Thursday 9 April 2009

Rita's Scottish Tablet

I score the tablet and then break of the squares to give a smooth top half and natural bottom half to the pieces

When I was little I have fond memories of my Mum making tablet. Ooooh scraping the pan when the tray was setting! Now for anyone who has not heard of tablet, it has nothing to do with anything a chemist might sell or dispense. It’s a sort of hard-ish fudge, totally addictive. I have heard and seen it sold at cake stalls as Swiss Milk Tablet as well just tablet, I can only think this is due to the condensed milk in the recipe.
Newly on to boil
Now I started making tablet, fudge, toffee, boiling sweets and all manner of confectionery about 22 years ago. My maternal Grandfather made tablet for my Mum, she in turn made it for me, and now I make it for my family. It is something much like bread making – you get a feel for doing it, and learn to know what it should look like, at its various stages. The end result should be solid, but not rock hard, sugar-y but absolutely not gritty and a good fudge colour.
Half way through, getting darker
Last weekend one of my cyber cooking friends Sal, tried another friend Rita’s recipe for tablet. I had not made it for a few years, and it only took one look at Sal’s pictures to instil in me the burning desire to make tablet again, an hour later it was made.
I tried Rita’s recipe – thank you very much Rita, and it is a first class recipe. The vanilla extract is added at the beginning, and this gives it a fudgy taste with a fully rounded vanilla flavour coming through. This is not good for you teeth, but still I give it to you here highly recommended!

Sweet joy -a trayful!

Rita’s Tablet

2lbs Granulated Sugar.

1 cup (8 fl oz) Milk

2 oz Butter. (Cut in to small chunks)

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1x 397g tin Nestles Condensed Milk

(1)First, grease an 8 inch by 10 inch Swiss Roll tray with butter. Have a glass of cold water waiting in the fridge.
(2)Put all the ingredients (except the condensed milk) in to a heavy based pan (I use my biggest Le Crueset), and melt really slowly until there are no grains of sugar left. Avoid stirring vigorously as you will push grains of sugar up the sides of your pan and end up with a gritty tablet.
(3)Once it has melted, add the tinned condensed milk, and take to a rolling boil. Boil for around 20 minutes, being very careful not to burn and / or boil over. Test a drop of the mixture in a glass of cold water. It should ball, not dissolve. If it dissolves, boil another few (3 to 5) minutes and test again. Once the soft ball stage has been achieved, take it off the heat.
(4) Now beat the mixture with a wooden spoon until it starts to thicken - you will feel it thicken as you beat. This takes a few minutes. Once thickened, pour in to your prepared tray, than leave to set. Mark it before it is totally set and cold. Will make for easier breaking / cutting later.
My Note: If you have never made this kind of thing before, please be warned that boiling sugar is extremely hot, and can give you a nasty burn. Due care and attention is needed at all stages!

Wednesday 1 April 2009

Baked Blueberry Cheesecake

Here is another lovely cheesecake to mark my second Blogiversarry, it's a month overdue, but we won't dwell on that bit =) This time with a fruity theme, from Rachel Allen’s Bake. It’s a creamy, fruity little number and very pretty too. You have to use first class blueberries here as the flavour really comes through. I seem to be having a cheesecake time just now!

I’m actively linking recipes at the moment, as I’m not sure where I’d stand with copyright posting unaltered recipes from books on my blog, even when I do credit them. Since it has come to my attention I’m not too keen to do it. Having said that I’m planning to contact some publishers to see if I can get permission to post recipes from some of the books I’ve been cooking recently. Watch this space.