Cold weather needs comfort food and gingerbread is one of those. Although a lot of the UK has been seeing snow this year we usually miss it, which, despite the chaos it brings with it, I always find very disappointing. So it was very exciting the other day to get half an hour of snow that actually settled for a little while. And by a little while I mean maybe half an hour… It still counts.
This is a Paul Hollywood recipe that I have wanted to make ever since my friend Jo brought me some. And as I am expected to turn up at school pick up with a snack, parkin seemed like a good option for the cold weather. It was a big hit with my 10 year old. As it turns out that a lot of people have never heard of parkin I started calling it gingerbread, which just won’t do for my 10 year old: I must call it parkin! Yorkshire Parkin is gingerbread made with the addition of oatmeal and is traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night, which sounds like a great idea. I’m a bit late with mine as Bonfire Night is 5th November but I don’t think it really matters!
Parkin improves over a few days, becoming stickier and therefore is ideal if you want something you can make ahead or keep for a while. You may remember me mentioning my friend Frin a few times on this blog: she and her family took a year out to sail round the Mediterranean, which you can read all about on her blog here. They are currently wintering in Alicante, in Spain, and I am off to see them for a few days. When I asked if there was anything they would like me to bring my main instructions were “bring cake”. So I have made a second batch of parkin to take with me, along with a banana and cranberry loaf. I’m thinking you probably can’t get either of those in Spanish cake shops and neither of them should dry out or go stale before they can be eaten. And if you are wondering why you would want “comfort” food in Spain, the weather this week is due to be very windy and chilly!
110g golden syrup
225g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablepsoon ground ginger
225g dark brown sugar
Set the oven to 170ºC and grease and line a tin approximately 20×30 cm.
Put the butter, syrup and treacle into a pan and heat gently until melted.
Put the milk into a jug and add the eggs. Beat together.
Combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger, sugar and oatmeal in a large bowl.
Pour in the butter mixture and the milk mixture and mix well.
Bake for around 45-55 minutes, until the parkin has risen and springs back when pressed lightly. It may sink in the middle a little.
Allow to cool and then cut into squares or fingers. I cut off the edges before cutting it into fingers.