All posts by The Cook

A Scottish Sweetie

Tablet is a very rich, very sugar traditional Scottish sweet. Made from butter, condensed milk and sugar, this crumbly fudge-like candy does not win any awards for it’s health inducing properties; it does, however, sweep the board when it comes to ecstatic groan-inducing.

Before I go any further I must tell you that it should be D writing this. He and he alone has spent the past few weeks perfecting his tablet making skills. It hasn’t been an easy journey, tablet is notoriously difficult to make and many baking trays lost their lives in this quest. The sacrifices have most definitely been worth it though, for sitting next to me this very moment is a chunk of the tablet, no bigger than a matchbox. It’s creamy, it’s sweet, it’s slightly crumbly and, oh me oh my, it is absolutely divine.

An enormous thanks to Alice for sharing her recipe with D and for enduring all of his break time tablet-question sessions. 🙂

Alice’s Tablet

2lbs caster sugar

1/4lb butter

1 cup of whole milk

Tin of condensed milk

Teaspoon vanilla essence

* Remove all children, pets and clumsy people from the room. They tend not to mix well with vats of boiling sugar.
* In a heavy-based pan (and wearing rubber gloves) slowly melt sugar, milk and butter.
* Once it comes to the boil add the condensed milk.
* Slowly bring to the boil again, stirring constantly.
* Still stirring carefully, boil for 15 minutes or until mixture darkens to a butterscotch colour.
* To test if the mixture has boiled for long enough drop a teaspoon full into a glass of cold water. If it’s ready it will form a ball.
* Remove from heat and add vanilla essence.
* Beat until your arm nearly falls off and the mixture has thickened to a very thick custard-like state (approx. 15 mins).
* Pour into a greased tin and cool.
* Cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.



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Scottish Tablet – How to Bake the best Scottish tablet

Scottish Tablet

My grandmother used to make tablet around about christmas time. She also made ginger beer and boston cream for new year

I remember being crazy for tablet, and it was always homemade stuff. The nearest commercial equivilent is Kendal mintcake that made it to the top of Mount Everest with Hilary.

Kendal mintcake is carried by mountaineers to give them energy, and when you see the recipe for tablet you can understand why.

1 kg of granulated sugar
1 tin of sweetend condensed milk
2 dl of cream
200 gm of unsalted butter

Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed deep pot. Add the sugar condensed milk and cream and bring the mixture to the boil. At this stage the liquid is a light creamy colour. Once the liquid is boiling reduce the temperature so that it is just simmering nicely. It is essential that you stir the mixture continuously to stop it from burning to the bottom of the pot. A flat wooden spatula is better than a wooden spoon for this job, becasue you can more easily scrape the bottom of the pot while you are stirring.

While it is boiling you can expect the volume of the liquid to perhaps double, and it is hellish hot so don’t go trying to taste the mixture straight from the pot as you will scald your tongue. As you stir the colour of the mixture will become darker and the stirring process usually take 20 minutes before the tablet is ready. You can test this by taking a teaspoon of the mixture from the pot and dropping it into a tumbler of cold water. If the mixture forms a solid globule then the mixture is ready.

Now remove the mixture from the heat and whisk for 10 minutes. Place some aluminium folio that has been greased with butter into a shallow baking tray and pour in the tablet mixture. It should begin to set almost immediately, but while it is still hot score the top of it with a knife so you can break it into squares afterwards. Set aside to cool and amuse yourself or your children by giving them the pot to lick.

One of the best thing about making tablet is licking the pot afterwards.