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Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dessert. I made it myself. It is supposed to be assembled in tall dessert glasses, but I don’t actually have any, so instead I am assembling it in bowls. You won’t be able to see the layers, but there are berries on the bottom, then whipped cream mixed with honey, whiskey and berries, then toasted oatmeal sprinkled on the top. Actually, I think that anything that has raspberries, whiskey and oats should be considered Scottish food.

The recipe I had said to put the oats on top and then refrigerate it for 3 or 4 hours. I don’t recommend following that. It makes the oats mushy. Refrigerate it and then sprinkle the oats on top just before you serve it. It looked just like a big bowl of slightly pink whipped cream with oatmeal on top. The smell was something very different. The recipe is not one where the alcohol is cooked out at any point in the process, so it smells distinctly alcoholic. As a non-drinker, it was a little bit off-putting. But I love strawberries and raspberries, so I can put up with a little whisky.

When my husband first tasted it, he said, “What did you put in this?” and I said, “I followed the recipe.” He said, “Oh, you found the whisky.” Strictly speaking I didn’t follow the recipe. I followed a recipe. Some of them said to put in 2 Tbsp of whisky and others said 7. Since 7 tablespoons of whisky split between two people would get us both plastered, I went with the lower amount. But it was still quite a lot of whisky. The first few bites were distinctly boozy. Even my husband, who likes whisky, was commenting that it was really strong. However, once I got down to the layer of berries in the bottom, the boozy flavor wasn’t as strong. I hardly noticed it when I mixed the layer of berries into the cream.

I liked cranachan quite a bit, but in my opinion the whisky was optional. Without it, this would be a lovely dish of berries and cream. With it, it is a lovely dish of berries and cream that makes you a bit woozy. I love the Scottishness of the raspberries and oats. It was sweet but not too sweet. It’s a lovely dessert to make for company, but not if there are children among them.

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