Once again I am cutting it rather fine, but I really love the idea of the Best of British blogging challenge, so I really wanted to make something for this month’s region – it’s just taken a while to find the time to do it!
Sponsored by New World Appliances and hosted this month by Janice at Farmersgirl Kitchen, the region is Scotland – a place I’ve only visited once, so a bit more of a challenge for me than Cornwall was!
I did quite a bit of research for traditional recipes, but in the end settled on a recipe from one of my newest cookbooks, Home Made Sweet Shop, for a traditional Scottish Tablet.
The book describes tablet as being a cross between fudge and toffee, with the same grainy texture as fudge but a bit harder.
It was supposed to be a plain vanilla tablet, but that phrase ‘gilding the lily’ was apparently made for me so I made a last minute decision to press some freshly picked raspberries into it and sprinkle desiccated coconut on top – which looks very pretty, but now means that I can’t give it as a gift as I was planning too because the raspberries won’t keep long enough – oops!
Luckily the pony is on a mission at the minute to put on weight (the total opposite to my life goal), so the 2,500+ calories in this will hopefully help him out a bit…
The other problem it caused was less easily fixed however; the lovely, fresh, juicy raspberries actually released their lovely juice into the tablet, stopping it from setting properly. So now I know, fresh fruit and tablet/fudge do not mix!
I halved the original recipe, and it was a good job I did as even with these quantities it nearly filled my largest saucepan when it was at its peak of bubbling – so be warned if you do make the full amount! The recipe below omits the fruit but if you really want to repeat my mistake, feel free to throw some in!
Scottish Tablet (adapted from Home Made Sweet Shop)
- 450g caster sugar
- 60g butter
- 75ml full-fat milk
- 75ml water
- 130g condensed milk
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
Put the sugar, butter, water and milk into a LARGE pan and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved. Increase the heat a little and bring to a boil – not stirring at all – until it reaches 114 degrees on a sugar thermometer. Remove from the heat, stir in the condensed milk, then return to the heat and boil again, until it reaches 116 degrees, then pour into a heatproof bowl and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
When cooled a little, whisk with an electric whisk for 2-3 minutes, until it lightens and thickens quite a bit. You can beat it with a wooden spoon, but I find the whisk method a lot quicker and more effective. Spread into a 9″ loaf tin, lined with baking paper (if you’re making double quantities, use an 8×8″ square tin).
Leave for 4-5 hours to set before removing from the tin and cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container.