Geoff's mam's Parkin - A Proper Northern Treat

I had a Facebook message today from an old school friend of mine who lives out in South Nanango in the South Burnett region of Queensland, Australia. 

I had to look up South Nanango on Google maps and had visions of it being in the middle of nowhere - all desert or bush, dust and kangaroos. Turns out it's on the east coast, just a couple of hours north west of Brisbane. That's almost 'downtown'!

But what has this to do with parkin? Well, we were discussing Northern treats, such as malt loaf and parkin, as you do....and Geoff had made my recipe ( October 21st 2020) and was disappointed it didn't taste like his mum's back in the 1960s. 

Now, I scored a winner with the malt loaf recipe I sent him and I'm going to be blogging that in the next couple of weeks, so I wanted to know where the recipe for parkin was left wanting in the tastebuds of a fellow Romiley lad who's over 10,000 miles and a quite a few decades away from the village of his birth. 

The key is in the ingredients. Isn't it always thus? 

So, Geoff's wife, Gail, found the recipe - so, here is Geoff's mum's Parkin - a proper Northern treat. 


500 gms of  porridge oats

250 gms of self raising flour

125 gms of muscovado sugar

180 gms of Stork baking margarine (Geoff's mum used margarine and vegetable shortening 50:50)

250 gms of golden syrup

315 gms of black treacle

3 teaspoonful ground ginger

1 teaspoonful mixed spice

A quarter of a pint (142 ml) of fresh milk

Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl: porridge oats, self-raising flour, sugar, ground ginger and mixed spice. 

Put the margarine, syrup and treacle in a pan and melt together on a low heat. When it's melted mix the 'wet' with the 'dry' - making sure you scrape every last bit from the pan using a spatula or a 'last lick' as it used to be called. 

Slowly add the milk until you have a smooth and fairly loose batter. I found the full 142ml of milk to be just right. 

As you can see, it makes a large mix and there's enough for a seven inch cake tin and an eight inch square silicone mould. You could always halve the quantities if you wish...or, better still, freeze half for another day. 

Place it in a reheated oven at 170 degrees C. If you've a fan oven, 170 degrees will still be fine.

Leave it for an hour or until a cake tester is coming out clean. 

Allow to cool before removing it from the tin and finish cooling on a rack. 

Leave it alone for a week to let the stickiness develop. 

So there you go. A proper Northern treat in time for a Lockdown Hallowe'en and Bonty Night. 

Thanks to Geoff and Gail for this...and, of course, most of all to Geoff's mum. 

Happy baking....


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