Yorkshire Parkin

Saturday 4 November 2017

Tomorrow night on the fifth of November all of the UK will be celebratin what is called Bonfire Night.  Its a night where families and communities gather together to burn bonfires  and shoot of fireworks in recognition of Guy Fawkes failed attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament back in 1605.  Of course, as with any celebration, there are traditional foods associated with it.  And for Guy Fawkes/Bonfire night,  it is hot soups (to keep your hands warm), baked potatoes (baked in the fire), roasted sausages (grilled over the fire), sticky Cinder Toffee, toffee apples,  and this Yorkshire Parkin loaf. 

Fireworks and bonfires are all well and good, but for me (o surprise here) any celebration  is always about the food.  End of.  I absolutely love these  dishes and bakes of the UK, that are steeped in history and tradition. Parkin is a a strongly-spiced sticky gingerbread-cum-cake-loaf flavoured with treacle and dark brown sugar, and it's gorgeous. I have seen it baked as a low cake and as a loaf.  I favor the loaf.

This does not look like much, but it smells heavenly when it is baking.  It is one of those cakes that actually gets better tasting with each day that passes.  It looks dry, but it is not.  It's stodgy and moist and very delicious.  With each day that passes the syrups settle in and it gets stickier and more delicious . . .  very moreish.

Do take care not to dry it out however.  I tend to take it out of the oven as soon as the sides spring back when touched.  The centre will be just set.  It continues to bake a bit  after you take it out and it ends up just perfect.

It is one of those cakes that begs to be devoured eaten whilst sitting before a cosy fire with a hot cuppa in one hand and a slice of cake in the other.  It speaks to my heart of everything Home Sweet Home-ish.  It is loaded with sugar and syrup/treacle however, so nowadays, I can only have a smallish taste . . .  *sniff* *sniff* boo hoo . . .

It is beautiful served in thin slices, spread with softened butter.  I am sure that is not the British way to do it, but it sure is the Canadian way.  We love our tea loaves buttered.  That's just the way it is with us. You can take the girl out of Canada, but you can't take the Canada out of the girl.

*Yorkshire Parkin*
Makes 1 2-pound loaf
A Yorkshire tea loaf that is tradtionally served on Bon Fire Night! Moist and sticky, this is a real favourite. It is best left for several days before eating. I like it sliced and served with butter. 

225g medium oatmeal (2 1/4 cups)
110g plain flour (3/4 cup)
110g soft light brown sugar (1/2 cup packed + 2 TBS)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
110g black treacle (1/3 cup, black strap molasses)
110g golden syrup (1/3 cup golden corn syrup)
110g butter (1/2 cup)
180ml whole milk (3/4 cup) 

 Preheat the oven to 150*C/ 300*F/ gas mark 1.  Butter a 2 pound loaf tin well and line with baking paper.  Set aside.

Measure all of the dry ingredients into a bowl, and whisk well together.  Put the butter, syrups and milk into a saucepan.  Gently heat over low heat to melt the butter without boiling the milk.  Make a well in the dry ingredients.  Add the wet mixture all at once and stir well together.  Pour into the prepared baking tin.

Bake for about 1 1/2 hours in the middle of the preheated oven.  The  cake around the edges should spring back when lightly touched, and the middle be just set.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin, set on a wire rack before removing.  Once cold wrap in grease-proof paper and pop into an airtight tin.  Best left to set for a few days to ripen and develop its full stickiness.

You can of course make this with regular corn syrup if you can't get the golden syrup, but there is an appreciable difference in taste, DO try to get Golden Syrup if you can, or at least golden corn syrup.   In any case I hope you will try it.  It is these autumn and winter foods that I love the most!  Bon Appetit! 


  1. Replies
    1. Its pretty basic Monique, but yes quite lovely! xo

  2. Yes, we Canadians enjoy our bread and loaves smeared with butter! Your Parkin looks wonderful!


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