First bake: parkin


Parkin. It’s something I should bake all the time considering how much I love ginger flavours, but I only had my first ever go at it this week. And it’s definitely something I will make more frequently!

I may have mentioned that I’m trying to work my way through BBC Good Food’s 101 Cakes & Bakes book (which is why so many of my bakes are from that book!). Parkin appears early on, but I reached it in spring/summer, and felt I should save it for autumn/winter.

It’s one of those recipes that you should make correctly, or not at all, due to its traditional Yorkshire roots. I started off in the right way (very enthusiastically), but things went a little awry quite quickly – although I didn’t realise until the cake had been happily baking away in the oven for a good 30 minutes. You see, even though I’d methodically got out all of my ingredients before I started, I somehow managed to completely forget to add the light muscovado sugar.

Parkin mix, sans sugar

Parkin mix, sans sugar

Luckily, there was enough treacle and golden syrup to prevent it from tasting absolutely foul! You’re supposed to keep the cake wrapped up for a few days to make it even better, but I couldn’t resist trying a small piece to make sure it didn’t taste disgusting. It’s actually pretty good – it’s nicely dense thanks to the oatmeal, the ginger flavour packs a punch (probably due to me always throwing in more ginger than called for) and it’s generally satisfying. Phew!

I will, of course, remember the sugar the next time I make it, and see if that makes it taste even better. Funnily enough, James Martin baked parkin on Saturday Kitchen the day after I made mine. Aside from wincing slightly when he casually threw the sugar in, I was intrigued by his use of more spices in addition to ginger and the fact that he turned it into a dessert with poached pears and ice cream, something I’d certainly like to try too!

The recipe

From BBC Good Food 101 Cakes & Bakes.

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