Donna Cunningham quite literally brought home the bacon with her winning creation at this year’s World Tattie Scone Championship.
Hundreds flocked to the Nairn Community and Arts Centre to watch more than 20 hopefuls compete in a battle of the breakfast favourites.
Contestants were given mashed potato, flour, butter and salt, and the rest was up to them.
Ingredient choices ranged from locally sourced cheeses and jams to slightly more questionable entries topped with marshmallows, chocolate and lollipops.
Miss Cunningham’s maple syrup and bacon tattie scone scored above the rest with the three judges, making her this year’s champion.
As for her inspiration, she relied on a flavour combination she knew would be a hit, saying: “I love pancakes with maple and bacon, I think everyone does.”
The making of a winning tattie scone
The 55-year-old, who is from Elgin, said she was “delighted” to have won the tattie scone trophy at Saturday’s event, which was part of a wider Taste of Nairn celebration.
She let us into her secrets so others can share in the delicious delicacy.
“It has to be the best smoked bacon loin, no added water, I think it’s Simon Howie that I used,” she said.
“Finely dice it then into the frying pan with a bit of oil, a bit of butter until it’s almost crispy then take it off the heat.
“Take mashed potato, flour and butter, I use self raising flour and I put an egg yolk in mine as well to help it rise.
“I added two quite big tablespoons of maple syrup, three bits of the bacon loin, then that’s it. I combined all the ingredients together, added a little more flour so it wasn’t too soft, then patted it down with my hands, I didn’t use the rolling pin.
“I fried it in the same juices that came out the bacon and cooked it on a gentle heat.”
Taste tests for winning recipe
Miss Cunningham explained that making a winning tattie scone doesn’t come easy, having worked her way through many different combinations to find one that was just right for the championships.
“I tried smoked fish, but to me smoked fish isn’t a tattie scone, it’s a fish cake,” she said.
“I saw a few people using fish today and thought maybe I’d gone wrong, but I didn’t go down that line because, to me, fish doesn’t belong on a cooked breakfast.
“I tried chorizo and paprika as well, but it was just the hit of the bacon and salt that made it.”
Luckily, she had her son-in-law to lighten the taste testing load.
She explained: “I’ve got a son-in-law called Luke who will eat anything, he’s a human dustbin, so he’s been quite delighted that I’ve just been trying and trying and trying different recipes.
“This recipe that won today was actually the last one I tried and it went down well.”