100g caster sugar
4 x 15ml tablespoons golden syrup
11/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
Serves: Makes 125g
Put the sugar and syrup into a saucepan and stir together to mix. You mustn't stir once the pan's on the heat, though.
Place the pan on the heat and let the mixture first melt, then turn to goo and then to a bubbling mass the colour of maple syrup - this will take 3 minutes or so.
Off the heat, whisk in the bicarbonate of soda and watch the syrup turn into a whooshing cloud of aerated pale gold. Turn this immediately onto a piece of reusable baking parchment or greased foil.
Leave until set and then bash at it, so that it splinters into many glinting pieces.
3 oz (75 g) soft brown sugar, sieved
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tablespoon black treacle
1 level teaspoon cinnamon
1 level teaspoon ginger
1 pinch ground cloves
finely grated rind ½ orange
3½ oz (95 g) margarine
½ level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
about 8 oz (225 g) plain flour
about 2 oz (50 g) currants (optional) or melted chocolate
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).
Put the sugar, syrup, treacle, 1 tablespoon of water, spices and rind together in a large saucepan.
Then bring them to boiling point, stirring all the time. Now remove the pan from the heat and stir in the fat, cut into lumps, and the bicarbonate of soda.
Next stir in the flour gradually until you have a smooth manageable dough – add a little more flour, if you think it needs it.
Now leave the dough – covered – in a cool place to become firm, approximately 30 minutes. Now roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick and cut out the gingerbread men.
Currants can be pressed into the dough to simulate eyes, noses, mouths and buttons down their fronts. Arrange them on the lightly greased baking sheets and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the biscuits feel firm when lightly pressed with a fingertip.
Leave the biscuits to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.
110g soft margarine
110g soft dark brown sugar
55g black treacle
200g golden syrup
225g medium oatmeal
110g self-raising flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground mixed spice
2-3 quantities of egg replacer
1 tbsp soya milk
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 140C/120C fan/Gas Mark 1. Grease and line a 20cm x 20cm square cake tin.
In a pan, over a gentle heat, melt the margarine, sugar, treacle and golden syrup. Don't allow the mixture to get too hot or bubble. When they have melted together remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
In a large mixing bowl sift in the dry ingredients and make a well in the centre. Gradually add the melted butter mixture and fold together. Pour in the egg replacer and milk and combine together.
Pour into your baking tin. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, however keep an eye on it as parkin can easily become dry and over baked.
Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 20 minutes. Tip onto a cake rack and leave to cool completely.
Store the parkin in a cake tin and wrapped in greaseproof paper. You must keep it in a tin for a minimum of 1 day and up to a week before you cut it. Leaving it to develop will give it a moist and sticky texture, as well as making the flavour richer and deeper.