06 November 2009

Bonfire Night and Delicious Parkin Recipe

Bonfire Night and Delicious Parkin Recipe

Another symbol of the passing year.  Another memory of cold, dark evenings.  Another thread perhaps back to simpler times, perhaps even to pagan times.  Bonfire Night has a special place in our annual celebrations, even though I know it’s not very PC:

1.  Guy Fawkes was born in 1570 just down the road at Scotton on the way to Harrogate, so there are quite a lot of places locally that go out of their way not to celebrate Bonfire Night; he went to school at St Peter’s School in York, together with some other Catholic conspirators.

2.  Also, I have fond memories of warm mugs of slightly revolting soup around huge bonfires and fantastic fireworks displays which used to have a Guy on their top being cremated (I was brought up in Northumberland where we were less prissy about these things);

3.  I love traditional parkin that is eaten on Guy Fawkes - "Th' children's all lukkin' forrad to th' plot an' parkin".  I love any cake or biscuit with ginger in, so I am sucker for parkin.

The one that I made on Wednesday was lighter than the real one which should have black treacle in it.  Our kids are less sure about the dark treacle, so this one went down much better last year and so I’ve made it again; both work and home love it.

A light Yorkshire parkin


110g/ 4oz self-raising flour (not wholemeal)

110g/ 4oz wholemeal self-raising flour

110g/ 4oz butter

140ml/ ¼ pint milk

2tbsp golden syrup

110g/ 4oz Fairtrade caster sugar

55g/ 2oz sultanas (optional)

2tsp Steenbergs ginger powder

1 free range egg (lightly beaten)

Preheat the oven to 190°C/ 375°F.  Grease a metal baking tray with a pastry (or paint) brush or butter paper; turn the baking tray upside down after greasing with organic sunflower oil to allow any excess oil to drain away.

Melt together the organic butter, milk and organic Fairtrade golden syrup in a pan.

Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl, sieving the flours.  Add the melted butter-syrup liquid and the beaten egg to the dry ingredients.  Stir well.

Pour into the greased baking tray and bake for about 40 minutes.  Test for its readiness with a skewer or gently touching with a finger to see whether firm.  Leave to cool and cut into squares.