By popular demand (Evee and Peggy) I’m posting this tablet recipe which I blogged about nearly three years ago now. Since then I’ve adapted the recipe a bit. My mother’s hand-written recipe just says – a tin of condensed milk and doesn’t specify the size and I have experimented and decided that it works just as well with half a large tin or 1 small tin of condensed milk. Also I recently bought a sugar thermometer which only cost £6 but makes sweetie making so much easier. If you have one then you should turn the heat off when the mixture reaches the soft ball mark on the thermometer. Then add a drop of vanilla extract and beat with a wooden spoon as usual. If you don’t have a sugar thermometer you can still make tablet following the instructions below.
The photo above is of the tablet I made a while ago, you might want to cut your pieces smaller, my mum made small bite sized cubes. I made two batches recently, one with ordinary white sugar and the other with 1 lb of white and 1 lb of dark muscavado sugar. This makes it quite black treacly in flavour. Next time I’m going to try demerara sugar. I’ll put a new photo on soon.
Scottish Tablet (originally posted in February 2010)
This recipe has been handed down in my family for at least four generations. It is unbelievably sweet but at the same time very more-ish. So, if you are keen to hold on to your teeth, keep this recipe for high days and holidays only.
4 oz unsalted butter
1 cup milk
1 large (397g) tin of condensed milk (or half of it for the healthier option)!!
drop of vanilla extract
Put the sugar, butter and cup of milk into a large heavy-based pot and cook on a low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved and then bring the mixture to a good ‘rolling’ boil.
It is important that you use something like a large soup pot as you really don’t want this mixture boiling over on to your hob.
Pour the condensed milk into the pot and stir carefully. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and allow the mixture to come to the boil again. Don’t stir it.
Have a cup of cold water ready for testing the tablet. The amount of boiling time required before getting to the testing point is a bit of a guessing game, but with practice you will know just by looking at the mixture as it will have turned slightly darker and be thicker in consistency. It takes about 15 minutes to get to this stage on my hob, it’s called the soft ball stage, but as you can imagine it will vary greatly, depending on your hob and the type of pot used. I use an old aluminium soup pot.
Carefully scoop a teaspoonful of the mixture out of the pot and dip it into the cup of water. Leave for a few seconds and test for toffeeish consistency (not quite dripping off.) Repeat this if necessary until the mixture is at this stage.
Then turn off the heat and add the drop of vanilla extract. Beat the mixture with the wooden spoon. Be careful not to splash any of it on to you. Keep beating until you feel the consistency changing. It should feel heavier and thicker and you will feel the spoon ‘catching’ on the base.
Very carefully, pour the tablet into a non stick baking tray. Mine is 11 inches long and 7 inches wide and about 2 inches deep. This is really a two person job. One to hold the pot, while the other scrapes. Allow to cool and set slightly before marking into squares.
Watch how quickly it disappears. Be amazed by how fast you can put on weight. And fingers crossed that you don’t need any fillings when you next visit the dentist.