Have you heard of Parkin?
I had heard of it but wasn’t exactly sure what it was, So when asked I said “is it something with fruit” but on reflection I think I was thinking of Bara Brith which is a Welsh yeast bread with dried fruit.
Parkin is in fact one of many regional bakes originating from the north of England so being a born and bred brummie I can be forgiven for not knowing that much about it.
Anyway Parkin was bought to my attention by a man I met from Yorkshire, going to call him Mr Yorkshire who explained that Parkin is traditionally eaten around bonfire night or was it Halloween (I cannot remember) so with a bit of persuading I thought I would have ago at Larkin about with Parkin (I love a challenge, read my post about the double decker cupcake)but first I had to find a suitable recipe.
Now if your a baker or in fact if you just love to cook and if your like me when looking at a recipe I have to get a feel for the method and ingredients so I can imagine the end result.
So research I did, checked out recipe after recipe but none of them felt right. I knew the end result I wanted and what I wanted it to look like, a rich,dark and sticky cake but the ingredients for many of the Parkin recipes I came across didn’t seem quite right, too little brown sugar and treacle would give a light cake, too little ginger and it would be bland.
Then I had a eureka moment, regional bakes, Yorkshire, it had to be Lynne hill the lady responsible for the clandestine cake club movement and also a Yorkshire woman so I knew this would be a good one.
Because if anyone was going to know how to make a good Parkin it would be Lynne, so I googled and managed to find her recipe and here it is:
The method was easy to follow and unusually contained oats which I blitzed a little more, added a little extra spice and ginger and baked it low and slow so it didn’t dry out and remained moist.
The result was delicious and the texture reminded me a little of Caribbean rum cake, quite Close in texture and spicy.
it was served the following day so it had a little time to mature but I can imagine if I left it for a day or two the flavour would be even more intense.
So time to get it tested,and happy to say Mr Yorkshire gave it a seal of approval it was was to quote “right good is that” and was served with a cup of tea, (it had to be tea) and was well received by everyone else that also managed to try it.
So come Halloween/bonfire night I will be making more Parkin for sure, and if you love ginger and spice I would recommend you treat yourself and give Lynne’s recipe ago.