Author energy food Friday – Scottish (traditional) tablet

I’ll be sharing lots of these recipes over the next few weeks, but I thought I’d start with a traditional dish from my home country.  A batch of this tablet can keep a writer going for a week or two, or is great for a meeting of writers as an instant energy boost.  Be really careful – not only when cooking it, but also when eating it.  Cooking, you can burn yourself, eating, you’ll hit a sugar crash.

Author energy food Friday – Scottish (traditional) tablet
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Scottish
Author: D Kai Wilson-Viola
A traditional Scottish sweet. This recipe is dangerous – please be mindful of your safety and if you’re not confident handling hot liquids. Please also use at least a four litre pan, or a large enough pan to allow for the ingredients to expand. It’s volume can up to double!
  • 1kg white cane granulated sugar
  • 1 tin (appx. 400g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • a small amount fresh milk to damp sugar (see instructions)
  • two teaspoons vanilla essence
  1. Grease a heat-proof tin or line an old tin with tinfoil. Place aside but within reach of your hob. The closer it is, the less distance you have to carry boiling sugar.
  2. Take the vanilla essence and stir it into the milk.
  3. Pour the sugar into the pan and damp it with the milk. By this, I mean add the sugar to the pan, then give it a stir. It stops the milk from burning and sticking to the pan.
  4. Add the butter and condensed milk.
  5. Heat on high until boiling – you’ll see it swelling (BE CAREFUL!). It will slowly start changing colour at this point, but don’t let it stick or burn. Simmer for 15-25 minutes. It’s easier to judge when it it’s a mid caramel colour before removing it for the heat and letting it cool a little bit.
  6. Stir it till it starts to stiffen a little and it feels gritty.
  7. Pour into a tin.
  8. Allow to cool and set overnight. You will get patterning on top, it’s just the sugar crystallizing
  9. Once set, break into pieces, and feed to friends.
  10. Best served with hot tea, strong coffee, mead or Whiskey!


1369565_10151966445219772_921534523_o As you can see, mine was really not dark enough, so I’d go darker than this.  Ideally you’d like it to be a shade lighter than fudge, but darker than this.  Mine settled into layers which was nice, but not ideal.


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