Sunday, 7 November 2010

pomegranate Cranachan

I was recently introduced to the Scottish Cranachan. I stumbled upon it right around the same time I spent a family vacation at the Scott’s hotel in Tiberias. I felt I could not and should not ignore the evidently recurring theme.

Tiberias is a small city overlooking the sea of Galilee, and really that is its main feature. That and the Scott’s Hotel, perfectly designed so that there is no need to venture outside to the dreary surrounding, while enjoying a panoramic view, though in the case you do, you can get it in small doses, in the form of a tour and a guide.

Between the pool, the spa and the dining room, a room with a view and a whiskey bar, it was the closet to a vacation in Scotland without the need for a passport.

Cranachan, as I found out, is a Scottish dessert served during the harvest season, mainly summer and fall. It consists of the best in Scottish produce: dairy, oats, berries, honey and single malt whiskey. Scotland is still on my ‘go to’ places, but I have never been drawn to the cuisine with stories on deep fried everything and stuffed innards. I was more then pleasantly surprises to discover cranachan and how it spoke in a dialect I could relate to and understand.

This is no Scotland and so I took the original recipe and modified it using local and seasonal ingredients to a cranachan with a Hebrew accent. Similar to the Japanese version of tahini, it is always a pleasant surprise to find that some words mean the same thing no matter the language. This is one of those dishes.

pomegranate Cranachan

(serves 6)

Recipe heavily adapted from here


170g coarsely grated dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa solids)

1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, coarsely chopped

1tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not the instant kind)

1 3/4 cups chilled heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup sour cream

1/3 cup Arrack (or single malt whiskey)

3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

1 pomegranate, seeded.

Preheat oven to 175°C.

Mix chocolate, hazelnuts, cinnamon and brown sugar in medium bowl.

Spread oats out on rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes, until toasted and golden brown, stirring occasionally.

Stir hot oats into chocolate mixture. The hot oats will partially melt chocolate.

Set-aside until chocolate firms, at least 2 hours. This can be made 1 day ahead, covered and chilled.

Beat whipping cream until it reaches the stiff peaks stage.

Gently fold the sour cream, and Arrack into the whipped cream.

Fold the pomegranate molasses and gently fold to create red swirls in the whiteness of the cream.

Either in individual bowls or one large communal bowl layer 3/4 cup cream mixture and 3/4 cup oat mixture and repeat layering.

Top with the cream mixture and sprinkle with oat mixture and pomegranate seeds.

Can be served at once or prepared in advance and chilled for a few hours.

If you cant get hold of pomegranates or pomegranate molasses, you can substitute it with any honey and seasonal or preserved fruit you have.

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