Christmas Cranachan (at New Year)

Christmas Cranachan in a bowl with with a Christmas candle
Christmas Cranachan

This New Year I’ve gone back to an old recipe from our early married years that contains the vital ingredient of my university years – malt whisky.

Cranachan is actually a traditional (I assume Scottish) harvest-time pudding, usually made with toasted oatmeal, cream, whisky, honey and soft fruits. What follows is an adaptation of a winter version that I found in the Sainsbury’s Magazine of December 1994. Please note, it’s not for the diet conscious!

This can be prepared 24 hours before you need it, but I’ve always done it on the day. For some reason there’s never been left overs when I’ve served it at a party!

  • 4oz whole rolled oats
  • 4oz chopped roasted hazelnuts – or as I did today mixed nuts broken up with the rolling pin mixed with some dried fruit and dried cranberries
  • 2oz soft, light brown sugar
  • 5oz deluxe dark chocolate, grated
  • 1 pint double cream and 5 fl oz single cream – or as I did today all double cream
  • 3(+) tablespoons whisky (or I believe brandy would work)

Prepare the nuts or nuts/fruit mixture which should be in a bowl with sugar, and grate the chocolate – a rather tedious exercise if all you have is an ordinary grater, but worth the hassle (and using chocolate kept in the freezer makes it easier).

  • Spread the rolled oats on a baking tray and toast under the grill – watching at all times and stirring repeatedly so they don’t actually burn
  • Pour the toasted oats into the mixture of sugar and nuts/fruit
  • Allow the mixture to cool!
  • You can whip the cream to slightly floppy peaks and mix in the whisky at this point 😉

    Christmas Cranachan with Stem Ginger and Chocolate decoration
    Christmas Cranachan with Stem Ginger and Chocolate decoration
  • In a large glass dish spoon in a layer of the chocolate/nut/oat mixture (the amount will depend a bit on the shape of your bowl)
  • Layer on half the whisky cream, then repeat the chocolate layer and top with the last of the whisky cream
  • Cover and refrigerate
  • When you’re nearly ready to serve you can put curls of chocolate on top as decoration, and I’ve tended to also put stem ginger on top, to add a little zing.



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