The leaves on the trees have become golden, rusty, orange and red as autumn takes hold.
It is a beautiful time of the year and our long country walks are like scenes from a photo gallery.
I didn’t think it was fair that just the Northerners get to eat this delicious sponge
The cold air is starting to penetrate our thick jumpers, socks and scarfs quicker than we think, so its nice to have a slice of cake to return to with a mug of steaming tea.
Around the time of Guy Fawkes and through the winter, it is traditional in northern England to bake ginger Parkin made with oats and black treacle. It is often associated with Leeds where Bonfire night is also called Parkin night.
After a couple of days the flavour of the Parkin gets better and the sponge takes on a sticky nature.
I didn’t think it was fair that just the Northerners get to eat this delicious sponge, so here is my recipe which uses gluten-free flour instead of the oats.
You can warm the sponge before serving and serve it with roasted plums or poached pears to make a dessert or just cut it up and serve it with tea after a long country walk.
170g unsalted butter
200g soft brown sugar
50g prunes finely-chopped
2 dessert spoons black treacle
200g gluten-free self-raising flour
1 dessert spoon dried ground ginger
1 spoon golden syrup
1. Beat the sugar and butter together until soft and creamy.
2. Add the prunes, treacle and golden syrup and mix until incorporated.
3. Mix in the ginger.
4. Add one egg and 1/3 of the flour and mix together.
5. Repeat until all the eggs and flour are mixed in.
6. Put the mixture into a lined tin and bake in a pre-heated oven, (gas mark 3/150C) for 50 to 60 minutes.
7. Test with a skewer, which will come out clean if the sponge is cooked.
8. Allow to cool before serving.