A standard Burns Night menu might typically consist of haggis served with neeps and tatties (potatoes and swede) followed by something like cranachan for dessert. A very special Scottish spread, basically, which is absolutely not at all even a little bit vegan-friendly. But Veganuary and Burns Night coincide, I’m 50% Scottish, and I love me a food theme. This all had to come together somehow.
A standard, uninterfered with cranachan consists of whipped cream, crushed raspberries, toasted oats, whisky and honey. The two ingredients from that list that are no go for vegans are of course whipped cream and honey. I thought this the perfect opportunity to explore the land of vegan whipped cream alternatives.
There is an in-a-can soya whipped cream, but it’s had poor reviews (the can is a bit rubbish and you can’t get any or all of the cream out, apparently) and costs too much to take a chance on as far as I’m concerned.
I asked a couple of the vegan Facebook groups that I’m a part of what their preferred method of replacing whipped cream is, and the majority response was canned coconut milk. Refrigerate a can overnight to make sure the watery liquid and the solidified cream are fully separated and the latter is nice and stiff, then drain out the water and whip the remainder.
It seems that depending on which brand you go for, you may get more or less actual creamy bit, that’s luck of the draw. I used one can and got slightly less than I expected, so I recommend chucking a couple in the fridge just in case.
The lovely team at Balblair sent me three vintage whiskies to play with on Burns Night this year. I went for the newest – 2005 Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 1st release – to pour into my dessert. As a total novice to whisky that can’t be found on a £13 for a litre offer at Morrison’s, I decided that it would follow most logic I’d heard to use this one in cooking, and reserve the older two for special occasion drinking. Was I right? I’m sure my Grandad will text to let me know if I wasn’t.
2 cans coconut milk
1 punnet raspberries
dash maple syrup
2-3 tbsps whisky (used here is Balblairs Single Malt)
small handful Scottish porridge oats
- Refrigerate coconut milk in the fridge overnight.
- Toast porridge oats in a dry frying pan until you can smell them, set aside to cool.
- Remove coconut milk from the fridge, drain out the coconut water and put the solid cream in a cold glass bowl.
- Pour in the maple syrup and whisky, and whip ever so lightly until you’ve got something that just about resembles whipped cream. Add the oats and fold through.
- Layer raspberries and pretend cream in serving glasses.