Vanilla tablet recipe

Nothing says Christmas like homemade gifts. There's nothing like receiving a gift wrapped package stuffed with sweet treats or bottle filled with home brewed wine. Knowing that someone had taken the time out to make you a gift is what the festive season is all about.

As I get older I get more frugal at Christmas (much to my children's dismay no doubt). I no longer see the value of buying countless toys for under the tree as no sooner are they ripped open than they're forgotten as the next unopened package calls out to them. It's hard to be frugal with the kids but I'm trying to fill the run up to the big day with festive style activities and involve them in making our presents for other people.

The following recipe was actually a bit of a disaster in fudge making that led to a discovery of 'tablet'. Tablet is a sweet and crumbly version of fudge which finds its roots in Scotland, it's very sugary and grainy so a small piece is more than enough! It lasts for quite a while though and you can flavour it with whisky or fruit and nuts so it makes the perfect gift.

This is not a recipe I'd make with the kids around due to the high temperatures of the sugar mixture but they'd love the part where you break the tablet into pieces and gift wrap it so you can still involve them:

Vanilla bean tablet recipe
  • 150ml full fat milk
  • 170ml condensed milk
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 1tsp vanilla bean extract

The tablet starting to set - look at the vanilla beans!

  1. You'll need a large pan for this recipe as the ingredients swell whilst boiling so use a larger saucepan than you think you'll need.
  2. Line a 9" square tin with greaseproof paper and set aside - I forgot to do this and had a panic whilst boiling my mixture so do this first!
  3. Heat milk, condensed milk, butter and sugar in a pan until it is completely melted.
  4. Bring the mixture to the boil and continue to boil until it reaches 115C on a candy thermometer. This can take up to 20mins so be patient.
  5. Once the tablet reaches 115C, turn off the heat and add your vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean as I wanted the vanilla bean speckles in my tablet). Stir it in and leave in the pan for a few mins to stop bubbling and cool a little.
  6. Pour mixture into your prepped pan but work quickly as the tablet starts to set whilst cooling and it's a lot easier to work with whilst still warm.
  7. Leave to set at room temp (I sprinkled the tablet with white sprinkles for a festive feel) and then cut into small squares or beak into abstract pieces. The tablet breaks up easily so this is a great job for the kids! This will last for about 7 days in an airtight container or gift bag.

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