Parkin

An oatmeal gingerbread which originated in the North of England, Parkin is a moist cake ivhich should be kept for at least a week before serving.

10-

8 oz. plus

2 teaspoons butter

1 lb. flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoons ground ginger

1 lb. rolled oats

8 fl. oz. dark treacle or molasses

8 fl. oz. golden syrup

2 fl. oz. clear honey

2 tablespoons soft brown sugar

12 fl. oz. milk

Using the 2 teaspoons of butter, grease two 10-inch square cake tins. Line the tins with non-stick silicone paper. Preheat the oven to warm 325°F (Gas Mark 3, 170°C).

Sift the flour, soda, salt and ginger into a large mixing bowl. Add the rolled oats and stir well. Set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the remaining butter with the treacle or molasses, syrup, honey and sugar over low heat.

Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Remove the pan from the heat.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the butter and treacle or molasses mixture and the milk. Using a wooden spoon or a spatula, gradually draw the flour mixture into the liquid. Continue mixing until all the flour mixture is incorporated. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking tins and place them in the oven. Bake the parkins for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cakes are firm when pressed with your fingertips.

Remove the tins from the oven and set the parkins aside to cool in the tins for 15 minutes before turning them out on to a wire rack to cool completely. When the parkins are completely cold, store them in airtight tins for approximately 1 week.

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