Saturday, 19 November 2011

Power-cut Parkin - a teatime treat

... The Viking often tells tale of his mothers infamous ginger parkin... so incredible was this cake that, over the years, like stories of hidden gold or mystical fire-breathing dragons,  it has worked its way into legend in his family... not only is it legend but like much folk-lore, the recipe is missing, presumed lost for ever... taken to the grave with his dear old ma...

... knowing a little of the woman she was, where food was fuel and the glamour and reverence we give food today didn't even cross her mind, I doubt she ever wrote the recipe down, rather she had it stored in the deep recesses of her mind along with her infamous suet dumplings and ciabatta-like bread rolls...

... can I just mention that at this point, whilst writing this post, with the ginger parkin in the oven, the whole of my village has been plunged into darkness with a power cut... not sure if I can save her...

... 35 minutes later, oven back on and we can continue...

...where was I...? Oh yes... The Viking's mum's infamous ginger parkin... and so I often think about trying to recreate some of her magic and have scoured the internet and my cook books for a traditional Yorkshire Parkin recipe, which I've adapted and made my own...

... and I think i've captured a little of the hidden dragon in this fire-breathingly hot cake... and for my nuggets of hidden gold i've added some crystalized ginger into the mix... well The Viking seems to like it.

I'm entering this into the brilliant new bloggers challenge Tea-Time Treats hosted on alternative months by Karen from Lavender and Lovage and Kate from What Kate Baked, with this months theme being ginger and bonfire night.

Ginger Parkin
I think like many a secret treasure there must have been a curse attached to trying to re-create this because as well as the power-cut I managed to burn the bottom of the oven!

8oz self raising flour
4oz dark Muscovado sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 egg
200ml milk
2oz butter
4oz golden syrup
1 tablespoon glace ginger

- preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2. Line a 22cm/8in tin.

- sieve the flour, sugar, ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl, throw in the glace ginger

- in a small pan gently heat the butter and syrup until melted.

- eat the egg into the milk.

- gradually pour the butter and syrup into the flour and stir. The mixture will be thick and lumpy

- pour in the egg and milk and whisk until smooth then pour into the lined tin.

- bake for 1 hour

eat and of course, enjoy!


  1. Parkin is the ultimate bonfire night treat. Glad it survived the powercut, obviously a lot more robust than a souffle!!!

  2. I am so glad it survived the power cut! It looks soooo delicious!
    I made a Parkin for bonfire weekend, and left it while we went away, to mature! I came back to an empty tin, my elder son had taken it to Sandhurst. He and his platoon all reported that it was 'good'.

    It was lovely to meet you yesterday, I really enjoyed the Let's Make Christmas event.

  3. I don't know the word "parkin" but I'll go to Google in a minute. When you mentioned suet I was transported back probaby 40 years to when my beloved grandmother was still alive. She would make us suet pudding at Christmas time. I must find a way to make it for myself.

  4. Looks great and I like the idea of making it more gingery. My parkin recipes all have oats/oatmeal in them though...

    I love parkin, and I love the way it gets stickier and stickier the longer you leave it.

  5. Parkin is one of my favourite things in the world to eat, and yours looks yummy. I married into a Yorkshire family and acquired the family parkin recipe which, oddly enough, is completely different to yours (ours uses oatmeal and treacle, among other differences) so I'd be interested to try yours to see if they taste much different.

  6. I love parkin!! Must try your recipe ~ am prepared to live dangerously and risk the power of the curse!!
    My grandmother made fabulous parkin and never used a recipe book, she just spooned the ingredients into a bowl and mixed. I didn't take much notice as a kid so the recipe is long lost but I suspect it evolved from something in the very first BeRo book.

  7. OK, someone has to say it - your parkin' looks just the ticket.

    Sorry. Seriously, looks moist and as though it has just enough of a hint of a lid on the top and some bite at the base.

    Ah, powercuts. It was just like being back in the seventies (but with more toys that wouldn't work). The internet in the seventies was based on string, you know.

  8. I love Gingerbread and it's cousin Parkin - the hotter and denser the better! But I thought parkin was meant to mature for ages before cutting - you might have been a tad impatient here, although it still looks perfectly edible. :-)

  9. Yours is very dark for Parkin and there's no oatmeal - are these both traditional to Mamman Viking's? Its cold and foggy here this morning and I'd love a slice of this hot stickiness before heading out.

  10. looks the kind of thing you could dive into in front of a roaring fire with a glass of mulled wine during a power cut...oh wasn't ready yet :( glad it all came together though!! :)

  11. This resembles a recipe I was taught at school but have since lost. A theme here. Food meant so much less to me then, when the main aim was not to eat. How times have changed! I will be cooking this tonight, to combat the foggy weather. GG

  12. This legendary cake was certainly worth recreating for the sheer joy. My grandmothers cooking is legendary but her recipes went down with her. The lesson here is for my daughter to spend some time with me in the kitchen...not that my recipes are legendary, but you know what I mean.

  13. FABULOUS entry thanks Dom and a great tale too......I LOVE the addition of the fire breathing chunks of ginger in the parkin and as with all regional recipes, they vary SO much, so I am pleased you have named this your own recipe...start a new tradition, be bold, be a new parkin baker! THANKS for entering into our brand new Tea Time Treats event, brill darlink!

  14. I quite like it hot from the oven with lashings of custard :)

  15. Your Ginger parkin looks very very good to me! One of those cakes that keeps well and almost gets better with a bit of age....custard for me too.
    Wish I could tuck into a slice right now! X

  16. Looks great even with a power cut interruption. Good thing it wasnt souffles in the oven ;p I've never heard of parkin until a few months ago and keep seeing it everywhere now.

  17. Parkin is my only failure with a Delia recipe (!) - this one sounds delicious though (I'm a ginger fiend!!!)

    I'm sure Mammy Viking would be proud :-)

  18. Did the Viking parkin get baked in a long boat shaped tin? Because I love the sound of that. You know how I love novelties in the kitchen!

  19. Brilliant entry Dom, thank you very much for allowing us to twist your arm with Tea Time Treats. Oatmeal or no oatmeal, I'd be tucking straight into seconds and thirds of this...


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