January 25th is a Scottish celebration day, commemorating the birth of Scotland’s National poet, Robert Burns. Not wanting to offend my non meat-eating friends, I thought better of posting anything about the traditional savoury supper served on this day, and instead turned my thoughts to something I devised a few years ago, the Chocolate haggis. Much more appealing to all, I think, and perhaps, a wee bit more fun.
My recipe is simply a twist on the classic biscuit or refrigerator cake. You can add any combination of biscuit, fruit and nuts that you fancy. I use Scottish heather honey for the sweetness and flavour, but golden syrup or maple syrup will work just as well for my vegan friends. If you eat butter, you can use this instead of coconut oil. It’s a very versatile mix. Adding a wee tot of whisky is for the celebration; it’s fine without, so I’ll leave that up to you! By the way, I love marzipan, but if it’s not for you, you can achieve a similar effect by using an ivory coloured fondant icing.
Makes 1 haggis – 12 generous slices
- 125g free from plain chocolate
- 75g coconut oil (or butter)
- 2 tbsp golden or maple syrup (or heather honey)
- 150g free from plain granola or coarse oatcakes, crushed
- 150g free from shortbread or plain biscuits, crushed
- 75g currants
- 2 tbsp whisky (optional)
- Icing sugar to dust
- 250g natural marzipan
1. Break the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and add the coconut oil and syrup. Sit the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water until melted. Remove from the water and cool for 10 minutes.
2. Mix the granola, shortbread and currants into the melted chocolate and stir in the whisky, if using. Leave in a cool place for about 45 minutes to firm up, but not set completely.
3. Line the work top with a large, double-thickness, square of cling film and pile the chocolate mixture into the centre. Mound it up it to form a fat oval shape about 12cm long. Wrap the cling film round the mix tightly and twist the ends to seal, making a fat sausage shape. Chill for at least 2 hours until very firm.
4. Lightly dust the work surface with icing sugar. Roll out the marzipan to a rectangle approx. 18 x 28cm, and neaten the edges. Unwrap the chocolate haggis and place in the centre of the marzipan. Fold the marzipan over the top to cover the chocolate haggis completely, and then pinch at either end to make the distinct haggis shape. Tie the ends with twine if liked.
5. Cover loosely with cling film and leave at room temperature for about an hour before slicing to serve, accompanied with a wee dram or two. Slàinte!