A wonderful tradition from Northern England, in particular from the county of Yorkshire; this wonderful gingerbread is traditionally eaten on the 5th November which is Bonfire Night, also called Guy Fawkes night or Fireworks Night. There are many ways to make ginger parkin; this is my recipe for this deliciously, sticky and dark gingerbread with oats. This recipe is an egg free parkin, and I was always told that Parkin should NEVER contain eggs in it, whether that is true or not, I'm not sure! Try to plan ahead when you make this recipe, it is MUCH better when kept for 2 to 3 days before eating, as it become stickier and more intense in flavour. This keeps for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container and freezes well, if there is any left! I use jumbo porridge oats in my parkin, for a nice chewy texture - but any porridge oats or oatmeal will be suitable. Please note, if you make this with the suggested alternatives of corn syrup and molasses, it will not be quite the same flavour, but it should still be sticky!
- 9 ounces plain white flour or 9 ounces whole wheat flour
- 7 ounces brown sugar
- 3 1⁄2 ounces porridge oats or 3 1⁄2 ounces oatmeal
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 ounces preserved crystallized ginger, chopped
- 5 ounces softened butter or 5 ounces softened margarine
- 7 ounces golden syrup or 7 ounces corn syrup
- 3 ounces black treacle or 3 ounces molasses
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 2 teaspoons vinegar
- 1⁄4 pint milk
- Pre-heat oven to 170C/340F/Gas 3 to 4. Grease and LINE with baking paper a large roasting tin or Pyrex roasting/lasagne dish - I use a 9" by 14" glass dish for mine.
- Mix the flour, sugar, oats, ground ginger and chopped preserved ginger together in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan and then add the golden syrup and treacle, warm them through but do not allow them to boil.
- Pour the butter mixture from the saucepan into the well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Drop the bicarbonate of soda on top and then sprinkle the vinegar over the soda and watch it fizz.
- Meanwhile, add the milk to the butter and treacle saucepan and heat it up gently - not TOO hot, hand hot is fine.
- Add the milk to the ginger parkin mixture and mix thoroughly. It should be a fairly loose batter. Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin/tray and bake just above the middle of the pre-heated oven for 1 hour. (The parkin is cooked when it springs back when touched and is a dark brown with a sticky-ish surface.).
- Allow it to cool completely in the tin/tray, then cut into slices or chunks and store in an airtight tin for 2/3 days before eating. It can be frozen at this stage too. You can eat it straight away, but it is always better after 2 to 3 days!