Thursday, January 20, 2011

Julia & Julia - two guest recipes, twice the magic! Inside Out Rocky Road AND Parkin

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Simple ingredients ...

What are the chances of meeting two fabulous foodies both named Julia within a couple of weeks of each other, with almost 7 decades between them?

The first Julia – junior photographer at my cousin’s baby shower - swapped me a slice of her fantastic Inside Out Rocky Road for one of my cupcakes. At four, she shows all the signs of having a discerning palate, dismissing two other varieties of cupcakes and proceeding to scoff, in total, 4 of mine (3½ really, as one fell on the floor and failed the 3 second rule).

Julia, with sous chef Amy (photo by Janet Gillanders)

This gorgeous little pixie managed to put away her own weight in cake before alerting mum, award-winning photographer Janet Gillanders, of the need to sleep off an imminent sugar coma. In turn, I paid the miniature cook the compliment of putting away a reciprocal 4 slices of her Inside Out Rocky Road. I too had to retire to snooze away a similar sugar overload.

The second Julia has more sense than to max out on cupcakes or Inside Out Rocky Road. Julia Yates lives in Dordogne and is famous for her Parkin. At some point when I was around Julia junior’s age, someone fed me something they called Parkin and – to me – it tasted like I imagine soap tastes.

After a bracing walk in the French countryside, we popped in to make good an invitation to visit Julia Yates. The Parkin was cut into dark cubes and piled generously onto a crystal platter. I sat furthest from the pile calculating that I could get away with nibbling on just one small piece. I hadn’t reckoned on Julia’s magic. It tasted nothing like soap and I am embarrassed to say I was clocked scoffing my 4th piece. It was rich, it was dark, it was definitely WTC!*
Both lovely Julias have kindly agreed to share their recipes.
Julia Gillanders’ Inside Out Rocky Road

Optional extras...

For 12 servings you will need…
75g butter
200g marshmallows
220g Rice Krispies or similar crisp rice cereal

Optional extras
75g white chocolate, roughly chopped
15g sugar strands
a handful of dolly mixtures

1          Line a 23cm round cake tin with cling film. This makes it easy to remove the finished treat.
2          Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Then add the marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the Rice Krispies. Now stir in any or all of the optional extras.

Julia's Inside Out Rocky Road
3          Transfer the mixture into the prepared cake tin and level the surface. Leave until cool, then cut into wedges. This keep for up to two days in an airtight container.

You could throw the diet out the window and top with some melted white chocolate. Julia doesn’t bother with the chocolate topping, preferring to draw a smiley face with squeezy jam.

Julia Yates’ Parkin
For 24 servings you will need…
350g plain flour
350g medium oatmeal or rolled oats
275g soft dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
15g baking powder
10g bicarbonate of soda
5g table salt

150g golden syrup
150g dark treacle (or molasses)
275g butter

2 large eggs

Optional extras
I added a lump of stem ginger, finely chopped, with about a tablespoon of its syrup to add to the gingeriness.

1          Lightly butter and base line a 30cm X 23cm baking tin and pre-heat the oven to 150°C.
2          Mix together the first 7 (dry) ingredients in a large bowl.


3          In a medium saucepan, over a low heat melt together the golden syrup, treacle and butter.
4          Add the 2 eggs to the dry ingredients and mix well. Then add in the contents of the saucepan and mix until combined. Transfer to the prepared baking tin and level the surface. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes. The cake is ready when a cocktail stick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Don't worry if it doesn't rise very much. It is meant to be sticky and brownie-like in texture.
5          Leave to cool in the tin, then cut into squares and store in an airtight container. Now the difficult bit -  ignore for 3 days if possible. During this time a wonderful alchemy takes place and the flavours become richer and deeper, though I understand perfectly if you can’t resist!

Julia's Parkin -  *worth the calories!

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Anca@Bistro Gerard said...

I've been thinking about this for several minutes now, and still can't decide which one I would like to try first - the Inside Out Rocky Road or the Parkin.... Hmm, maybe if I could have 4 pieces of each, I might be able to make up my mind sooner :-)?? Loved the story and photo of little Julia - she definitely sounds like a budding great chef :-)

zerrin said...

Awww! Look at their eyes! They are so lovely! And the parkin looks so yummy! A perfect treat!

Rosemary said...

I love the look of the Parkin.I'm sure I would be one who couldn't wait for the alchemy to occur. Looks so deeply warm and rich.

Rachel said...

Both Julia's treats sound like real winners! I've always loved Rice Krispie treats and the colorful additions in Julia's Inside Out Rocky Road make them even harder to resist!
Parkin sounds interesting. Anything with molasses is tempting to me.

Marea Davis said...

Oh my both of these desserts are perfectly stunning! I may just have to make both-- at least I have a strapping boyfriend who can eat the majority of these sweets and save me the calories! :] What beautiful little girls! And quite a fabulous cook already. She's a natural!


Kimberly Peterson said...

BOTH incredible recipes and I love that picture of Julia and Amy... so cute! Loved the story too :)

Tiffany said...

What are the chances!?!?!? P.S. Never heard of Parkin. Um, sounds AMAZING (and totally worth the calories)! :D

5 Star Foodie said...

Both of these sound so delicious, excellent sweet treats!

Kim - Liv Life said...

Oh my goodness!! That photo of the kids is simply stunning!!
Both recipes are appealing, my daughter would go for the first one, I would most likely go for the Parkin. I've never heard of it before, but anything with comments of "worth the calories" has to be good! I've never known what treacle was, thank you for putting "molasses" next to it! I'll have to investigate that more.
Lovely post!

Mother Rimmy said...

Both the rocky road and the Parkin look delicious, but I love the picture of the kids the most. How darling!