Tablet: 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 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 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 breaktime tablet-question sessions.  :)

Alice’s Tablet

2lbs caster sugar

1/4lb butter

1 cup of whole milk

400g 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.  (This can take much longer in some cases – no idea why)
  • To test if 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.

D’s Trouble Shooting Tips

If your tablet is grainy, you melted the sugar too quickly.   Start again.

If your tablet didn’t set, you didn’t boil it for long enough.  Start again.

If your tablet still didn’t set, you didn’t beat it for long enough.  Yup.  Start again.

174 thoughts on “Tablet: A Scottish Sweetie

  1. I cannot beleive that D got Alice’s recipe from her. What did he have to do? The photo is gorgeous. I can’t find condensed milk anywhere in Cairo but my Mum is coming over soon so shall ask for some. Shona.

  2. I will definitely be trying this since D has put so much time & energy into it. I was going to make condense milk fudge, but this sounds sooo much better!

  3. Ohh that reminds me of being a kid. My grandmother used to make tablet, and when I was in scotland in september doing a hike, we found it in a few pubs and cafes along the Way.

  4. Darn girl! I don’t have a sweet tooth but these seem so simple to make I cannot resist trying them. I promise, I’ll taste a part of one and then give the rest of them away.

  5. Shona – Think he just smiled shyly. He’s rather popular with the auxilaries is my boyfriend! :)

    Nora – I promise you, it is. :)

    Little Miss Moi – A piece of tablet after a hike must have been great!

    Cynthia – We said the same about the last batch and scoffed the lot ourselves…

  6. My mouth is watering just looking at the picture (the texture looks perfect – obviously a good recipe!)

    The problem with tablet is that it is just so adictive. I can resist most sweet things but with the tablet it’s always “just one more taste and then I’ll stop”…

  7. Yum! Just read through the ingredient and i know that these must be delicious. I am a big fan of baked goods that uses condensed milk – so rich, so creamy, so sweet and soooo wickedly tempting!

  8. Great photo – I think this is what we’ll make this Christmas for a treat (I like the children – old enough to make their own decisiions – to know EXACTLY what goes in to their favourite sweets!) … between us all, we’ve lost my mother-in-law’s fudge recipe, but tablet will remind me of my childhood holidays in Scotland

    Thanks for sharing – especially the troubleshooting tips!

    Joanna

  9. Wendy, just getting back on track after Thanksgiving, and yours is the first blog I’m reading. TABLET!!! I had forgotten all about it, and I am so, so happy you’ve reminded me in time for Christmas. Everyone’s getting a bag of this this year. Thank you. My mouth is watering.

  10. Sophie – I know. I don’t usually have a problem with eating too many sweet things – I’m a savoury girl – but tablet, I just cannot stop eating. Made D take it all to his parents’ house after the first evening!

    Anh – Isn’t condensed milk great? I could eat it with a spoon.

    Joanna – Enjoy! The trouble shooting tips should prevent the same amount of head scratching that went on here in the trial batches. :)

    Patricia – When I read the Wikipedia entry on it I discovered Brazil had a very similar sweet! The Netherlands too, apparently. :)

    Amanda – Tablet gifts. May have to steal that idea!

    Susan – Agreed! :)

  11. I am a big fan of condensed milk but I find tablet too sweet – your recipe looks fantastic – E loves it and probably would love some home made but I would then feel inclined to try too much and feel quite ill – however at least he can find some in the stores dedicated to sweets and lollies in Melbourne

  12. I think D needs his own blog! What a mouth watering photo of your tablet. I have never heard of it before, but it sorta resembles our carmel fudge. Perfect treat for the holidays. Thanks D for doing all the troubleshooting for us!

  13. Johanna – Have to say that the shop bought stuff is more like fudge than tablet (or at least it is over here). It’s gotta be homemade to be great!

    Deb – Will do! Fudge over here is more chewy than crumbly/slightly brittle. Is it the same in the US, I wonder.

    David – I can’t have it in the house ’cause I just keep on eating it!

  14. I remember my mother beating fudge until her arm fell off – maybe that’s why I’ve never been a candy maker!
    This would inspire me though…no, not to make it – to drive to Scotland!

  15. I adore tablet – haven’t had it for ages. So delicious but I’ve never been successful in making it. Rubber gloves at the ready, I shall definately give it another go!
    P.S. How long to you reckon it keeps in the airtight jar, assuming it is is well hidden from greedy paws?

  16. David – Thank you! This is the second time I’ve been in it (first was last week too) and I’m delighted! The Guardian is my daily read. :) Congrats to you too!

    Antonia – Good question. I know my grandfather used to wrap it in greaseproof paper and then store it in an airtight tub. I have absolutely no idea how long it’d store for. Will call Dad… Ok, he says it’ll keep for up to 6 months in a cool place. :)

  17. Thank you for solving one of lifes greatest frustrations for me.

    What you call tablet we call fudge in South Africa, which I also recently discovered is called burnt sugar in Ireland. I love the stuff but have never made it successfully (usually I end up with something toffee like).

    Moving here trying to buy the stuff what is called fudge is generally disgustingly sweet, strangely flavoured and definitely not the right texture.

    At least now I know the name of the product I must look out for, and one day when I am feeling brave enough I will definitely give this recipe a go.

  18. Robert – Glad to have helped. Think it’s called something else in the States too…

    Ian – I’ve never heard of horehound toffee, I’m afraid. Will let you know if I do come across a recipe though. Sorry I can’t be more help. :)

  19. is 2 lbs caster sugar is equal to 907 grams approx? i.e it is nearly 1 kg of sugar? am i right? if yes, is it not way too much for this recipe?could you pls tell me how much sugar is it in cups or grams. thanks

  20. Bev – Enjoy!

    Cherry – Just over 900g of caster sugar. It is a LOT but it is right. It’s a very, very sweet sweet. Folk tend to only ever eat a tiny bit at a time. :)

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  22. hello, my wife tried to make the tablet, but did not set. could she boil it up & try again, or should she start over again. many thanks

  23. Gordy – Unfortunately, you have to start from scratch. It’s one of these recipes that can be a total nightmare to get right but once you do, you tend not to forget what colours & consistencies are right.

  24. hi wendy, im an avid cardmaker and my sister makes tablet for me every couple of weeks, so i have a small stash in my craft drawers, which i keep in a small pot.

    it comes in very handy when im stuck for ideas and just have to sneak in and find my secret sweet to keep me going!

    hugs,

  25. I just love tablet. I can’t stop eating it when I have made some. Brings back so many childhood memories of home. One of my sons is an expert at making it and converting all his Ozzie pals. Just stumbled on this web site and love it.

  26. Used to make tablet. When it went grainy and fell to pieces, I would use it as ice-cream topping. Yum (or just eat the crumbs with a teaspoon!)

  27. Hello just found your site while googling “pumpkin, carrot and lentil soup”

    Has no-one asked the big question…………………..

    What size tin of condensed milk.

    Please reply asap as plan to try it for a neighbours get together tomorrow!

    from an ex-pat in Australia, who’s sister was a teacher in Ayrl

  28. Lesley – Yum!

    Ursula – You almost had me stumped there – there’s only one size sold in supermarkets I know! After much Googling I’m fairly sure it’s a 400g tin.

  29. Hi Wendy, I made this with my Mum when she was here last week (we took turns stirring) and it was a tremendous success. I’ve bagged it up to give to people at Christmas – with the proviso that if they don’t like it they can return it!

  30. Hello there!

    I am at this moment – yea at this very second – boiling a batch of tablet for my husband to take to work for the squadron. They are on 12 hour shifts at the moment and tablet works as a wonderful pick-me-up when they are flagging – especially in the cold (yes, its even a bit chilly here in Florida).

    I have a small suggestion – have you tried it with evaporated milk instead of regular milk? I use 3/4 can for one can of condensed milk.

    I was checking out tablet sites (while stirring) to see what other folks have been doing – I will try your suggestion of beating for 15 min at the end, I usually continue to simmer and stir until it starts to act like scrambled egg in the pan, takes about 45 min, and the end result is darker than your pic – but still yummy…

    Merry Christmas from a Scot in Florida!

    • Hello carol, 4 years on and your post showed up in my google search. I’m looking for my mothers tablet recipe that has condensed milk and evaporated milk. She’s lost the recipe and I can’t find it anywhere on the Internet. Could you tell me your recipe? Please please?
      Ciara

  31. My boys love when I make tablet for Christmas and we are slowly getting Southern California hooked on it by sending out tins of it to our friends. In sharing the recipe over here we’ve come to a few easy translations for American kitchens:

    2lbs caster sugar = 4 cups fine grain sugar
    1′ teacup’ milk = 3/4 cup milk
    butter = butter not margarine or lard

    My husband refers to it lovingly as ‘Scottish crack’ because it is so addictive! Keep a cup of strong tea handy so you can have a second piece.

    Merry Christmas from California & Slainte!

  32. Shona – Wonderful!! Will tell Alice. :)

    Carole – Will tell D about the evaporated milk idea. Hope you had a merry Christmas!

    Geri – Scottish crack! Love that! Lol.

    Grace – Ummm, I don’t see why not… My partner is away skiiing this week so I can’t ask him and he’s the tablet master in this house. Let me know if it works!

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  34. What a great recipe! I just made this and got it right the first time, which has never happened to me before- and to answer Grace’s question, yes, you can use a hand mixer- makes it much faster at the end AND saves your arm! Thanks so much, I’ve been searching for a good tablet recipe ever since my husband and I discovered it in Scotland on our honeymoon.

  35. Cherye – I’m so impressed it worked first time for you! I had to endure much grumpiness from my partner as he tried to master the technique. Will let him know about the handmixer. :)

  36. hello,

    I love tablet and always have i am from scotland but currentlylive n saudi arabia i miss the thigns from home so make tablet from this recipie it works perfect everytime. I think everyone should try to make this as it is easy and the results are so good. Tablet just brings be back to being in the place i love most my home in scotland .

  37. hello,

    I love tablet and always have i am from scotland but currently ive n saudi arabia i miss the thigns from home so make tablet from this recipie it works perfect everytime. I think everyone should try to make this as it is easy and the results are so good. Tablet just brings be back to being in the place i love most my home in scotland .

  38. Being a ‘white settler’ in Scotland (I am english) I have fallen in love with ‘Border Tablet’. I have tried many different tables, and I am thrilled to have found Alice’s recipe and have bookmarked the page to try next week.

    Hopefully it will be a nice as Border Tablet – out of interest, do you have to add the vanilla essence? Whats it like without it??

  39. Britian’s Got Tablet!!!!

    Have you seen the TV show Britain’s Got Talent!!!

    With Loch Leven Tablet – Britain’s Got Tablet!!!!!

    We are looking for the most unusual place our tablet has been eaten in 2009. This could be your wedding venue or simply where you are munching on our tablet!

    Our tablet gets shipped worldwide and gets the most amazing feedback wherever it is eaten. We want to find out EXACTLY where you are eating it!!!

    Tell us where you are eating our tablet in this Homecoming Year. Prizes will be awarded for the most unusual place.

    Send your entries and photos to Donnie@highlandfavours.co.uk

    Keep up to date on our blog and facebook page.

  40. Pingback: Coffee Muffins» Blog Archive » Scottish Tablet: The Perfect Gift

  41. This is a great recipe, worked first time even though I was a bit impatient (!) and added everything in at once. I then reread the recipe and realised my mistake but it still came out wonderfully. I scored mine after 15 minutes and then it was nice and easy to break up rather than trying to cut it up after.

    I made this as wedding favours so here’s hoping my guests enjoy this tablet as much as I did!

    • Hi Jules,

      I made tablet a few years ago with this recipe and also made it today. I have never used vanilla in it and it tastes great. The only problem I have is when I go to cut it, it doesn’t cut into neat squares, but seems to break in all directions. Is there a right way to do this? I wait till it is nearly cold as if I do it sooner the knife just ‘drags’ it!! Thanks.

  42. Just had my first attempt at making this. Going to take it to cousins in Canada next month (not this batch) so how long does it keep? Not that there is usually any left here (plenty of family and friends want some )but how long before I go should I make it?

  43. I will defo use this recipe bubz :) I would love to take part in that dudes competition. Thanks for the advise guys. muchly appreciated :) Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  44. My husband is a very keen on fudge and has never been able to find the right recipe for the job until now. This has to be the tastiest and a fairly easy method we have used and the results have been just how we like it. It is true what you say though – your arm sure feels like it is about to drop off! :)

  45. Yum. A definite improvement on my old recipe! The boyfriend’s comment after scrapping the pot clean was: mmm, now that’s tablet!! (Here’s hoping it will sweeten the disposition of my Prof. for Scottish History tomorrow!)

  46. Hi there,
    Just found your blog today while searching for a talet recipe. I remember tablet every halloween but I’ve never managed to find a recipe that works perfectly so far – I will have to try this one soon! It’s always been good and always gets eaten but it’s never as good as I remember, maybe that’s just the case with growing up – it probably tastes better as a child!

    I’ve added your recipe to one of my blog posts and a link to your blog too – hope that’s ok.
    Jade

  47. Hi there,

    Before the 45 min stirring session was over my tablet went hard, did not get to the beating bit, what went wrong?
    Thanks

  48. Your tablet looks just like the home-made fudge my mother used to make (her mother came from Edinburgh). Fudge from shops is squishier, richer, creamier… the texture in your photo looks just right.

    I couldn’t eat any fudge or tablet now – at least no more than one or mouthfuls, as I’ve trained my palate away from really sweet things, but thanks for the memories!

  49. I’ve eaten lots of bars of Tablet in my time especially the fund raising bars for the local Brownies,PTA or the church.

    I’ve never it but I do remember getting to scrap doon the pots after my Maw made it.
    So today I made tablet for the first time using this recipe. Only thing was I only had 1.5 lbs of castor sugar so I supplemented it with half an pound of light brown sugar.Bingo it was great,it certainly was slightly darker but just as tasty .
    It did’nt last long in this hooseful of gannets

  50. Hi Wendy,

    This thread has been going on for a long time – two years – but I notice you haven’t responded to anyone since April, so I hope you are still alive and kicking (virtually speaking).

    I cooked some tablet a couple of days ago and it was too soft. I left it for a couple of days to see whether it would harden and dry out, but it hasn’t of course, so my next job was to look on the internet to see whether I could put it right. Somebody has already asked you this question, and you said “start again”. But what would actually happen if you melted the whole lot, stirred it some more and then finished it off in the usual way? Does anyone know whether this would work?

  51. Diana – Hello. Goodness, can’t believe I haven’t responded to this thread in so long! Not sure how that happened… Anyway, David had the same problem as you once and did try that but it turned out far too hard and dark. He just had to start again!

    Thanks for the comments, everyone! Very glad you’re enjoying the recipe so much. Shall tell Alice.

    • You can re-boil tablet if it’s too runny- I’ve just done it. You have to do it very slowly and mix constantly so as not to burn it – and adding a tiny splash of extra milk helps. Mine only reached 114ºC first time which I thought was soft ball, I let it get to 118ºC this time and that did the trick. It’s not hard, it’s quite crumbly and pleasant!

  52. In the great Glasgow tradition of healthy eating, I took a notion today to make tablet – for the first time ever – for wee Christmas gifts. Found your lovely blog and this amazing thread – I didn’t know there were so many tablet fans around the globe! It has taken me right back to the ’70s when my mum used to make it, and the exact sound and feel of scraping out the remnants from the pot with a teaspoon, still so hot it burnt your tongue.

    Inspired by the comments here I had a go straight away and it is perfect. I forgot the vanilla in all the excitement but it is still delicious. Only one addition – my mum used put raisins through it. I hope that doesn’t upset any tablet purists out there, but that’s how it was done in our house.

  53. If you score the squares onto the tablet before it cools you can just break it up without cutting it. Also all ingredients can be put in together (it’s only the vanilla I add at the end), the important thing is to not dissolve the sugar too quickly. Just made my 4th batch this festive season, the best bit is ‘sooking’ the wooden spoon.

  54. Hi Wendy

    Following up on my query about what would happen if I put my too-soft tablet back in the pan and reheated it, you replied to the effect that David had tried it and it didn’t work.

    Well, I wasn’t going to waste all that time and effort without at least a try, so by the time you replied 24 hours later, I had taken a chance, and reheated the mixture. It melted down to a fairly thick consistency, so I simmered it for just a few minutes, then took it off the boil, stood it in a sink of cold water, and beat it for about five minutes – it was quite quick and painless – and it started to crystallize, so I poured it into a tray, and it turned out sort of OK. It wasn’t quite as crunchy as the tablet I have made in the past, but much improved on its original state, and certainly worth eating.

  55. Oh my goodness! I had forgotten all about Tablet! I was looking for something else and came across your blog. When I saw the photo of tablet “I said to myself I’ve had that as a wee girl”. Sure enough I remember my Mom making and showing how it was made from her childhood. I will have to make some very soon for my son who is now in college.
    Thanks for the memory!
    As Alice said:
    “…if I don’t make haste, I shall have to go back through the looking-glass…back into the old room-and there’d be an end of all my adventures!”
    Sending my ‘curiouser & curiouser’ thoughts through the looking-glass.
    Karolyn

  56. Hi

    I tried making the tablet and used skimmed milk… it did not set. Could the milk have caused this or does it need to be kept on the heat for longer?

    Emma

  57. Hi, I have made lots of tablet using a very similar recipe that does not need the bicep beating at the end and it usually turns out absolutely fab! The last batch was so good I went to make another and it turned out really grainy. This grainy mess has happened now a couple of times, but I read this thread last time it happened and made sure I melted the sugar really really slowly this time (although my kids running in and out of the kitchen meant I was not constantly stirring it). You guys sound like you know what you are doing, any suggestions on what went wrong as I keep trying to make it for presents then end up going out to buy sweets from the shops when it flops!

  58. I like the turnip recipe, beet chocolate muffins and the fact that you live in Scotland. I never met anyone from Scotland. I’m 4 hours from Seattle, but I never go there.

  59. I love this stuff. I failed the first time but have been successful everytime after. I think it is important to go slowly through heating step and since I am not an expirienced candy cook. I heated the tablet to 245 degrees F. and then viewed the stirring ritual as exercise to allow me to eat more once it cooled. Also I cut mine warm with a pizza cutter and it worked slick.

  60. Hi Wendy,

    Thanks for this receipe. I wanted to make some tablet for a scottish party and wondered how long it keeps for. If I make it the weekend before and store it in an airtight container will it last?

    Thank you very much

  61. For anyone who has followed this recipe and found, at the end after cooling, that their tablet is too soft – don’t worry, there is an easy fix. Simply put the tablet pieces into a paper bag and store in a cool, dry place for a few days. You will find that the tablet will dry out and firm up by itself and your tablet will be perfect.

  62. He I just made this for the first time and it came out absolutely delicious, sweet, crumbly and melt in the mouth yum. Thanks for the recipe, I’ll def be making this again! xxx

  63. I ave just finished making your tablet and the kids are now scraping it off the cool pan! I tried making tablet from a different recipe put up by someone but it didnt work. So tryed yours and its perfect thank you. xxxxx

  64. A little hello all the way from dunfermline in east of Scotland!

    Your recipe for tablet is fab! Mines has just set and is deeeeelish! (Although, I left the vanilla out as I enjoy butter tablet more!)

    Thanks again

    Sarah x

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  66. Thank you so much for this we have been living in korea for nearly 2 months now and it is really nice to get a taste of home. The tablet has worked twice despite me trying to make it last Christmas (albeit with a different recipe) and it turning out really badly. Thanks for the recipe x

  67. Have just tried your recipie and it tastes fabulous! Very pleased as it’s my first attempt! My family are visiting from the states so can take a wee slice of scotland back to america! Can’t wait to make it and bag it up for christmas pressies!

  68. I have made the tablet, which looks great and tastes good. But it has not completely set and is too soft to get out the tray without crumbling and sticks a bit to the tray. Have I not greased the enough, and if I put it in the freezer, will it set better?

  69. I have just made tablet using condensed milk. I boiled the mixture until wee balls formed in my cup of cold water. I stirred until thick then poured out into tray, but after 3hrs, it still hasnt set. What have i done wrong, and how do i fix it? Please i hope you can help, as its for a halloween party, thats happening tonight.

  70. Christine – Have asked the in-house expert and he reckons you didn’t cook it for long enough. We’re not sure about the freezer though. If you try it, let us know!

    Lorna – This happened to David a couple of times when he was first starting to make tablet. It probably means it wasn’t boiled/stirred for long enough. Don’t know any way to fix it, I’m afraid. Very sorry. I know it’s frustrating – David was almost tearing his hair out trying to get this right the first few times.

  71. Christine and Lorna,
    I am no candy chef and I don’t know the differance between soft ball stage and a softball, but boiling the mixture to 245 degrees F. or 118 celsius get me the right results. Hope this helps.

  72. Hi Wendy, I was just wondering if you could ask D what went wrong if the tablet turned out like toffee???

    Oooops – back to the drawing board! :-)

  73. About to try this for the first time…… a wee bit nervous! Will let you know how it goes having read all the feedback beforehand!

  74. Beautiful recipe. I was short of cash this Christmas so decided to make some sweets (including this Scottish droplet of amazement)… I’d share a picture but it won’t let me… Amazing recipe – turns out beautifully well! First attempt at a different but admittedly very similar recipe was like tablet syrup.. So after scrubbing my kitchen clean I searched how long it takes to set and found this…

    USE THIS RECIPE! AMAZING…

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  76. ive had this recipe for 2 years now but i forgot to comment on it. well what can i say, im from england & my wife is scottish. we decided to move to scotland & she said she wanted some tablet, which we bought from a shop. she said its not bad is it & i replied rubbish. then i looked on the net & found this recipe & omg its fantastic, much better than the one we bought. ive tried all sorts of different flavours but my wife likes the coconut the best. when made she just can,t stop eating it, so many thanks for this great recipe.

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  78. I just came across this looking for a recipe for Squill Candy. As I understand it, Squill Candy is a Scottish tablet with and aniseed taste. I tried cough candy because I was told that this was the same, but not so. Can anyone advise me how much aniseed essence to put into a quantity from above.
    Sylvia

  79. Great recipe. This is the same as my mum passed down to me, except we used margarine and it also worked out. I usually boil it on medium for about 40 minutes to get a nice golden brown. Make sure to beat to get the air through it, as this is what helps set the tablet.

  80. Can you give me some trouble-shooting help? I make tablet a lot for school or playgroup fairs because it’s always the first thing to sell (I live in Scotland).
    My recipe is almost identical to yours. I’ve just made three trays which all went disastrously wrong. It’s a tricky customer, is tablet.
    Two were grainy, although I swear I melted the sugar slowly, the way I always do, and one turned to soft toffee, even though I was being very careful not to over boil, so much so that it was still quite pale.
    Could it be down to atmospheric conditions, as my sister claims?
    Please help, as my tablet-making reputation is at stake!

  81. Have just tried this recipe for the first time, after i brought it off the heat and stirred it seemed to be more like toffee……however it seems to have set and now looks exactly like tablet.

    After trying many similar recipes i think iv mastered tablet. Thanks for the recipe.

  82. thank you so much, your description and step by step instruction was so helpful. Just a point to note cooking on a electric stove it takes a lot longer and I love the plate idea. I live in a remote mining town in North Western Australia, getting out to get groceries is a challenge, so when I didn’t cook the mixture long enough the first time and it didn’t set right, the thought of going out in the heat to get more ingredients was enough to make me try and recook the mixture again. I added a little water and guess what? it worked beautifully. I have recommended your receipe to all my friends.

  83. Hi
    My mum used to make tablet and I was thinking of having a go. I remember it was a stressful time, and once it boiled there was a mad dash (wow betide us if we got in her way!) to the back door step. Where she would beat the living day lights out of it. She said it was so it cooled down quickly and it helped it set? Not sure if this is effective. Need to be brave and have a go. Now which pan can I risk trashing???……

  84. Ouch my arm!! Praying to god this sets as weak English woman beating! I didn’t use a big enough pan and have ruined the top of my cooker but fingers crossed it’ll be worth it!!

  85. Fantastic recipe, got it first time. I substituted 150ml of the milk for Baileys!! Im so pleased with myself thought I would need a few goes to get it right :)

  86. I didn’t use a big enough pan either but decanted half the mixture in the middle of cooking it into another pot … it worked really well and is delicious but is probably the sweetest thing I have ever eaten and is going to last for ever! Thanks.

  87. Thank you. My husband lost his Mother over 10 years ago, and this was one of the many Scottish treats she would prepare for Holidays.
    He misses her so much.

  88. Im sorry, but I have a recipe that would beat this one hands down (guaranteed).. & its very simple to make, foolproof in fact . NZ’ers make the best fudge

  89. My second attempt using the recipe was ALMOST perfect! Perfect texture and taste but it had little brown burnt flecks in it. I could see them forming when the mixture was boiling. Any tips anyone?

    • Ah – thanks for your Post! I was worried I scraped the pan too hard and it was bits from the bottom of the pan! I did see small black bits forming too – otherwise PERFECT!

  90. Has anyone ever tried making different flavoured tablet? I think I remember seeing whisky tablet in Edinburgh but maybe it was fudge.

  91. Marty, this is NOT fudge it is Scottish tablet – a different thing and this is absolutely right for a traditional Scottish sweetie. You in NZ may make a different equally delicious sweet called fudge but in Scotland this is the real thing!! PS Do share your NZ fudge recipe though!

  92. Here`s a tip for all tablet makers.The recipe is correct but you only need to use half a standard tin of cd milk and only a teacup of milk and not a mug!!!.This way you can make two trays with one can and believe me it will not affect the flavour in any way.Us Scots are thrifty folk you know and my recipe is at least 100 years old.One of the biggest mistakes people make is to start with too much liquid in the pot and this means that the boiling time will be longer and this of course makes the whole process even more unpredictable.Do not underestimate the beating time! 3-5 minutes.You will know that you are doing it right if your arm is nearly falling offat the end.Don`t use an electric whisk either as inevitably it will be doomed to failure and “ma granny didnae hae wan onyway”

  93. Found your recipe by chance and have just followed it to the letter result – amazing…..I’ve wanted to try to make traditional Scottish tablet for years but always thought it would be too difficult to get right! Thanks for giving the rest of us the benefit of all your efforts. Lesley

  94. Just woke up and checked the Fridge after following your recipe last night – PERFECTION! Followed the recipe exactly (and yes, my arms DID nearly fall off) ;-) Many thanks! I’m going to make my own packaging and give as gifts to family and friends! YUM!

  95. Just tried your recipe and not only did it smell delicious, it also tastes yummy!
    I did the last bit (the one with the arms about to fall of) with the small mixing machine (it’s called Rührwerk in Germany), because I’m pregnant and didn’t want to exhaust myself. That worked really well, it took about 8 minutes on the highest level. I don’t know how custard is supposed to look like, but I remembered the taste of Tablet quite well and I got it when it was slightly grainy.
    The whole process of making tablet took me 55min. Loved every part of it. Thank you so much for sharing this great recipe!

  96. You are so right – that moment when you bite into a piece of tablet and its sets off this primeval need to relish and enjoy. Thankfully I’ve always found that the level of sweetness does reach a point when I have to say no more!

    I think I’ll enjoy exploring your blog.
    Celia

  97. After eating a variety of tablet (seems to be a staple of school fairs in scotland), some good and some “could do better”, I decided to try and make my own.
    This recipe seemed to be the best, my first attempt at tablet is currently cooling but the little sample I cooled separately was lovely.

    Thanks for the recipe, will be using it a lot in the future!

  98. Pingback: Sugar Headache » Sophie Baker Photography

  99. Oh no, everyone’s reporting loving the tablet, but mine didn’t work agghhhhh :( It had turned a butterscotch colour after just 9 mins of boiling and by the time we were up to 12 mins, it had gone grainy in the pan and so was not beatable and turned to a sand-like consistency as it went into the tray. I am guessing my rolling boiling temperature was too high?? Any advice gratefully received :) Many thanks Eleanor x

  100. Hi there this looks delicious however I am confused on the measurements. Please forgive my stupidity. So would the sugar be 1kilo, and how much butter? I most def want to make this as the one I made with another recipe was grainy and not quite right, however yummy it smells. I can’t wait.

  101. Normally I don’t leave comments but I just had to… thank you so much! First time making tablet and it turned out perfect. I actually made two half batches as I was worried it would go wrong and with the second batch I used vanilla seeds rather than essence, which gives it a lovely look and taste. I will definitely be using your recipe again at Christmas!

  102. I am a Scot living in Greece and there is to be a Christmas celebration when everyone is to bring something from their home country.

    I’m an absolute tablet addict and have made it often in the past – with all sorts of results – but I never keep the recipe. I’ve just found this one and the picture is PERFECT, so on the 23rd, the Greeks on ‘Mama Mia’ island should be eating fantastic tablet. They have a really sweet tooth so I’m sure they will love it!

  103. Back in 88 our class went to Britian/Scotland for our senior trip. My Mom went along as a chaperone with some of the other parents.When we visited a shop Mom recalled named Moppet Mill(actually Moffat Toffee)she bought some tablet and I loved it,it reminded me of a brown sugar fudge she used to make called penuche.A couple years ago I found tablet on the net after using the keywords Scottish fudge and learned it was called tablet.Will try to make this as soon as the humidity is low(Georgia is a state infamous for high humidity).Thanks for this post!

  104. I’ve now made this recipe about ten times since Christmas and I’ve learned a few things along the way that may be of some use to others who are trying to master this well worth the effort Scottish treat! :) First of all make sure you use a big enough pot. I’ve tried various and I’ve finally settled on a large non-stick variety – it’s dead easy to clean at the end! :) A heavy bottom stainless steel is also good, but much more difficult to clean. Steer well clear of aluminium or you’ll spend a lot of time scrubbing!!

    I like to stir my recipe all the way along – it ensures that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and it also helps me to gauge when the recipe is ready. Once poured if your mixture sets the first time well done to you! … but in the event that that it doesn’t don’t panic – just tip the whole thing back into the pot and add a splash of hot milk. It’s important to ensure that the milk is hot or it will turn your mixture into a lumpy mess. Once the splash of hot milk is added, stir the mixture vigorously until it becomes quite sandy and tries to set on itself each time you stop stirring. This means that it’s ready :) Pour the mixture back into your trays and it should set fine.

    It’s difficult to go wrong with this – even the mistakes taste yummy! Don’t be afraid if the mixture becomes a rich colour – the deeper the colour the better the flavour! I like to pre-score my tablet about 10 minutes after I pour it into trays – this way it cuts very cleanly and it looks nice if you plan to give it as wee gifts.

    We’re Scottish and live in Scotland so good quality tablet is available everywhere, but my family and friends love this recipe and say they much prefer my homemade tablet. I hope you have a similar success :)

    • Interesting comment! I tried to make fudge years ago, and it came out like slushy snow. Last year I tried the above recipe with a sugar thermometer, I got good results. My tips are these: if you don’t have a sugar thermometer, you need to take the mixture off the boil when it reaches the HARD BOIL stage. IF you have a thermometer, the correct temperature for tablet is 120 degrees C.

  105. Hi there. I too have made this recipe loads of times since discovering it when I lived abroad. I got it right first time and have only ever had it not set once. I just rolled, what turned out to be soft fudge into wee balls and covered it in dark chocolate and it was real yummy. When word gets out that it is being made I have folk fighting over it! Oh, and the kids get the pan to claw out once it has cooled a bit.

    The trick is, as folk have said, get a good quality heavy bottomed pan and stir, stir, stir whilst it is boiling and stir, stir stir at the end. A good half hour of constant stirring makes the perfect job every time.

    Thank you for a wonderful easy to follow recipe.

    • Hi Kate,
      Castor sugar or Baker’s sugar here in the America can be hard to find. Regular sugar works perfectly. Regardless of the type of sugar, the more slowly you heat the mixture during the dissolving phase the smoother the texture of the finished tablet.
      Hugh from Wyoming

  106. this recipe is amazing you cant go wrong first time trying it and it work to perfection, looks amazing and tastes incredible. Thank you so much as i do a lot of baking for charity events i can now add tablet to my list

  107. Pingback: Exploring Scottish Food- A Traveler's Library

  108. Pingback: Scottish Tablet | DesignerFoodie

  109. This is amazing! First time having it fresh! The recipe worked perfectly. It is more moist than the “store bought”, but I imagine it dries out…
    How do you make the “whiskey” version?

  110. Hi, please can someone tell me is the one cup of milk a uk cup = 284ml or american cup = 240??

    I love this recipe and planning to make it for christmas, but its been so long since I last made it I cant remember the correct milk quantity!

    Thanks in advance

  111. Pingback: Thanks for the tablet | itsnotallaboutmybombom

  112. Great article and hope everyone has successfully made their first batch of Tablet!

    If you do happen to be getting fed up trying to perfect your Tablet, then why not try Scotland’s favourite brand…….Mrs Tilly’s

    To read about just how good our Tablet is, please click the link below to read this Buzz Trips article.

    http://buzztrips.co.uk/posts/scotlands-sinfully-sweet-secret-in-search-of-the-best-tablet-in-the-highlands/

    http://www.mrstillys.co.uk

  113. Fabulous recipe – thank you! I have made it a couple of times now, and today decided to ring the changes a little. I had some preserved and crystallised stem ginger lurking in the cupboard, so chopped them up finely, and stirred that in once the tablet had cooked and before beating the mixture. I had about half a jam jar full, no idea of weight. The experiment has worked wonderfully, could possibly use more ginger, (I love the stuff) perhaps some of the preserved ginger syrup, but it is very yummy. As close as I have ever come to my all time favourite Orkney Fudge (yes, that is what they call it) but that is grainy and delicious, and they do a ginger flavour amongst others.

    http://www.argosbakery.co.uk/sweeties.html

    If it helps others, I use my jam preserving pan to cook this tablet, stir the mixture a lot, but not constantly and know when the mixture is almost ready when it stops making a noise in the pan from the boiling, it goes quiet and does darken a bit. There is usually some mixture starting to crystallise around the sides of the pan, but the test in the cold water is a good one. Personally, I don’t find it too hard to beat the mixture before it starts to solidify, so don’t be put off. Maybe I am boiling mine just a little longer than some, but it has always worked for me. And today, I used golden granulated sugar – worked a treat. Just going to make some strong coffee and have a few pieces now!

  114. Thankyou for this recipe! Having been disappointed by previous attempts, I have been thoroughly impressed by the consistency of my results with your recipe, and also with the finished product! Thanks also to D, and to Alice ☺️

  115. My 1st batch was perfect been told by everyone that tasted it,it’s the best they have tasted 2nd batch not so gd I’m upset 😒 its a little lighter and almost soft not got the gritty texture where did I go wrong.

    • Hi June, sorry to hear that, I know its frustrating when you’ve got it right before and then it doesn’t go well. It’s impossible to say exactly what went wrong not knowing all the details of your process, however, I made a batch once for presents, I put it in the fridge over night to set and when I got up in the morning it was still soft. I put it back in the saucepan and cooked it a little more and it turned out perfectly! There is definitely an art to this. Good luck with the next batch.

    • I had the same problem last week, June. Think I didn’t stir it off the heat long enough. Interested to hear that it could be popped back in the pan and cooked more. Will try that next time it doesn’t work.

  116. I just made my first batch last night and it looks great but I have under cooked it. Hubbies work colleagues are asking for more so I have done something right. Take two.

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