Parkin is a classic autumnal cake that is believed to have originated in Leeds. It's famed for its ability to get better after a few days, as the treacle and golden syrup make the cake sticky and delicious. Traditionally eaten in chunks on Bonfire Night, this is not a glamorous cake, but it's a perfect blend of sweetness and spice that goes well with a strong black tea or spiced chai blend. The only challenge will be whether you can keep it long enough to let it mature! (Note: don't be concerned if your parkin looks 'burnt'- the black treacle makes it much darker than other cakes.) This recipe is inspired by the one made at Betty's Tearooms in York, a Yorkshire institution if ever there was one!
120g golden syrup 40g black treacle 80g soft light brown sugar 90g unsalted butter 120g plain flour 120g porridge oats 1 egg and 1 egg yolk 130ml milk 1tbsp ground ginger 1tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda Pinch of salt You'll need a loaf tin, preferable 2lb size.
1) Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees and grease and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper
2) Melt the butter, treacle and golden syrup in a pan on the stove. Don't let it burn! Once the butter has completely melted, you're good to go.
3) Mix all the dry ingredients together and then slowly add the butter/syrup mixture and mix well with a wooden spoon. It will form a kind of stiff batter.
4) Beat the egg and yolk together in a jug or bowl and add the milk. Mix together and then add to the batter. Stir until all ingredients are combined and then pour into a 2lb loaf tin.
5) Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the cake has risen and a knife or skewer comes out clean when you test.
6) Allow to cool slightly in the tin and then cool on a rack. Once cooled, wrap in tinfoil or store in an airtight container. If you can leave it a few days, it will become more delicious, but we do understand that it is quite tempting and won't judge if you can't wait that long (or... you could always make two cakes!) Enjoy with a pot of strong tea.