I’ve been a bit remiss in my baking lately, but to be honest, summer just isn’t the right time for me to get on with it. Now that the GBBO is back on and the nights are drawing in, I’ve got my baking mojo back. On Friday, in honour of my grandma and sister coming to visit, I decided to bake a very Yorkshire cake: parkin. Now, if you’ve been following the blog or my Twitter since last year, you might be aware of my obsession with this sticky ginger cake when I was pregnant. I didn’t have a nesting stage in which I cleaned; I had a nesting stage in which I baked loaves and loaves of parkin. I was in labour and asking my mum to take a loaf home with her (!).
To many northerners, parkin is a classic autumn cake, particularly eaten on Bonfire Night. I also found out that it originated in the Leeds area (i.e. my home town.) and was essentially a poor person’s food- it gets better after a few days, so the cake would be made on a Sunday and eaten throughout the week.
I use a non-traditional recipe, as it doesn’t have oats. The Hairy Bikers recipe is super quick and easy- and satisfying. It’s practically fool-proof (I mucked up the melting of butter and golden syrup bit and it still worked brilliantly.)
What I remembered from last year is that I couldn’t leave the loaf in for the whole hour without risking burnt bits, so I whipped it out at the 50 minute mark. I daren’t open the oven before then, as I remembered Mary Berry saying that you can check on biscuits but not cake. Although I’m not sure parkin qualifies as ‘cake’, it’s kind of halfway between bread and cake as it’s so dense. I also added more ginger than called for in the recipe, I like my ginger cakes to have a kick to them. I toyed with adding a bit of cinnamon, but figured that would be sacrilegious.
I love making this, it is so easy and the house smells wonderfully autumnal with all the ginger in the air. I just won’t be baking six loaves in one week this time.