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Tipsy Laird

We near one of the major dates in the Scottish calendar which is enjoyed by Scots, at home and abroad, the annual celebration of the birth of our National Bard, Robert Burns, on 25 January 1759. At countless Burns Suppers, worldwide, his life and work will be marked as 'The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns' is proposed by a myriad of speakers. Available within The Flag, under Features, is a splendid Immortal Memory by one of Scotland's finest orators, former Scottish National Party National Chairman, James Halliday.
 
The first Burns Club was set up in Greenock in 1801 and the honour of the first Burns Supper goes jointly to the Greenock Burns Club and a group of the Bard's friends from Ayr who met in Alloway (his birthplace) in January 1802. These friends sat down to 'a comfortable dinner of which sheep's head and Haggis formed an interesting part.' It is the first mention of Haggis which is now regarded as an essential part of the meal at all Burns Suppers. After all Robert Burns did write 'Address to the Haggis' which you can also hear recited on The Flag.
 
At some Burns Suppers a sweet is included on the menu such as Tipsy Laird, and that is the perfect recipe for this week in the run-up to the start of the Burns season.
 
Tipsy Laird
 
Ingredients : 1 unfilled sponge roll; 1/4 lb apricot jam; 1 tablespoon caster sugar; 1/2 pint Madeira; 1/2 gill Brandy; 1/2 gill Curacao; 1 oz ratafias; 2 oz blanched almonds; 1 pint rich custard sauce; 1/2 pint whipped cream
 
Cut the roll in 5 equal-thick slices crosswise. Remove top slice. Spread one side of remaining slices with apricot jam. Stir  the sugar into the Madeira, then stir in Brandy and Cuacao. Place the ratafias flat in a glass trifle dish. Lay the bottom slice of cake on top. Sprinkle with a little of the wine. Build the cake together in this way until the cake is finished and the wine is used. Spike with the almonds, split in two. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla essence to the custard. Pour custard round. If preferred cover with custard before spiking with almonds. Decorate with 1/2 pint whipped cream. Serves 5.

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