By Miss South
Sometimes you just need something sweet. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, usually around 4pm in the afternoon I find. And while sugar will never be seen as a health food, you can make your treats have the edge by knowing exactly what is in them rather than looking at the back of a wrapper and wondering what fructose-glucose syrup or maltodextrine is. There are few things sweeter than the Scottish treat of tablet, but it does have the advantage of having only three basic ingredients creating its unique crumbly texture.
I’ve given it a modern twist here with some sweet chilli roasted peanuts, but you could keep it plain and simple or add anything you fancy. This is a simple straightforward recipe made in a simple straightfoward way in the microwave. This means less washing up, less chance of a molten sugar accident and less effort beating the mix to get the texture right. I’ve never made it any other way as I’m kind of lazy…
Tablet with roasted chilli peanuts (makes about 32 pieces)
- 100g skinless raw peanuts (available at Wing Tai)
- 2 tablespoons sugar syrup (equal amounts brown sugar and water)
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- 4 shakes hot sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 454g (1lb) granulated white sugar
- 142g (5 fluid ounces) evaporated milk
- 113g (4 ounces) butter
Begin with your peanuts. This will make enough to have leftovers if you don’t eat them all immediately by accident. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and heat the oven to 180℃. Mix the nuts with syrup and chilli and roast until golden for about 15 minutes. Leave to cool.
Before you start the tablet, make sure you have everything ready. Rushing around hot sugar is not a good idea. Line a square baking tin or dish with tinfoil and make sure you have a very deep dish to make the tablet in. I used a Tupperware container deep enough to hold a loaf of bread which meant the sugar didn’t spill over.
This is just the easiest thing to make. Put the butter, sugar and evaporated milk in the dish together and cook in a 800W microwave for 12 minutes, stopping and stirring it about every 2 and a half minutes, keeping an eagle eye on it all. It will thicken and become darker and more butterscotch in colour after that amount of time.
Tablet differs from fudge in that after the sugar has reached the right temperature, you beat it to add air to it to obtain its unique granular texture. So after the 12 minutes are beat the mixture with an electric whisk or a wooden spoon for at least two minutes. It will go from sticky to an almost powdery texture that lifts away from the side of the dish in one piece. Add the peanuts at this point and mix well before pouring into your lined dish.
Mark the tablet into squares of about half an inch. Anything more is too rich to eat in one go. Allow the tablet to set for about an hour. It will be much drier than fudge. Then say you’re only to going to have one piece but manage to eat about four because it’s so good with that little salty sweet crunch and creamy buttery texture. The rest will keep for several weeks in an airtight container for you to dip in and out of as you pass. This is properly no fuss tablet…
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