Monday, August 11, 2008

Scotch Tablet

To Old Angus, master of knowledge.

I am wondering where did Scotch tablet originate from and what's your favourite recipe of Scottish tablet. I bet this is easy to work out.

Who is asking (Peter Levett). What’s your favourite Scottish food?


Old Angus said...

Scottish Tablet has for a long time been the secret weapon of Dentists in Scotland. Many have made their fortunes on the decaying mess in children's mouths because of this recipe.

Flora has made it on and off over the years, but she is always a bit coy about actual amounts of stuff required in a particular recipe, It would seem it is a matter of how she feels on the day !!

But for what it is worth you couldn't go too far wrong with the following (if your teeth can stand it). Incidentally, she is not into grams and stuff - just the old-fashioned pounds and ounces.

Say 2 pounds of sugar and the same of syrup.
A wee tin of sweetened condensed milk
A wee bit of margarine.
A little water and around half a teaspoonful of vanilla.

Put the whole lot in a pan and let it slowly melt. Keep stirring until it boils. Let it boil for half an hour or so.

Take it off the cooker and beat well before pouring into a greased tin.

You can cut it up when it is cool.

Be sure to make your appointment with the dentist before you start.


My favourite Scottish food is soused herring and new tatties. But you can't make it out here due to the simple lack of the main ingredient - fresh herring. So I just get by on ANZAC biscuits.

Old Angus.

CEPB member said...

Tablet (or taiblet in Scots) is a medium-hard, sugary confection from Scotland. It is made from sugar, condensed milk, and butter, boiled to a soft-ball stage and allowed to crystallize. It is often flavoured with vanilla, and sometimes has nut pieces in it.

Tablet has a long history. According to The Scots Kitchen by F. Marian McNeill, tablet is first noted in The Household Book of Lady Grisell Baillie in the early 18th century. The traditional recipe uses just sugar and cream. More modern recipes substitute condensed milk and butter for the cream, as it has a tendency to burn when boiled.

Commercially available tablet often uses fondant instead of the milk products. This produces a slightly less granular texture to the traditional home-made tablet, and is supposedly much easier to prepare on a commercial scale.

Tablet differs from fudge in that it has a brittle, grainy texture, where fudge is much softer. Tablet is almost identical to Québécois sucre à la crème, except the latter is often made with maple syrup. It's also reportedly similar to South American tableta de leche. Another close relative can be found in the Netherlands that goes by the name of borstplaat and is eaten during the time that Sinterklaas is celebrated.

Tablet is occasionally referred to as Scots tablet or as Swiss Milk tablet, since some people call condensed milk "Swiss Milk".

When i grew up this was a household favorite, with Dad inline first, my Ma still makes it, but she seems to think the condensed milk has changed, and hence the flavor is not the same.

Andy T

CEPB member said...

Andy T's top 5
Rowie, for the Aberdonians
Mince and Tatties
Tattie Scones.

Anonymous said...

as an incidental -- that comment on getting by on Anzac Biscuits reminds me that they are actually Scottish Oak Cakes, meaning they can still fit the 'favourite Scottish food' tag.

For details try
where is says "The biscuit appears to be a variation of Scottish oat cakes, possibly via the Scottish-influenced city of Dunedin, New Zealand. "

Deano said...

C'mon now Angus, I know where there are Shoals o' Herring around Elizabeth, particularly running on Tuesday and Thursday nights!!!

While I'm in here, I am a wee bit fond of the tattie scones that used to be brought into the Sgts' Mess there at Edinburgh by a lovely old Glaswegian lady (albeit Rangers supporter) and fried (BBQ'd) black puddin'. And I am a mite partial tae black bun, mmmmm, black bun (insert Homer Simpson druelling noise here). Of course the fudge for afters washed down with a generous slurp of Irn Bru - then onto the whisky (anything old wi' a "Glen" in the name!