as you go.


It will be a little thick at this point.


So to lighten things up, add in 1 large Egg, beaten.


And 1 tablespoon Milk.


A final stir until everything is well combined and our Parkin is ready to bake.


Pour the batter into the tin.


And, bake for 1 and 1/2 hours at Gas Mark 1 or 140C or 285F. It's a low and slow bake which is just what Parkin likes.


Once the top is set and the middle is no longer jiggly, the Parkin is done.


Let the Parkin cool in the tin for 30 minutes.


Before cooling completely on a wire rack.


Keep the Parkin in an airtight tin. The longer you keep it before eating, the better the flavour gets.


I baked mine on a Wednesday and ate it on Friday.


Slice the Parkin and serve with a hot cup of tea to ward off any November colds. I would describe this version of Parkin as a cross between a cake and a flapjack. If you like that sort of stuff, you're going to love this recipe.

Parkin.

Prep Time: About 30 minutes.
Bake Time: About 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Serves: About 8 people.

Ingredients

225g Golden Syrup
50g Black Treacle
110g Butter, cubed
110g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
225g Medium Oatmeal (or Rolled Oats, pulsed in a grinder)
110g Self-Raising Flour
Pinch of Salt
2 level teaspoons Ground Ginger
1 large Egg, beaten
1 tablespoon Milk

Before baking:
Pre-heat the oven to 140C or Gas Mark 1 or 285F. Take an 18cm round cake tin and either line it with greaseproof paper or put in a pleated liner.

The wet ingredients:
Take a deep saucepan. Add in the golden syrup, black treacle, butter and soft dark brown sugar. Place over a low heat and let the mixture slowly melt. You don't want it to boil.

Don't have medium oatmeal?
Not to worry because neither did I when making this recipe. Instead I took 225g Rolled Oats and pulsed them 3 times in a grinder until coarse. Voila! Homemade medium oatmeal.

The dry ingredients:
In a large bowl, mix together the medium oatmeal, self-raising flour, salt and ground ginger.

Bring everything together:
Slowly pour the syrup mixture into the oats mixture, mixing as you go. Stir in the beaten egg and milk until well combined.

Bake:
Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 1 and 1/2 hours at 140C or Gas Mark 1 or 285F. Cool in the tin for 30 minutes before cooling completely on a wire rack.

Leave it to mature:
Parkin is traditionally left for a few days or even weeks in an airtight tin before eating. This is so that the flavour improves. I baked mine on Wednesday and we ate it on Friday. It was already very deep in flavour but I can imagine it would have gotten stronger had we left it longer.

Serve:
Slice and serve with a hot cup of tea on a very cold November day.

{adapted from delia's cakes}

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your Parkin!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!


Spice Enthusiast

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