Not only is whisky good for drinking but it’s good in food too. I love cooking as much as I love whisky so combining the two was an obvious move.
I’m starting with a Scottish classic, although it has a slight twist to it – not a premeditated one though, more forced through lack of ingredients.
Cranachan (Scottish Gaelic: Crannachan pronounced [ˈkʰɾan̪ˠəxan]) is a traditional Scottish dessert. In modern times it is usually made from a mixture of whipped cream, whisky, honey and fresh raspberries, with toasted oatmeal soaked overnight in a little bit of whisky.
I’d already made this dish for Burn’s Night earlier this year and wanted to slightly adjust the recipe. I think I’d overdone it a little with whipped cream and found there wasn’t enough fruit from the recipe I’d used. It also seemed to be missing something – a little more crunch. So I adapted the recipe to the one you’ll find below. Unfortunately I was unable to get any fresh raspberries on the day I wanted to make it and I had virtually none in my house. So I substituted raspberries for blueberries which actually worked remarkably well.
Makes 2-4 servings – depending on whether you’re greedy like me or not.
400ml Double Cream
80g Porridge Oats
20g Light Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Clear Honey
600g Fresh Blueberries (can be substituted for alternative fresh berries)
2 – 4 tbsp Whisky* (can be adjusted to taste).
*It is up to you what whisky you use but don’t be afraid to use a single malt. I try to go with something at least slightly sweet to complement the honey such as Jura Superstition.
Start by lightly toasting the oats – you can either do this in a pan or by spreading them out on a baking tray and putting them under the grill. Keep a close eye (or nose) on them as it takes a while for their colour to change and it’s easy to end up burning them. You’ll get a rich, nutty smell when they are done. Once done tip them into a bowl and mix in the brown sugar then leave to cool.
Whisk the double cream until it is just starting to set. If you are using an electric whisk and you’ve not done this before then be careful. I found the first time I did this that nothing seemed to happen for ages and then suddenly the cream had set.
Mix in the honey and half the whisky and a dash of the toasted oats. Now taste and add additional honey and/or whisky if needed. I like a strong whisky flavour but you may not so start off slow with the whisky and add more as required.
Take about 400g – 500g of the fruit and whiz it up in a blender. This is where I found blueberries came into their own as after they’d been turned into a sort of puree they set slightly when left, making a thicker, jam like consistency.
Now for the messy part – you want to alternate layers of the cream mix, toasted oats and fruit puree. A tall glass works well for this and looks great for presentation. (In hindsight using an icing bag would be a great way to add the cream as using a spoon makes an awful mess). Then top this off with the remaining fruit.