My husband loves sticky ginger cakes and when I suggested I make him one he was more than keen to sample the wares. Being a bit of a traditionalist myself (aka middle aged) I had a bit of a brain wave and decided to try out a really old recipe book I have in my collection. It's a Good Housekeeping book from the 1950's, the same one my mum used for years. This is not my mums original recipe book that my sister and I remember from our childhood, but it is the same copy of a book she bought as a young mum some years ago from a travelling salesman. At the time she paid for the book weekly, in shillings until it was all paid for. It's a great book and many of the pages are still familiar to me many years later.
Anyway...I made the traditional Parkin cake recipe from this book...what a cake it turned out to be! A complete disaster, containing no eggs whatsoever, and a lot of oats, this was brick like in texture and hard as a rock, even leaving it in a tin for several days did not help. It looked just like the picture in the recipe book after I had baked it, and all I can think is that as the recipe must have been written in the 50's frugality was still the order of the day and eggs would have been of far more value than to put in a Parkin cake. You live and learn!
However, when the Parkin gets tough the tough turn to Nigella and that's where this gingerbread recipe comes from. I embellished it by adding frosting and slivers of stem ginger, which made it even more delicious. You can find Nigella's recipe on this website, I would recommend the recipe as a great family bake and a cake with longevity, even after few days a container it was still very moist and delicious.
Here is how I made the frosting...which comes much more highly recommended than an eggless Parkin cake!
120g cream cheese
80g soft unsalted butter
About 300g sifted icing sugar
3 balls stem ginger
1 tbsp stem ginger syrup from the jar
Sprinkle of ground ginger
Sprinkle of ground nutmeg
1. Cream he butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer or use a hand mix. Add the icing sugar 2 tablespoons at a time and beat again until incorporated.
2. Once the frosting is white and stiff add a tbsp of the syrup from the stem ginger jar.
3. Once the cake is cool, spread the frosting on the top of the cake, decorate with slices of stem ginger and a sprinkle of the nutmeg and ginger powders.
Grab a fork and tuck in!