I don't have a sweet tooth, sugar just doesn't do it for me. But when I fancy a wee treat with my coffee, I tend to go for a tiny piece of tablet. It’s essentially fudge, just taken a little further in the cooking process. A centuries-old, traditional Scottish sweetie, in years gone by everyone's granny would have made it. Eating tablet reminds me of my gran and I love how it is locked into my food memories.
This should make plenty for a celebration, or for guests visiting
120g unsalted butter
800ml whole milk
800g condensed milk or home-made milk jam
1.8kg unrefined caster sugar
If you would like to make your own milk jam, start this recipe by mixing 800ml of milk and 800g of sugar in a pot, then boiling them together until a thick cream consistency is achieved. It can be flavoured with vanilla if you like.
Oil a large roasting tray with sides and lay on a sheet of silicone paper.
Melt the butter along with the condensed milk (or milk jam) and the milk on a medium heat in a large, thick-bottomed pot. Then dissolve in the sugar.
Bring it to the boil on a moderate heat and stir as often as you possibly can. Be careful as this gets very hot, so wear an apron and gloves if you need to.
After 10 minute or so you will see the colour changing to a light brown, this is a good thing. It must be kept on the boil, so use the thermostat on your appliance to keep a steady and quite vigorous boil.
After around half an hour the mixture will be quite caramel in colour and the texture in the pot will change. It will almost start to solidify on the edge of the pot.
Once it reaches around 114.5°C it should be fine to set.
When you think it’s ready, remove the pot from the heat and use an electric whisk to carefully whisk the mixture for at least 5 minutes. Beating the mix gives it the characterful texture and allows it to set better too.
Once beaten, pour into the prepared, lined tin, scraping the sides of the pot to get every last drop.
Allow it to cool slightly, then score the top of the tablet into 1-inch squares before cooling thoroughly near an open window.
Once cool, break into pieces and store in an airtight tub. Don't tell your dentist!