I’ve recently been reading a book on Hygge (pronounced “Hoo – gah”), a Danish concept, attributed very much to Denmark being one of the happiest nations in the world. Its meaning is not easily translatable, but I think the following goes some way in capturing its essence.
Think – cosy, warm, chunky woollen socks and jumpers, log fire, mug of hot chocolate, cushions, favourite chair, cat curling on the sofa, simplicity, candles, low lighting, home cooked meals with friends, togetherness, favourite reads, homemade, hugs ……….. and so on ………….
Reading the book has made me realise that we are fairly Hygge already. We certainly have the cushion, book and candle count to rival any Dane!!
The recipe section of the book is a little meat heavy for me, but also mentions the frequent eating of cake. Recently one of my best friends (a fellow northerner) and I were comparing notes about Bonfire Night and agreeing that neither of us liked fireworks but did enjoy the customary parkin that was served. To this day, I can still taste the homemade parkin and soft treacle toffee that Mum used to make. Perfectly Hygge.
So in the spirit of Hygge, here is my version of parkin. It’s gluten-free and brimming with gingery yumminess.
Enjoy…… perhaps whilst sitting in your be-cushioned favourite chair, with your woollen socked feet up, and sipping a cuppa in your favourite mug.
** GLUTEN-FREE PARKIN with FRESH GINGER
Parkin is a delicious moist ginger cake from Yorkshire, traditionally served around Halloween and Bonfire Night. With a devout Yorkshire mother, parkin became a firm favourite at home, even though we were living on the other side of the Pennine Way!
As I now try to avoid gluten as much as possible, I have replaced whole wheat flour with a combination of buckwheat and rice flours, as well as the original treacle /syrup with black molasses / honey to make it healthier.
The freshly grated ginger is a stroke of delicious genius. Far better than ground ginger!!
The idea is to keep it in a tin for at least a few days before eating. This way, the flavours meld and make it even more yummy! (If using normal flour, the cake gets moister this way, but I’m not sure this is possible with the flours used). Not diving in immediately, however, is not an easy thing to do when you have a freshly baked ginger cake under your nose!!
- 4oz buckwheat flour
- 4oz rice flour
- 8oz medium oatmeal
- 0.5 teasp bicarb of soda
- 0.5 teasp Himalayan salt
- 3 – 4 oz fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
- 1 teasp mixed spice
- 4oz black molasses
- 4oz honey
- 4oz butter
- 0.5 teasp apple cider vinegar
√ Place flour, oatmeal, salt and bicarb into a bowl.
√ Gently heat the butter, molasses and honey in a pan until melted.
√ Pour into the dry ingredients and add the grated ginger.
√ Finally add the apple cider vinegar. Mix well.
√ Pour into a greased / lined 7-inch square tin
√ Bake on the centre shelf in a preheated moderate oven (Gas Mark 4) for about 40 – 50 minutes, until the cake is firm to the touch.
√ Leave in the tin for 15 mins then turn onto on a wire rack to cool.
√ Store in an airtight tin for a few days before eating
√ Deliciously gingery!!