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Last night Zahde and I made a parkin, a traditional Yorkshire oatmeal gingerbread associated with Bonfire Night (oh yea, happy Bonfire Night! Be sure to burn an Anonymous guy in effigy!). The recipe[1] is very sweet, consisting of nearly as much sweeteners (475g) as grains (525g). At least they were flavorful sweeteners: dark brown sugar, golden syrup, and dark treacle (molasses).

Parkin is supposed to age some before eating, but we had some after about a half-hour of cooling, and most of it's gone in less than 24 hours.

We also watched series 4 of That Mitchell and Webb Look, which is by far the most depressing series so far of that show. A good thing was that there were no Surprising Adventures of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar skits, but to counter that, there was no new Numberwang skits either.

Today we got a pickup truck from Ithaca Car Share and made a couple of runs to the Solid Waste Depot, one dropping off a load of garbage, the other a load of recyclables. Other than that, I've been very tired and ended up taking a 3-hour nap in the middle of the afternoon. I'm still tired, and will probably go to bed soon.

[1] The recipe for Parkin that we used I got from the BBC:
Preheat oven to 350F.
In mixing bowl, combine 350g medium oatmeal, 175g self-raising flour, 2tsp ginger.
In saucepan, combine 175g soft brown sugar, 175g butter, 250g golden syrup, 50g black treacle over low heat until melted and combined.
Pour sugars/butter into dry mix and add 110ml milk and 2 free-range eggs, combine into a batter.
Pour batter into parchment-paper lined baking tin.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown but still soft and sticky. Reduce heat to 250F and back another 30min until firm to the touch. Cool, wrap tightly in cling film, store for at least 3-5 days.

The parkin we got from this recipe was 9"x12"x1", but I think it was intended to make a smaller, deeper parkin (the BBC calls for a "small, deep baking tray"). We substituted standard rolled oats for the medium oatmeal, but I think I'll try steel-cut oats sometime in the future. We used "robust" molasses instead of black treacle. My eggs aren't free-range.

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Is that available in US measurements (ingredients measured in cups, not by weight or in metric units)? I could look up the conversions online, but, as a Brit would put it, "I can't be arsed". I do think one would have to make one's own self-raising flour, by adding baking powder and salt to all-purpose flour - I can't remember the proportions of that off the top of my head. And I think you want either an 11"x7" or 9" square pan (interchangeable for all intents and purposes). I've got both those pans, and all the ingredients, even including the golden syrup...

We used a scale to measure things and bought the self-rising flour at the store.

I don't have a scale. And I thought self-raising flour was something British, although I do know there's a "recipe" for mixing your own. Ah well - I'll just look up the weight-to-volume conversions here, later.

By the way, hi - I'm the person with long purple hair ;-)

The recipe I'm looking at is purely weight, with the exceptioon of 2tsp ginger, 9floz syrup, and 4oz milk, and even thought it does give non-metric weights for everything, it's reasonable to assume the BBC would use Imperial ounces, Imperial fluid ounces, and Imperial teaspoons, which differ slightly from US equivalent sizes.

I'd really suggest getting a digital kitchen scale. They can be had via Amazon.com for under $20 and really help in consistent baking.

Baking is in my DNA - I learned how to make bread, biscuits, and pie crust from my mother and my aunts when I was still so little I had to kneel on a kitchen chair in order to reach the countertop. Measuring was done with cups, or by eye and touch - "enough flour to make a soft but not sticky dough". But maybe next year, when our cash flow is expected to improve, I'll get a kitchen scale - I can see how it might come in handy for lots of things.

But until I get a scale, or at least until I get off my lazy arse and look up the weight-to-volume conversions, there'll be...

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