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Continental Fingers

There is no finer sight for any visitor to Scotland than to see a pipe band in action, and a car banner spotted during the recent victorious Scottish Parliament Election campaign – ‘Pipers do it with Amazing Grace’ – acted as a reminder that the pipe band contest season is once again underway. Many competitions are held in conjunction with Highland Games, such as Markinch Highland Games on Sunday 3 June 2007 in the John Dixon Park but this week we aim to highlight the major competitions run by The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association.

Starting this Saturday (19 May 2007) with the Scottish Championships which will take place in the Levengrove Park, Dumbarton. Like all four competitions to be mentioned these cover All Grades and Drum Major competition. The British Championships will cross the Irish Sea and be held at Ballymena in the north of Ireland on Saturday 23 June 2007. Back on home soil the European Championships takes place in Inverness on Saturday 28 July 2007. Finally the high-point of the pipe band year – The World Championships – will once again be held on Glasgow Green, Glasgow, on Saturday 11 August 2007. So popular are The World Championship that tickets are already on sale. Basic admission tickets for 2007 are £7 with concessions at £4. Visit for full details of what is happening on the Scottish pipe band scene.

In honour of the European Championships this week’s recipe is for Continental Fingers – a delicious traybake.

Continental Fingers

Ingredients:  4oz margarine; 1oz sugar; 3 tsp cocoa; 1 egg; 1 tsp vanilla essence; 6oz crushed digestive biscuits; 2oz coconut; 2oz chopped walnuts

Filling:  2oz butter; 9oz icing sugar; 2 level tsp custard powder;

Topping:  6oz chocolate; 10 oz butter

Method:  Put margarine, caster sugar and cocoa into saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and add 1 beaten egg and 1 tsp vanilla essence. Do not boil but keep on heat for one minute. Remove and add biscuits, coconut and walnuts and mix well. Spread on greased Swill roll tin (12” x 8”) and harden in fridge. For filling beat butter, icing sugar and custard powder and add 2 tbsp of boiling milk. Spread on top of base and leave to set. For topping melt chocolate and butter and spread on top of filling. Allow to cool and cut into fingers.

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