Dentists, nutritionists, look away now. In fact, everyone look away now, for just reading about it is enough to give you diabetes. Well, not really – but tablet does seem to be more sugary than sugar, and more calorific than an Elvis Presley peanut butter sandwich.
Maybe it’s the butter, the condensed milk, and the cane sugar that makes the traditional Scottish confection one of the sweetest substances known to man. It’s simplicity makes it the sort of accessible confection that can be made in the house – after all, no-one save for Heston Blumenthal would dare make a Walnut Whip in the house, would they? Mums and grannies have been baking it for years, it is the staple of the church bring and buy sale, and yet, it is not just tooth enamel which need fear this beige coloured, brittle, crumbly fudge variant; anyone who has dared to make it knows what a risk they take. Boiling sugar, butter and condensed milk until it reduces to a light tan colour is the sort of industrial process that’d make the hardiest welder run a milk. The spontaneous bubbles from the pan are lethal, so great care should be taken when making it.
How do you make it? Easy, but safety goggles and a long-sleeved cardigan – equal parts wool and asbestos – are recommended. You’ll need a bag of cane sugar, a tin of condensed milk, half a pack of unsalted butter (around 100g or so), some vanilla to flavour it, and nerves of steal. Melt it all together gently and keep stirring. Best use a non-stick pan to prevent domestic arguments and a trip to John Lewis’ the next day. When it is boiling like the fires of Hell itself, scrape the vanilla pods out and carefully add to the mixture.
Once it has darkened to a fudge-esque colour take it off the heat and transfer it to a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Leave to cool, refrigerate, make sure you have a good dentist, and remember that a little goes a long way.
Some toffs may like to add flaked almonds to the baking tray, or other flavourings to the mix. And why not, something this bad for you should never have a recipe that’s too sacrosanct. Elvis would have loved tablet