A delectable traditional Scottish dessert, this mouthwatering treat is made with layers of Drambuie infused raspberries, a pillowy whisky, honey and vanilla cream and crispy, crunchy oats and hazelnuts.
Quick and easy to make, yet beautiful to behold and eat, this dessert can be mostly prepared in advance but is best assembled at the last minute to ensure the oats retain their crunch. I am posting it today, on the anniversary of the birth of Rabbie Burns, Scotland’s most famous and beloved poet and lyricist, who achieved huge international acclaim.
Robert Burns lived from 1759 – 1796. He was the son of a self educated tenant farmer from Ayrshire and had very little formal schooling – being educated mostly by his father. He was a womaniser and a drinker, had 12 children in all (5 survived until adulthood) from 3 different women. He died at the relatively young age of 37, most likely from complications after suffering rheumatic fever as a child. Some argue that his intemperate lifestyle also contributed to his early death.
His most famous piece of work is arguably Auld Lang Syne but he has a large body of work including poems, lyrics and folk songs written in standard English, Gaelic as well as a Scottish dialect. He wrote about republicanism, Scottish patriotism, inequality, gender, culture, the church, poverty, sexuality and he extolled the benefits of socialising and song. He wrote with passion displaying signs of emotional highs and lows, leading some to believe he may have suffered from some mental instability.
He has been voted ‘Greatest Ever Scotsman’ by public vote and Burns Night, celebrated annually on or around 25th January by Scots around the world, is a hugely popular event. Burns Night has been celebrated since the early 1800s and the format of the evening has changed little since then. It is an evening of humorous speeches, poetry, song, flowing wine and whisky, and good food, including of course, the infamous haggis.
A classic Burns Supper would include:
Often a soup such as Scotch Broth, Cock-a-Leekie or Cullen Skink. Some smoked salmon may be served instead or Scottish Scallops
Is always, always Haggis – this is the absolute star of the show. It is served with Bashit Neeps (mashed swede) and Champit Tatties (mashed potatoes).
Popular options include Clootie Dumpling and Custard (rather like a Christmas Pudding and quite heavy) the fabulously named Tipsy Laird, a Scottish Trifle made with whisky, plus of course, this recipe, Cranachan.
If you get the chance, you must go!
After attending three Burns Suppers whilst at university in Glasgow, and also celebrating Burns in Japan and Australia, I can confirm that it is a fabulous evening and if you ever get the chance to go – grab it with both hands!
How to make Cranachan
Collect all your ingredients together:
runny honey – ideally Scottish. I used Welsh!
Scottish whisky. I used single malt Macallan.
runny honey – ideally Scottish. I used Welsh!
Please note that the quantities given in the recipe are for 4 servings. The photographs are for just 2 servings. This is a very easy recipe to scale up or down.
Make the crispy oatmeal: roughly chop the hazelnuts.
Melt the honey and butter in a saucepan and stir in the oats and chopped hazelnuts. Stir thoroughly ensuring all the oats and hazelnuts are covered in the butter mixture.
Tip out onto the baking tray covered with baking parchment, making sure it is as spread out as possible.
Cook in the centre of a pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. Stir well and cook for a further 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Raspberries: mash the raspberries with the Drambuie and icing sugar.
Cream Layer: measure the cream, whisky and honey into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk until soft peaks.
Immediately before serving, assemble: spoon half the raspberries between the serving glasses.
Fold all bar 4 teaspoons of crunchy oatmeal into the cream.
Continue to layer each dessert:
Cream oatmeal mix
Sprinkle over the remaining crispy oatmeal and top with fresh raspberries and mint leaves.
Make in advance, assemble before you serve:
In order to avoid the oatmeal softening, it is important to assemble this immediately before serving. Make, as above, to the end of point 7. When you are ready to serve, simply continue from point 8.
Make the crispy oatmeal:
Immediately before serving, assemble:
Made this recipe?
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A delectable traditional Scottish dessert, this mouthwatering treat is made with layers of Drambuie infused raspberries, a pillowy whisky, honey and vanilla cream and crispy, crunchy oats and hazelnuts. Serves 4