Tuesday, November 04, 2008



Tomorrow night we celebrate Bonfire Night, one of my favourite times of the year. I love watching firework displays. I also love Parkin and Treacle Toffee, which are traditionally eaten at this time of year. Parkin and Treacle Toffee are as much a part of Bonfire Night as Guy Fawkes himself.

Here's a recipe for Parkin, the traditional cake eaten at this time of year. The recipe comes courtesy of the BBC Food website.

350g/12oz medium oatmeal
175g/6oz self-raising flour
2 tsp ground ginger
175g/6oz soft brown sugar
175g/6oz butter
250g/9fl oz golden syrup
50g/2oz black treacle
2 free-range eggs
110ml/4oz milk

1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2 and line a small, deep baking tray with parchment paper. Combine the oatmeal, flour and ginger in a large mixing bowl.
2. Melt the sugar, butter, syrup and treacle in a bowl in the microwave or in a saucepan over a low heat. Pour the melted ingredients into the flour with the eggs and milk and stir well.
3. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tray.
4. Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown, but still soft and sticky on top. Reduce the oven to 130C/250F/Gas 1 and bake for a further 30 minutes until firm to the touch.
5. Allow to cool, before tightly wrapping in cling film. Store for at least three to five days to mature.

The origins of Bonfire or Guy Fawkes Night (as it's also known) go back to 1605 when a man called Guy Fawkes plotted with a band of others to blow up the Houses of Parliament, in the "Gunpowder Plot". They were angry at the persecution of Catholics by the King and planned to kill him in the explosion. The group were captured in the cellar of parliament, and executed before they had chance to go ahead with their plan. All over Britain on 5th November, we celebrate the capture of Guy Fawkes by having bonfire and fireworks displays and burning an effigy of Guy Fawkes. Groups of children can be seen with "guys" made out of old clothes asking for a "penny for the guy", a few days before Bonfire Night. Happy Bonfire Night everyone!


SandyCarlson said...

Enjoy bonfire night! Ours seems to be tonight with this election!

Jackie said...

Sadly we celebrate it here still although 99% of the children don't even know who he was. In most countries there is little control so that will mean thousands of pets and wild life dying in terror as they try to escape the noise.

They have just got over the Hindu Festival of Lights (Devali). Where we land up with fireworks for days on end.

As long as the World imports fireworks India and China will illegally employ children from the ages of 6 for long hours with no health care, untreated poisoning and burns, and in some cases it will result in death when there are explosions (last week at least 17 people, including 10 children, were killed after an explosion and some of the seriously injured have lost their vision at a fireworks factory in Rajasthan).

Marion said...

Oh! I have looked for a recipe for Parkin for awhile...one that needs time to mature. I've copied this one out...it looks just right!

Have a great weekend!

Palm Springs Savant said...

thats a great recipe Naomi!!!

Naomi said...

Thanks Sandy. The election has been all over the news here!

It's always a bad time for pets and wildlife Jackie. I agree it's disgusting how India and China illegally employ children. I think we should boycott buying imported fireworks from them.

I'm sure you'll enjoy that parkin Marion. It's delicious! Hope you have a great weekend too!

Yes it tastes delicious too Rick!