Recipe: Make our cranachan fudge for Burns Night
- Credit: Archant
Charlotte Smith-Jarvis combines a childhood favourite with a classic dessert for Burns Night.
Scotland often gets a bad rep for its food. But it's not all deep-fried chocolate bars and pies you know!
When I think of the far north of the UK my mind wanders to porridge, gently stirred over the stove with a spurtle and drizzled with heather honey. To slivers of smoked salmon, the colour of a summer sunset, cut thinly on wheaten bread.
There's buttery shortbread, poked with tiny holes and dusted with sugar that sticks to your lips, and candy striped Edinburgh rock. Or rumbledethumps - that curiously named mound of potatoes, cabbage and onion, to mop up a ribsticking puddle of braised mince.
Scotland is craggy mountains, verdant glens, single malt whisky, haggis and tablet. Oh the tablet!
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I first fell in love with the confection at a very young age on a family walking holiday at Loch Ore. I can't remember exactly where my parents bought it, but I'll never forget the greedy excitement of sitting by the waterside in my heavy leather boots, unravelling the crinkly greaseproof paper, and breaking off a rugged chunk of the crumbly vanilla sweet, letting it melt slowly on my tongue.
Further south, and The Toffee Shop in Cumbria can boast tablet to rival even what the Scots make. You'll find it in Lakeland stores and it's the closest thing you'll get to proper fudge south of the Scottish border.
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If you love to bake, as I do, then making fudge at home is simply a case of stirring. Lots of stirring.
This week's recipe is somewhere between a tablet and a smooth commercial fudge. In honour of Burns Night last Thursday, I've flavoured it with the essence of cranachan - a dessert that sees luscious ripe raspberries paired with whipped cream, oats and a touch of booze.
I'm allergic to raspberries so have substituted them with strawberries, but either fruit will do.
(makes 1 roasting tray full)
8 strawberries or a large handful of raspberries
500g granulated sugar
150ml whole milk
1 tin condensed milk
1tsp vanilla extract
Prepare the fruit first. Chop the berries into 2mm pieces and place on a lined baking tray. Pop in the oven at 160C for about an hour until dried out. Set aside.
Toast the oats in a dry frying pan until golden.
Line a standard rectangular roasting tin with greaseproof paper.
Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and add the sugar. Cook on a medium heat, stirring, to dissolve the sugar. It will take about five minutes.
Now add the condensed milk and cook for 20 minutes on a medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick. Stir in the whisky.
Pour in all but a teaspoon or so of oats and most (but not all) of the dehydrated berries. Combine and pour into your prepared tin.
Sprinkle over the reserved oats and dried berry pieces and leave to set before cutting into small squares.