This recipe was written by a former colleague of ours Karen O’Neill. Karen has moved on from Fisher & Paykel after six years as the product evaluator for cooking products. Her knowledge and experience were invaluable—we certainly learnt a lot sharing the cooking lab with Karen, and her English plumb and laugh are sorely missed around here!
Karen had a wealth of experience to draw on when it came to cooking, having trained at the Le Cordon Bleu in London doing their patisserie course, and then teaching pastry at our local polytech. Her recipes not only yield flavoursome and crowd pleasing food but are completely foolproof. Over the coming months we will be posting some of her best recipes that she worked on for the blog—definitely something for all of you to look forward to.
“Parkin is a type of ginger cake that originated in Northern England around the 18th century. It is flavoured with ground ginger and treacle, which were both produced using slave labour in the British colonies of the Caribbean and imported into the Northern port of Liverpool. Usually it also contains oats or oatmeal which is grown in the cooler climates of Northern England and across the border in Scotland. Both treacle and oatmeal were important components of the diet of working class people of northern England in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Like most ginger cakes, Parkin stores very well and traditional recipes, that are less rich than this version, improve considerably with keeping. In many homes Parkin would have been baked in the oven with the Sunday roast and served as a treat with a compote of tart fruit, like gooseberries or cooking apples. The remainder would then be stored in a wooden ‘Parkin-box’ and taken in packed lunches for the rest of the week.”