Yorkshire Grub’s first proper sweet dish! Maybe that seems like an oversight to you, but savoury’s always been my big love. Moggy is extremely delicious, though. And there are no cats in it.
Recipes for Moggy show up in various older cookbooks. Joan Poulson writes in a couple of her books that the name is most likely derived from the Old Norse word ‘mugi’, meaning heap of corn. Online resources for Old Norse are a bit incomplete so I haven’t been able to check up on the word – we’re taking Ms Poulson’s word for it for the time being.
What I will say is that this feels like a very Yorkshire sort of a cake to me. It’s super straightforward and lacking in pretension and very tasty. If you happen to find yourself spending the afternoon working a field or chipping coal out of a hole in the ground, Moggy will see you through it. Plus, it gets bonus points for having ingredients that you may well already have in your store cupboard.
There are a few variations on this recipe. Some have treacle in, some do not. Some have ginger, while others don’t. I went for the middle ground, throwing in enough ginger to give it bite but sticking with syrup. The final effect is a cake that’s a bit reminiscent of Parkin, but lighter in both texture and flavour.
A couple of notes: go easy on the milk, as the dough gets too wet. Also, if you don’t have a loaf tin this is firm enough to cook on a baking sheet, but it will spread a bit.
Finally: shout-out to my Mum, who suggested a sprinkling of sugar on top, only for me to dismiss the suggestion out of hand before re-thinking the idea and concluding it needed that bit of crunch.