Cranachan 2019 (2)

An impulsive trip to Sainsbury’s on my way home from work reminded me that Burns’ Night is 25th January. That’s a good enough reason for me to seek out Haggis, Neeps (Turnips, to us Irish types) and Tatties (Well, potatoes, of course!)

A Scottish dinner needs a Scottish dessert, and this one really fits the bill.

I owe my sister Mary for the recipe, shared many years ago ..


The great thing about Atholl Brose which is what we’ve always called it – incorrectly, as it turns out – or Cranachan, is that is the perfect adult dessert for any time of year. You can make it well ahead of time (like the day before) and keep it in the fridge until it’s needed. I have to say that is this one of my dinner party regulars, and it’s always popular – honey, whiskey, raspberries and cream – who can blame us?

This recipe feeds about 10-12 in shot glasses (ideal for parties, afternoon tea, or as tasters if there are several desserts) or about 6 full-sized portions in ramekins.


  • A small saucepan
  • enough shot glasses, ramekins, small jam jars or pretty teacups to allow for individual portions
  • An electric or a hand whisk
  • frying pan, or grill
  • A ramekin or shot glass for each of your guests

INGREDIENTS:                                                                                   Cranachan 2

  • 150g fresh or frozen raspberries
  • dessertspoonful of caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (no more than that)
  • Ground cinnamon, to taste ( about half a teaspoonful)
  • 2oz porridge oats
  • 250ml double cream
  • runny honey – about 2 tablespoons, or to taste
  • half a shot glass of Scottish whiskey
  • fresh raspberries and mint leaves, to decorate
  • Thin shortbread biscuits, to serve (optional)


  • Start off by toasting the porridge oats – either toast them in a frying pan, moving them about frequently, or place them on a shallow tray and grill them – you need to keep a close eye on this. When toasted to a golden brown, remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.



Golden and crunchy..(but not burnt!)

  • Put the raspberries, lemon juice, cinnamon and caster sugar into a pot and bring it to a gently simmer. Mash down the raspberries with a wooden spoon, to let the juices run, but try to keep some whole. Allow to cool completely.



This is about right – the raspberries are cooked but still retain some of their shape.

  • Whip the cream until it’s quite stiff.
  • Add the honey and fold in.

‘Mmmm…Honey, said Pooh Bear..’


  • Add the whiskey, and fold in


  • Add most of the cooled oats and fold in – keep a dessertspoon or so for decorating.



  • Now taste it, and make sure there’s enough honey  and whiskey – not over-powering, but you should be able to taste it
  • Put a generous spoonful of the raspberry mixture into the bottom of each container
  • gently put the cream mixture on top of it, smooth it out if you like.
  • Cover with cling film, and  chill until ready to serve.

We’ve had these little triangular pots for years – they hold a decent sized dessert portion.


When you’re ready to serve –

  • Decorate with a few of the remaining oats, a fresh raspberry or two, and a mint leaf, or a drizzle of honey..
  • Serve with wee thin shortbread biscuits.



  • Keep a close watch on the oats – they burn so quickly!
  • It’s hard to say which I prefer – the little shot glasses, where you can see what’s coming your way, or the ramekins, where the contents are a lovely surprise. I’ll leave that up to you..
  • This recipe can be extended as much as you like to feed as many as you like. The great thing is that so many of the ingredients are store-cupboard staples.
  • Frozen raspberries are fine for this – don’t even bother defrosting them
  • Don’t make the mistake of making enormous portions – this is very rich – a once-in-a-while treat!

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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