Hogweed parkin is fast becoming one of the most popular treats at the farm. I decided to give it a go after a suggestion by Liz Knight of Forage Fine Foods that hogweed could go really well in traditional parkin – and true to form, Liz hit the nail on the head. It is absolutely delicious and a highly original flavour.
Hogweed seeds are part of the same taste spectrum as spices like ground ginger and cinnamon; they’re quite strong and fragrant – but like nothing you would ever have tasted before. Simple-to-spot hogweed seeds are everywhere at this time of year so it’s an easy forage. Pick more than you need then dry the seeds out on a baking tray in the oven for a few minutes and store them in a jar for future use.
I like to grind mine with a pestle & mortar before putting them into my recipes – they won’t grind down to a powder because the seed shells are quite tough but it does help to release the flavour. They can be used in biscuits, cakes and puddings…and in savoury recipes too. I’m going to keep experimenting and will post any highlights here!
They are quite strong so I only use 1 1/2 level teaspoons in a quantity of parkin mix.
My tip for this recipe is not to overcook it because you want it to be a little bit stodgy in the middle. It gets stickier the longer you leave it after baking too so try and make time to prepare it at least a couple of days ahead.
- 200g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 1 large egg
- 4 tbsp milk
- 200g golden syrup
- 85g treacle
- 85g light soft brown sugar
- 100g medium oatmeal
- 250g self-raising flour
- 1 ½ tsp hogweed seed shells, crushed
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp sea salt
- – Heat oven to 160C / 140C fan / Gas 3
- – Grease a deep 22cm/9in square cake tin and line with baking parchment
- – Beat the egg and milk together with a fork
- – Gently melt the syrup, treacle, sugar and butter together in a large pan until the sugar has dissolved then remove from the heat
- – Mix together the oatmeal, flour, salt, hogweed seeds and ginger and stir into the syrup mixture, followed by the egg and milk, stirring well until combined
- – Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 40-45 minutes until the cake feels firm and a little crusty on top
- – Cool in the tin then wrap in baking parchment or greaseproof paper and foil and keep for 2-3 days before eating if you can – it’ll become softer and stickier the longer you leave it (up to a few days)