Parkin


From Wednesday evening 8th November 2017

I’m making Parkin. It reality I should at this point be finishing the last crumbs of some  Parkin I made earlier rather just getting round to it now but beggars can’t be chooser, so here we are. Bit of a spur of the moment thing, I really should be making tea, we’ll be having beans on toast now instead of toad in the hole, I really haven’t thought this through…

You can tell by the way I’ve gone about it too. No military operation, no careful & organised collection of ingredients & equipment, each put in their proper place, it’s utter chaos, (well it is for me). There’s stuff everywhere & I’m not even wearing an apron. I will have nightmares about this for days… Or rather my OCD will.

And I’ve actually chosen a recipe & completely & utterly stuck to it. No deviations, no adaptions, no little tweaks as I go along. An unheard of occurrence, I NEVER do that – ever!!! I always change recipes, always. There’s definitely something in the air…. I may need a lie down…. Mind you, it does come from a rather excellent recipe book (Cakes – Regional & Tradional) so I am hopeful. Julie Duff is the author & if you want a fount of all knowledge when it comes the traditions of British cake baking then she is the lady in the know. So let’s hope she knows. I’m sure she does.

It also turns out the 7″ square tin I bought some years ago & have never used is actually 9″… It’s obviously been an invaluable buy. Thank goodness for that awkward but equally useful square multi pan thing from Alan Silverwood, now that was an excellent investment.  Unlike the 9″ tin, one for eBay perhaps.

It’s beginning to smell rather delicious with its spicy autumnal overtones, the very definition of devine especially at this time of year. Nothing is more lovely that warm cosy mugs of deeply rich hot chocolate & decadent spicy morsels, warming your insides, calming the soul & filling your entire self with happiness. Unless of course you can’t stand ginger or cinnamon or worse still, are allergic…  So sad but then all the more me.

Twenty minutes to go & then a week under wraps, Parkin is a torturous cake. Tempting you with its promises of sticky gorgeousness but waiting is worth it, if it’s made right. Let’s hope so.

It’s a fairly Northern cake you know, Celtic in origin & called Thor, Tharf or Thar cake which I really rather like. Makes it sound all the more delicious  & possibly a super food in its own right I shouldn’t wonder.  Just as well its traditionally only eaten on Bonfire Night, we’d all be superhuman which really wouldn’t do.

Ten minutes to go, I’d best clear up the mess. Everything back where it belongs, all filed neatly in its place, pots & pans in dishwasher for a good scrub, treacle gets everywhere. I really should’ve worn an apron..

Beep beep beep! Done. It’s out! Well I don’t know about you but that looks OK to me, not bad at all. Of course the proof is in the tasting & so we wait… Although I’m really not sure I can.

Advertisements

Last bit of Summer… Let’s celebrate the Treacle Market way!


 

It’s alreadyAutumn beginning to feel like Summer has slipped away & Autumn is forcing its way in, causing all sorts of niggling & unrest. I mean there we were, enjoying blue skies, balmy days & balmy nights, bbqs & evening drinks on the terrace, & suddenly it’s Autumn! Don’t get me wrong, I love Autumn, all those magnificent colours, comforting plates of food, cosy nights in by the fire, but I just wasn’t ready to give up the summer dream… And apart from anything else, it’s still August, technically a summer month for goodness sake! It is pleasing to see the shops are still attempting to sell summery products though, bbq charcoal, not a hint of Christmas just, I don’t think they’d dare just yet! (Yes, I did write the ‘C’ word, couldn’t help myself!)

So I was thinking that, despite the turn in the weather, we’d have one last summery blowout & celebrate all this summer this August Treacle Market! The last Sunday of the Summer hols, & given the bank holiday just gone was a bit limp, then I see no reason to not be summery! (I may consider hunting out the snowboots, you know, just in case…). And anyway, September & October are going to exciting months for CocoaNoko Makes, this feels very much like the calm before the storm!

So what have we got for you, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, definitely rich, dark chocolate ganache (one good thing to come out of the cooler weather, don’t you agree!!!) a little something for our gluten free friends & not forgetting those addicted to lemon drizzle! A little something for everyone!

First Up gets the cake – only crumbs if you’re late!!’

Email me on cocoanokos@hotmail.co.uk (BEFORE 5pm SATURDAY) , detailing what you’d like!

All Fairy Cakes are priced at £1.50 each or the special Treacle Market Box Price of 4 for £5.00, Gingrebread priced individually.

SUMMER SPECIALS

WIMBLY WOMBLES – Fresh British Strawberry & Vanilla sponge with lashings of Vanilla Buttercream topped with delicious Strawbs!

RASPBERRY RUMBLES – Raspberry & white chocolate sponge with Vanilla buttercream, dark chocolate & raspberry drizzle

LEMON QUEENIES – Lush lemon sponge Mini Vicki Sponage, with Lemon Curd & lemon Buttercream – Lemon Heaven

BLACK MACCFOREST – Deliciously Chocolaty sponge with Morello Cherry centre, rich Vanilla buttercream topped with dark choc & a cherry!

SUMMER FUN CAKE – A  little surprise perfect to celebrate the end of the holidays

Anyone for a Wimbly Womble!
Anyone for a Wimbly Womble, Summer Strawb!

GLUTEN FREE FAIRY CAKES

Gluten Free Simples – Wonderfully Moist Chocolate Sponge with voluptuous Vanilla Buttercream – Gluten Free Perfection!

Double Trouble – Divinely moist Chocolate Sponge with rich chocolate buttercream with a top of sprinkles & chocolate stuff!

Victorious Sponge – layers of gorgeously light Victoria sponge & raspberry jam, dusted with golden caster sugar! NEW!!!

FAIRY CAKES

Crazy Caramel – Delicious rich Caramel Sponge with home made caramel buttercream, with drizzles of dark chocolate & caramel

Silly Vanilly – Simply the simplest flavour there is but oh so yummy, Vanilla Sponge topped with the whippiest lightest Vanilla Buttercream ever

Sticky Toffee – Sticky toffee sponge with oodles of dates, liberally swirled with crunchy brown sugar, toffee buttercream

Luscious Lemon – Lovely Luscious Lemon Sponge with zesty lemon buttercream – Lemon Lovers Heaven!

Double Trouble Chocolate – Divinely moist Chocolate Sponge with rich chocolate buttercream with a top of sprinkles & chocolate stuff

FlutterBy Choc – Delicious Chocolate Butterfly Sponge with raspberry jam secret centre & fluffy vanilla buttercream

Deepest Darkest Chocolate – Divinely moist chocolate sponge with seriously dark chocolate ganache! Only seriously chocoholics need apply!

ChoccyCaramel Flutterby – Gorgeous chocolate sponge with lashings of caramel buttercream

Simon’s Coffee Cake – Rich Coffee layer cake, with a tiny hint of Vanilla topped with wonderful Coffee Buttercream & chocolate coated coffee beans!

The perfect tonic for a rough day...
The perfect tonic for a rough day…

SLICES 

£1.50 per slice (or 4 slices for £5.00 Deal)

Lemon Drizzle – The Infamous & Legendary Luscious Lemon Drizzle, one slice is never enough!

Victorious Sponge – layers of gorgeously light Victoria sponge & raspberry jam, dusted with golden caster sugar!

Infamous  & Luscious Lemon Drizzle

MORSELS

Coconut Macaroons – Utterly Moist & seriously flavourful Macaroons, liberally draped in Dark Belgian Chocolate! £1.50 (or 4 for £5.00 Deal)

 

GINGERBREAD

Gingerbread – Secret Recipe Gingerbread, extensively taste tested as only the best will do!

Please feel free to sample the specially created Treacle Market Gingerbread Hearts that will only be available while stocks last!!

Buttons, Moustaches, & Crowns 

Hearts  Lollies

(All Gingerbread are priced individually)

Love is all around & made of gingerbread…

SEE YOU ALL ON SUNDAY!!

Autumn Light


Autumn

I love Autumn! It’s such an amazing season, so much change, so much colour & so much seasonal yumminess! We’ve got three pears on our tree in the ‘orchard’, 2 fruit trees make an orchard don’t they? They’re hanging on in there, it’ll be our first ‘crop’, too excited for words!  The alleged ‘Pink Sparkle’ apple tree is having an amazing year with a bumper crop, I’m growing inpatient waiting for them to be ready to pick & it seems so are the squirrels! This may be war!!  The brambles have been making a run for it, they are prolific growers are they! I thought I had it all under control, relegating it to a patch under the fruit trees, but no, they are EVERYWHERE!!! Given that my gardening ethos runs along the lines of ‘the natural look’ with the emphasis on ‘slightly wild’ it really should come as no surprise! The benefits are a bountiful crop of rather delicious blackberries!! Once again I’m thinking impossible thought of growing my own, of working the ‘land’ and the book on self-sufficiency is out again… Maybe it will get done… Maybe..

Blackberries!

The season of Autumn brings with it a change in our needs & wants with regards to food.  No more calling for refreshing salads, thoughts turn to hearty soups, veg laden stews & streaming hotpot, of crumbles & pies, syrup pudding & custard, & treacle pie & custard, of wholesome things & filling stodgy – warming, cosy comfort food & custard! And lets face it Autumn has well & truly arrived, like a switch, suddenly it was here! Cold, wet & cloudy, outdoor adventures to be rewarded with cake & hot chocolate & indulgence – it’s chilly, we need the extra calories to keep warm! Yep, of course we do…

The first crumble of the season has been made & it was divine! Apple, pear & blackberry with lashings of fresh homemade vanilla custard! It was the food of kings, with just enough let over for breakfast! The perfect amount made! I did forget the oats, but it just means I needs make it again to aim for perfection, with custard.

DSCF8542

The change in flavours brings about a change of menu too & I’ve been having great fun, looking for old Autumn recipes, mouth drooling as I work and now I have the daunting task of putting it all into the menu.  Simply, there’s just too much loveliness to choose from. Old favourites such as sticky toffee are back with a potentially explosive twist, apples feature hugely starting with apple & cinnamon & ending with Queenies!! And Treacle, Autumn without a mention of Treacle is just wrong! Or pumpkin! Lovely, squishy, squashy pumpkin with hints of spice! Are you drooling, you should be! I haven’t even mentioned gingerbread yet, my utter delight! I LOVE to make gingerbread, & my modest (ahem..) collection of cutters is ready & waiting to tease into fantastical shapes & things, if only for my amusement!Silly Moo

Hugely looking forward to the traditional activities, the Autumn season creates, Harvest, gathering in the fruits of our labours! So pleased to see this becoming something we talk about again.  It seems to have become something taken for granted over the years, but with the resurgence of interest in where our British food comes from, it’s logical Harvest should now get a mention! The glorious taste of carving the pumpkin, although I remember it being a swede when I was youngun! How things change! I can’t wait for Hallowe’en & Bonfire Night!! And all the food & yumminess associated with them! Glorious feast of apples & spice & treacle!! I just can’t wait!

So I will try my best, to create the best Autumn Menu I can, full of warmth & delight, of morish mmm’s, & magical morsels, perfectly resplendent in the lovely Autumn light! Ready & waiting to tempt you at Treacle Market, at this seasonal time of year!

Pumpkins