Ok, I will confess. This is not a NEW, new food. I actually ate some of this in Scotland and wasn’t all THAT impressed, but it is like the national candy or something. (I thought it was too sugary, but then I wasn’t a big fan of their popular Ian Bru orange soda either – maybe they’re both acquired tastes.)
And then I was reading a list of 100 things to do in Scotland before you die. One of them was “make and eat Scottish tablet.”
I love (Scotland. My dad’s ancestors came from Scotland (we even have a castle, sort of) and so I decided to take the challenge of “making and eating Scottish tablet.”
If you look on the web, there are a lot of recipes for it, some difficult to decipher because they use Scottish terms (like for the super fine sugar you need to use), but if you look around enough, you’ll find one that is easy to comprehend.
Basically Scottish table is boiled sugar. Seriously. But to bake it exactly right, you need to boil to the exact right temperature and then stir for the exact amount of time. Tricky, so the recipes say. They also say that you’re first batch will probably not harden exactly right, so you’ll need to try a couple times. Not wanting to spend a lot of time boiling sugar, I decided I needed to follow the directions to a t and get it right the first time. They also say to boil in a deep pot because it foams up as it cooks. That it does.
So with the boiling sugar, you also mix butter and sweet condensed milk. (Just in case it’s not sweet enough.) You can also add vanilla.
You stir it for 20-30 minutes straight – some while it is cooking, but most after you take it off the heat. You then pour it in a pan, let cool for just a few minutes and then cut into squares.
And yes – it did work on the first try. I decided it wasn’t because I’m a great Scottish cook, but rather all the practice I’ve gotten boiling sugar for the annual Christmas candy tradition.
So here are my thoughts.
This stuff is pure sugar (and butter and condensed milk). I put in vanilla (as many recipes say), but others say that true Scottish tablet does NOT have vanilla in it – so even that little bit of flavoring wasn’t authentic.
The other thing I say is – if I’m going to keep doing this I need to find a spot in the kitchen that doesn’t have cupboards hanging over the counter, making shadows in my pictures.
Will I make it again? Probably not. I can say I did it and it turned out like it was supposed to turn out.
Taste? I have decided it tastes like maple syrup candy, but someone forgot the maple syrup.
I give Scotland a 10. I give their candy a 4.