January 25th is the annual celebration of the Scottish poet Robert Burns’ birthday. Burns night traditionally combines celebrations with friends and whisky, both guaranteed to cheer any January evening. Invite some friends over! This simple dessert would be a great ending to a Burns supper with much of the work done in advance. Or maybe you’d like to enjoy the shortbread all to yourself with an afternoon brew. Either way, I hope you enjoy the recipe.

Serves 4.  Makes about 20 shortbread circles.  Hands on time: 1 hour  Total time: 1 hour 55


150g Butter, soft
100g Honey
30g Caster sugar
130g Flour
100g Semolina
40g Cornflour
Pinch Salt

50g Whole oats
400ml Double cream
3 to 4tbsp Whisky
3 to 4tbsp Honey
6 Clementines

Tip: Prepare the oats and clementines in advance so you just need to whip the cream and stir everything together at the last minute.


Shortbread method
1.Cream the butter, honey, and caster sugar with an electric hand whisk for 2–3 minutes.
2.Add the rest of the shortbread ingredients and whisk briefly until just combined then bring everything together with a spoon. Don’t overmix.
3.Tip the dough onto a large piece of parchment paper and form into a thick disk. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
4.Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C Fan) and line two trays with parchment.
5.Roll the dough between two sheets of parchment to a thickness of 6mm. Carefully peel back the parchment from each side of the dough and lightly dust the surfaces with flour so that the biscuits can be easily transferred to the trays. Cut the biscuits to a desired shape and size (I used a 6cm hexagon) and transfer to the trays, re-rolling any additional dough with a little more flour if needed.
6.Chill the biscuits for 10 minutes. This will help them to hold their shape in the oven.
7.Bake for 12–14 minutes until very lightly brown and leave to cool on the trays before moving.

Cranachan method
8.Toast the oats in a dry pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the pan once they are done to avoid burning.
9.Soak half of the oats in 2 tablespoons of whisky.
10.Zest two clementines and set aside. Peel all six then use a sharp knife to slice and chop the fruit, leaving some whole segments for decoration. Stir the zest into the chopped fruit.
11.Whisk the cream to soft peaks and add the soaked oats and some of the toasted oats, leaving a few to scatter on top. Fold together with the remaining whisky and honey to taste.
12.Layer the cream mixture and chopped clementines in glasses. Top with toasted oats, clementine segments and an extra drizzle of honey.