✎✎✎ Thorntons Butter Tablet
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How to Make - Traditional Scottish Tablet
When I first moved to Scotland I heard rumour of this delicious sweet treat that everyone seemed to love that lived here. Tablet is a wonderfully tasty, sugary, sweet or candy with a slightly grainy texture that melts in your mouth. Not so good for the waistline but definitely the perfect treat when you want something sweet! His stepmother, Margaret, showed me her family recipe and, with plenty of supervision, I helped to make it. It was amazing! She gave me a copy of the family tablet recipe but in all my moves abroad I, unfortunately, lost it!
The recipe makes quite a lot and tablet always makes a great gift… if you can bear to part with it! Why not try your hand at making your own with the Scottish tablet recipe below? It requires a lot of sugar, but I firmly believe we all deserve a treat now and then so why not tablet? Margaret always melts the butter, sugar, and milk together in the microwave and I find that much easier too. I have seen some other recipes use water instead of milk in the tablet recipe but milk gives the tablet a much creamier taste! Once you have melted the first lot of ingredients together in the microwave add it to the pan with the condensed milk. I learnt this the hard way, as you can see I only just managed to keep it in the pot!
The mixture will reduce down a little in the pan and you should keep stirring the whole time. You certainly get a work-out making tablet! It depends how thick you want the pieces to be when you cut them later on. The mixture below is still hardening up. You just need to keep an eye on it and keep on stirring! I really hope my little step by step tips will help you out along the way too. I did some research and the setting point of tablet is degrees Celcius if you want to use a thermometer. This means you use a candy thermometer to get it to that point and know it will set. Alternatively, you can do the drop test in a glass of water. This is a little controversial! Tablet purists might say that it should all be done in a pan on the stove.
Using the microwave for the first step of melting the butter, milk, and sugar together helps to minimise the chances of the mixture sticking. I like to transfer the melted butter, milk, and sugar mix to the pan to finish off the recipe because I think gives it a better taste. The flavour is already there and sweet enough. As well as these suggestions you could experiment with other spirits such as rum or baileys or look to add a whole other flavour such as chocolate or even a more floral infusion such as lavender or rose.
There is some further explanation above, but these will get you started. Be sure to use full-fat ingredients or the recipe won't work correctly. Also, use a large pot because the mixture will increase in volume when it's coming to a boil. Continuously stir the mixture so it doesn't stick! You can use an electric beater for the last step, but it's not necessary. The nutritional data in this recipe is provided by a third party and these values are automatically calculated and offered for guidance only. Their accuracy is not guaranteed. This is a perfect recipe! However, 2 lbs of sugar is 4.
I figured this out before I made the batch and it is absolutely excellent. It might do to check on that so it can be correctly enjoyed! Thanks so much! Trying to show all the measurements we can since people around the world use all different ones! Looks fascinating to make. Do you have a good recipe for bisquits? My last name is Abernathy derived from Abernethy.. I have heard of the town of Abernethy and I know there is an Abernethy bisquit. I would love to try making them. We would suggest between tablespoons of Baileys added once the sugar is melted. This works really well with whisky but ultimately it does come down to personal taste.
It is possible to pour it back in the pan and then bring it to the boil again, simmer, and then beat before turning out into the dish. Make sure you have a large enough pan to allow it to expand and fully boil before turning down to a high simmer. If you want to you can use a candy thermometer and check it is at degrees celsius before you take it off the heat. Tablet lovely but separated when poured into tin. Top rose up like a volcano set well with a more sugary bit at bottom. Can you suggest anything. Hi Sarah, Thanks for your comment and your kind words.
We wonder if you used full-fat ingredients because we found this helps, also did you fully dissolve the sugar initially? The only other thought was did you make sure that the mix got to the correct temp? A sugar thermometer can help with this. Tablets a fickle beast! It seems she added a bit of Karo syrup? Have you ever made a peanut butter tablet? You could try asking in our group on Facebook? Yes it should be granulated sugar! I must have taken that photo after and grabbed stuff from the cupboard. Will switch it out! Turned out beautifully — thank you for this recipe! My family is from British Guyana but now live in the US and this is what I grew up knowing as fudge — not the mushy confection they have here.
Thrilled to have found this recipe! Really looking forward to making this and gifting it to friends and family — do you know how long it keeps for? It should be kept dry and ideally in a cool place not the fridge , not somewhere warm. I buy mine at present from Ochil Pantry online. We also make use of the boounty of maple syrup here and reduce milk and add som Maple syrup. My Gran used to make this when I was little. I am a Grandma now so thought I would make this for the littles in our family. I was not able to find her recipe so used yours — thanks, it brought back wonderful memories!!
Mine did turn out a bit grainy, I perhaps did not get the sugar to a complete melt before taking it to the pot. Any other suggestions for avoiding that in the future? What a lovely message, sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Totally loved your Scottish tablet. My mother was Irish and made something so like this but had p nut butter. Thank you so much. I made hers at Xmas and this also. I think I gained 50 pounds. I kept tasting one then the other.
Hello from the United States! Eager to try the recipe as my son fell in love with tablet when we visited Scotland. Just wondering if the butter should be salted or unsalted, and whether there is a specific butter that you might recommend. My Scottish granny spent many hours in the kitchen and even in her 80s was quote capable of stirring a tablet mix for the required amount of time. Mind you, she could also rustle up a batch of drop scones in the time it took to brew a fresh pot of tea, but Scottish grannies are like that. Totally agree. And yes, she could rustle up drop scones at the drop of a hat. I must get round to trying this recipe though, but thinking about the impact on my waistline. Those were the real Scottish grannies.
Just finished making this!! Follow the direction, it will come out Perfect!! My gran used to hand beat it, is used electric mixer. I thought your 18 minute tip was very helpful and saying when the colour should change. I boiled it for the 20 mins stirri g all the time, then used my electric mixer for about 10 mins poured into my tins, it is delicious. Just the type I like nice and soft and not grainy.. You can stand in a bowl of cold water for the first minute of beating which greatly reduces the time. Just wanted to say that Canada is completely mad because our typical tins of sweetened condensed milk come in ml, unlike the ml or ml that the rest of the world U. Hi, looking for a bit of advice.
It seems to set pretty quickly and when you taste the tablet it tastes fine and is not grainy. Fantastic recipe!!! Just like I remember tablet when I was wee and my gran made it.. He would also add some extra treats once in a while! He was a great cook. I have just tried making this, followed the recipe to the letter and it has been a huge success. The guys at work will get a fair treat tomorrow. I have always had a sweet tooth for tablet, but have never made it, until last week.
Thank you, it will definitely be made again and again. Oh yummy! This is just like Dutch borstplaat, roomborstplaat or roomfondant. A sweet we enjoy around Sinterklaas in the beginning of December. It is sweetness up to a different level! Thank you. Hi granny, Why use caster sugar…. Granulated sugar at almost half the price does the same…. Also add a teaspoon of vanilla essence. Just made my first batch, as soon as that is out of the tin, Im making a second batch and put in a handful of walnuts for a change. Ive some nice cellophane bags and some sparkley string I shall add small bundles to everyones Christmas present. Thankyou, Judy Chestenrfield. Or just put your granulated sugar in a blender and blast it to make your own caster!
A tip I learned from my mum. Could you please give me this recipe using American measurements… My Mum was from Scotland and has since passed. She always made tablet for us. I would love to try this recipe. Tablet was actually made to give to the men who went to war. Tea time was a must and dropping a piece of tablet in their tea was easier than trying to carry cream and sugar. I live in Michigan but was born in Aberdeen, Scotland. My Dad was a baker and confectioner, and made tablet all the time. I make it here and usually make quite a big batch. Hope that helps. My apologies. I used Google to translate the exact amounts to U. The butter is half a cup or one stick. The whole milk is 1 cup. Our tins of condensed milk evaporated milk , are slightly smaller in the U.
I was so surprised it came out so well! The taste is lovely, the texture is creamy, it set in a few minutes. I am at feet above sea level. For those of you in the U. When it no longer drips a single drip from one location of the spoon, but instead you get multiple drips or wide drips, then you know you are there! It will set. I found another site that had the same recipe and posted the U. Thank you for posting this recipe. I made it yesterday, and it turned out perfectly. I have always loved chocolate fudge here in the U. I fell in love with it and recently found recipes online.
So happy I can save money and make this at home. Any suggest what the best butter to use? Hi Zoe. For traditional tablet, proper butter would be used. However margarine-type butters can be substituted with great results too. On section 4 you say to remove from heat and beat but it it does not say to return to heat and keep beating. I only realised this after reading reviews.
Feel I have made a big mistake and it now will not set I am sure. Can you confirm. Hi Margie. You do not return the mixture to the heat, you keep it off the heat for beating. How did your tablet turn out? My tablet turned out great Amy the 2nd time but I keep worrying as it comes up to the boiling stage that I leave it for too long. Now have a thermometer so hopefully this will help Thankyou. Hi Peter. When you add the sugar it will have a gritty sugary texture. You know it has dissolved once it has a smooth consistency instead. Hi Steve.
I agree with your basic ingredients of butter, sugar, whole milk, and caster or to some, castor sugar, but I would also add vanilla extract to the list. The actual quantities of each are less important than what you actually do with them I believe. For example, in the UK with current packaging, I suggest that 1 bag of caster sugar 1 Kg , 1 tin condensed milk g , half a pint of whole milk ml , half a block of hard butter — unsalted preferably g , plus a couple of teaspoons of vanilla extract only to be added at the end of cooking process makes life a bit easier when it comes to getting your ingredients together. No need to get too uptight about accurate quantities — and you still end up with great tasting confectionery.
So, for those not in the UK, just use the products and product sizes that you have available. Caster will dissolve much more easily and this helps in the initial stages of heating the tablet contents and getting them all to amalgamate and form a stable non-crystalline solution. The mere fact of you stirring the solution will tend to induce some crystallisation of the mix as the sugar molecules get closer and closer together as the water is driven off as the temperature increases.
Some people may suggest molasses flavoured sugars, such as soft brown, dark brown, demorara, etc, but I caution against, as again although this may impart some additional caramelly notes to the mix, it does add additional salts that help to promote pre-crystallisation of the mix. The best way to achieve the correct caramel note to the taste and smell and colour of a good Scottish tablet is to have long slow cooking of the mix as I will describe later; Vanilla extract: never use vanilla essence, only use great quality vanilla extract — extract is natural, essence is synthetic.
Also, you only add this at the end once the sort ball stage has been reached and the solution has cooled sufficiently for you to start to think about beating the mix. Some tips…… 1. Keep heating and occasionally stirring GENTLY as your mix gets up through the boiling and frothing stages, making sure that at all times you are stirring across the entire bottom of the pan to prevent sticking and little burnt bits of sugar that can affect the look of the final product; 2.
I wash out the condensed milk tin when empty and fill with cold water: so that when I get the mixture through the various stages and sufficient water has been evaporated, and sufficient colour generated through caramelisation of the mix, I can take teaspoons samples, drop them into my cold water and see and feel what the tablet mix is to make sure that I have achieved the correct sort ball consistency — definitely not too soft but not too hard either. And on occasion, if I have gone too far and the mix is too hot and too much evaporation has taken place and I have got into hard ball or beyond stage, then I take the pan off the best let it cool a bit and add a little more milk and start to heat and stir again until I do get to a good soft ball consistency; 3.
If during the heating and stirring stage, you do get a little build up of crystals or gritty material around your own at the surface of the bubbling mix, then with a wet pastry brush with a little water on it you can gently clean up those crystals and clean the pan. Remember, the key to great tablet is to make sure that you have no pre-crystallisation; 5. Once the mix has cooled for about five minutes, with gentle stirring, add in your two teaspoons of great quality vanilla essence, this will enhance the taste of the mix substantially I believe but it is not essential; 6.
What is essential I think is to make sure that at the soft ball stage you have crystal free mix — easily checked by feeling the consistency of the ball in your fingers and then tasting it to make sure it is smooth and creamy and has absolutely no grainy texture to it. The key to crystal size is solution temperature and molecular concentration: the hotter the temperature and molecular concentration the greater the tendency to bigger crystals, so with our cooling mixture we now start to beat and keep beating. The key here is that once we start to get sugar crystallisation with nice little crystals we want that process to continue so we need to keep beating until the mix has cooled even more, and more and more of the space between the crystals has been taken away and any tendency for large crystal formation to be minimised.
This is how you get a lovely smooth, buttery feel to the tablet — it has a nice mouthfeel to it. But remember, that one of the nicest things is to scrape off the hardening tablet mix from your pan and try it even before it has truly gone solid. Delicious, but remember not to try when too hot. Kids will love to scrape the pan, certainly my kids and grand-kids do……. And finally, apologies for going on and on and on. Hope you all enjoy your Scottish Tablet making……. I had Scottish tablet a few years ago when I was over there. I look forward to trying this recipe with your hints.
Really great tips there! Ive made this recipe 4 times now. One was perfect one was ok one was too hard going into the tin and the other was too soft. Looking forward to trying it again soon. Many thanks. Sorry, just noticed that I boobed in my above comment in regards milk quantity I should have said quarter of a litre not half a litre.
It is only by our solution liquid evaporating that we get our temperature increasing, so if you have more liquid to start with then it will just take that wee bit longer to heat up and gently mix the tablet mixture before we get to the ultra important soft ball stage.Comments, questions and tips Rate this recipe Thorntons butter tablet is your star Gandhis Views Of Nonviolence thorntons butter tablet of thorntons butter tablet So happy I thorntons butter tablet save money and make this at thorntons butter tablet. Using the microwave for thorntons butter tablet first step of melting thorntons butter tablet butter, thorntons butter tablet, and sugar together helps to minimise the chances of the mixture thorntons butter tablet. Share thorntons butter tablet twitter.