It's a big year for Scotland. A baton is already touring the country on its way to Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games and then in September voters go to the polls for the much hyped referendum on Scottish Independence. A 'No' vote will see things staying as they are - Scotland will remain cold, a home to fictional monsters, but not to Sean Connery. A 'Yes' will see Scotland splitting away from the rest of the UK. At Wimbledon, Murray Mound will no longer be mounted, Burns Night feasts will cease to be held in England, and deep fried Mars bars will be officially labelled a 'foreign food'. MPs are debating these hot topics, in particular the issue of what alliterative replacement name they can generate for the slope at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. I know Sue Barker and Andrew Castle are lobbying for 'Robson Ridge', but Cameron isn't sure on account of Laura Robson being Australian born, and what would happen if they sought independence one day? The whole naming rigmarole would have to start all over again.
Following any split, another 'foreign food' whose reputation may become a bit more exotic is Cranachan. Could this Scottish dessert soon carry the same glamour as a sophisticated Iles Flottantes or a wobbly panna cotta? Traditionally made with raspberries, pinhead oatmeal, whisky cream and honey, Cranachan is a simple dessert, a bit like a boozy Eton Mess with oats for texture instead of meringue. As with Eton Mess, play around with different variations of fruit. It's still rhubarb season and I have a big plant in the garden so a sharp compote made its way into mine. Rather than organise oatmeal just for this dessert, I grabbed a handful of my home made granola (oats, pecans, coconut, pumpkin seeds, maple syrup, agave nectar) and sprinkle throughout. Shop bought granola is fine too. As for the whisky cream, well the quantity of whisky you put in is up to you! Just tone it down if the vicar is coming over for dinner.
I'll be posting a recipe for Rhubarb Compote next week...
Rhubarb and Granola Cranachan
10 tbsp home made rhubarb compote
200ml whipping cream
2 tsp runny honey
2 tsp whisky
4 tbsp granola
Whip the cream until thick, then stir in the honey and the whisky.
Select some nice serving glasses and place 2 tbsp of rhubarb compote in the bottom of each one. Sprinkle over some of the granola and pipe or spoon on a layer of cream. Repeat with a second layer of each, finishing with a layer of cream. Top the cream with a spoonful of rhubarb and a sprinkle of granola.
Warning: This is a dessert with no real nutritional value. Fine to eat every now and again, but don't eat too many!