Parkin is a real taste of Autumn, and I absolutely love it! Last year I made a traditional Yorkshire Parkin, but recently I spotted a less traditional recipe in Edd Kimber’s ‘The Boy Who Bakes‘ and just had to give it a go! I made two (one for a friend, who bought the Guinness – thanks Paula!) and the first was a disaster to look at because I put a little too much mixture in the loaf tin…oops! But the second one turned out lovely, and that’s the one I gave away! I remembered that I’d got some leftover frosting in the freezer and decided to use it to cover up the explosion – it tastes so good, and the white frosting and the dark Parkin makes it look just like a pint of Guinness! Parkin isn’t traditionally iced in any way, but for this non-traditional recipe it’s worth making an exception.
For the Parkin
110g butter, melted and cooled
250g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
225g black treacle
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 eggs, lightly beaten
200g caster sugar
For the frosting (optional)
100g white chocolate (the Green and Black’s white chocolate works really well!)
75ml double cream
60g whole fat cream cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 180C (160C for a fan oven) gas mark 4. Grease a 23 x 10cm loaf tin and line with baking parchment, leaving roughly a 5cm overhang so that you can remove the cake more easily later.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon and cloves together in a medium bowl and set aside.
3. Put the treacle and Guinness into a medium pan and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and add the bicarbonate of soda. The mixture will bubble and foam; set aside until it settles down.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until thickened and pale. Drizzle in the butter and whisk to combine. Then whisk the Guinness mixture into the eggs.
5. Sift the flour mixture over the liquid ingredients and gently fold together until combined. Pour into the prepared tin (leave about 1.5cm at the top for the Parkin to rise!) and bake for 1 hour or until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely.
7. For the frosting, break the white chocolate into a bowl. Heat the double cream in a pan, until very hot but not boiling and pour the hot cream over the white chocolate to melt it. Stir until melted and set aside to cool for a few minutes.
8. Then, spoon the cream cheese into a bowl then gradually add the white chocolate mixture and stir until combined. Set aside to cool a little, until thick enough to ice. When ready, spread the icing over the top of the cake – you could add some sprinkles too if you like.
I originally used this frosting in a recipe for rich chocolate almond cake, which you may also enjoy!