Gastronomy Goofs and Gaffes

1. Parkin. Yorkshire Parkin. A little early in the year, to be sure, but I am keen to nail a recipe that works. I also like a cake that will sit in a tin to be cut on time and again over a week or so. Parkin fits the bill.

Much has been written on the subject of parkin.

I cast my mind back to my youth and decided on some elements that I felt had to be in and others that were most surely out. I wanted a proper Yorkshire parkin. I made much parkin in my youth but am struggling to recall now the handed down recipe that was my favourite then. I googled and I found many recipes, with huge variation in them.

I started here, with “YORKSHIRE PARKIN Recipe 3“. I planned to replace “8oz of treacle ” with half and half golden syrup and black treacle. I also planned to add some mixed spices in other recipes, and to hike up the ginger a little.

Alas – I had no medium oatmeal and used fine, which means that the texture will be wrong.

That is not all. I hardly dare admit to this…

…I amassed my ingredients. I picked up the mixed spice packet and checked the front to ensure it was what I thought that it was. I set it aside and measured out the other ingredients. I added the ginger, then the mixed spice… which smelt unusual. I checked the packet again. I’m willing to bet that none of you dear readers has ever partaken of Parkin with Cardamom before, have you? me neither, but there is a first time for everything.

I think that my oven has become even more unreliable that it was before. The hour’s baking time for the parkin was reduced to forty minutes, and even that was too long. I think that my parkin will be dry.

2 Danish Apple Pudding (cake)

When I was studying O-level Domestic Science, Father Christmas brought me a recipe book for my fifteenth Christmas. It was a large format book – Cookery in Colour by Margeurite Patten. Margeurite single handedly saved the nation from starvation in the war, you know – or so the legend goes. Anyway, this cookery book reflected her wartime frugality and eccentric ingredients. However, some of the recipes worked OK and it was my only resource apart from mum’s Creda Cookery book.

One of the  few recipes that made it into the Dom Sci room was the Danish Apple Pudding. A strange-looking recipe involving apples, ginger and peanuts in a rather odd method. It was a huge success! I have often over the years wanted to reproduce that cake. I delved into Google the other day and found I was not alone in seeking this recipe. There were others. Margeurite had other recipes for seemingly the same thing, and they were wildly different, but one of the seekers gave enough information for another cook (thank you, French Tart!) to come up with the right book and the right recipe:

Danish Apple Pudding
(Biba’s Aebl Kage)

4 oz butter
4 oz sugar
8 oz flour, SR or plain with 1 tspn baking powder
1 egg
2 oz raisins or sultanas
2 dessertpn brown sugar
1 oz peanuts
1/2 tspn ground ginger
12 oz cooking apples
1/4 tspn salt

Peel, core and slice apples thinly. Melt butter and add sugar. Add egg and beat lightly. Gradually add flour and salt and baking powder if using. Grease a 8″ 0r 9″ cake tin with loose base and spread 2/3 of mixture over the bottom of the tin. Sprinkle raisins over and then the apples over the mixture and then sprinkle the nuts and ginger over the top. Place remaining mixture over the top in spoonfuls. Cook in moderate oven, 375F/Gas 4, for 40-45 mins. (180C) Serve hot or cold and pipe cream around edges for special occasions.

Read more at: http://www.food.com

I had three Bramleys, so I got stuck in. Of course, I had no raw peanuts. I substituted Pecans, which I chose not to chop. The recipe as given above gives no use for the two dessertspoons of brown sugar – I chose to sprinkle them over my apples. I also used soft brown as the sugar in my cake mix.

It’s in the oven. Whatever happens, it will not be the cake of my teenage memory. It should be good with a dollop of vanilla ice cream for tea time though.

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