Burns Night is a celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns, the author of many Scots poems. Many families gather on the evening of January 25 to eat and drink together, usually consuming quintessentially Scottish ingredients.
Flamin’ Irn Bru Trifle
100ml whisky (set aside two tbsp for the flambé)
Eight trifle sponges
330ml Irn Bru (one can)
500g ready-made thick custard
One packet orange jelly cubes
Five blood oranges (can’t find them? Normal oranges will work fine)
Three egg whites
175g caster sugar
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Add the Irn Bru to a bowl with a pinch of salt and leave to one side. Roughly tear the trifle sponges into small pieces then fill the bottom of your trifle dish.
Pour over the whisky (reserving two tbsp for later) and press down with a spoon to make sure the sponges are well soaked. Pour over the custard in an even layer, then put in the fridge for at least an hour or until firmed up.
Use a small sharp knife (serrated works best) to cut off the tops and bottoms of the blood oranges. Then, rest the orange on its base and use a sawing motion to carefully slice off the skin and pith. Once it’s peeled, slice each orange into rounds.
Add the orange jelly cubes to a separate bowl with 240ml boiled water. Stir until fully dissolved, then add in the (now flat) Irn Bru and leave to cool.
Once the custard has set, remove from the fridge. Then pick your best-looking slices, and place them around the sides of the bowl so you can see the circles of oranges through the glass. Then layer the leftover orange slices over the custard (this will act as a barrier for the jelly).
Slowly ladle the Irn Bru jelly over the orange slices (carefully, so as not to disturb the custard). Put into the fridge to set overnight.
Whipping the meringue:
The next day, add the egg whites and caster sugar to a large bowl with a pinch of salt and one tbsp water. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Whisk with electric beaters until you have soft peaks, then remove the bowl from the pan and continue whisking until cool – this is your Swiss meringue.
Whipping egg whites to a soft peak means that when you pull the whisk away from the mixture, a peak forms, but it flops over and doesn’t stay upright.
Assembling your Tipsy Laird:
Pile the Swiss meringue onto the jelly, spreading it out to the sides. Optionally, you can lightly brown the outside with a blowtorch to give it a burnished look.
Heat the remaining two tbsp whisky in a small saucepan until warmed then remove from the heat. Carefully light the whisky with a match and, once alight, pour it over the Swiss meringue. Remember to let any flames die down completely before cutting and serving.
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Chop the remaining cornichons in half lengthways, then slice them as finely as you can. Combine the sliced cornichon, mayo and wholegrain mustard with a generous pinch of pepper – this is your mustardy cornichon sauce.
Line a baking tray with baking paper. Add the venison and pork burger patties to one side of the baking tray. Once the neep and tattie fries have been cooking for 15 minutes, put the tray in the oven for 15 minutes or until the burgers are cooked through (no pink meat).
After the onions have been slowly caramelising for 15 minutes, add half a tbsp brown sugar and a splash of cold water and cook for a further three to four minutes. Then remove from the heat and set aside. Slice the cheddar cheese into four slices.
Slice the brioche buns in half. Remove the baking tray with the venison and pork burgers from the oven and top with the sliced cheese.
Add the sliced brioche buns to the other side of the baking tray and return it to the oven for three minutes or until the cheese has melted and the brioche is lightly toasted. Spread the toasted brioche base with half the mustardy cornichon sauce, then layer on the cheesy Burns venison and pork burger, the sweet caramelised onions and sliced cornichon and top with the toasted brioche lid.
Serve the neep and tattie fries with the remaining mustardy cornichon sauce to the side.