For this cake, Griff Pamment, creative director of LUXE, expands on the traditional northern English cake, “Parkin” – a biscuity treat soaked in Jameson whiskey to achieve a light and inviting texture and a subtle smoky flavour.
“There is something especially comforting about it. It’s a cake that keeps well and even improves with age, as it takes on a sticky and moist consistency,” says Pamment. For him, the cake celebrates the best things about winter, “as a rule, we do tend to crave slightly heavier foods that digest more slowly … just as mother-nature intended. This cake certainly falls into the winter category nicely,” he says.
Pamment’s recipe tip is to be brave and not shy away from stowing the cake for 3–4 days to achieve that sticky consistency. He says that it is, “best served warm. Soaked in a little whiskey, it can keep well for up to two weeks.”
Warm Ginger and Whiskey Cake
200g golden syrup
85g brown sugar
3 eggs, separated
250g self-raising flour
1tbsp ginger powder
Pinch of saffron
100–200ml Jameson whiskey (depending on how boozy you want your cake).
Dollop of crème fraiche
1–2 spoons of the poaching syrup
Pre heat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
Combine butter, golden syrup, treacle and brown sugar in a pot and melt, stirring occasionally.
In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients.
Separate the egg yolks and egg whites and set aside.
Add the melted butter mixture and egg yolks to the dry ingredients and fold together.
Whisk egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter.
Pour the batter into a lined square cake tin (20cm x 20cm) and bake for 40 minutes or until golden. Use a skewer to test the cake’s centre is cooked through.
Remove from the oven and prick the cake several times with a knife or skewer. While warm, pour over the whiskey and leave for 1–2 minutes until absorbed.
While the cake is in the oven, peel, halve and remove the pear core with melon baller.
Combine water, sugar and saffron over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar.
Once simmering, add pears and poach for 10 minutes or until tender. Once tender remove from the heat and allow to cool in the poaching syrup.
Serve while warm with the poached pear and a dollop of crème fraiche.
To keep, wrap individual portions in foil and store in an airtight container.