If you’ve grown up in Scotland then the chances are that you see Scottish tablet as the sweet treat comfort food that has the power to fix all frowns. In fact, even if you haven’t grown up in Scotland but you’re lucky enough to have a Scottish granny, the chances are you feel the same way.
We realised that we don’t actually know that much about the origins of tablet though, so we decided to do some digging on your behalf. And some sampling too, obviously.
What is Scottish tablet?
Some people will try to tell you that tablet is a form of fudge. However, proper tablet aficionados (and we have been doing a lot of sampling) will tell you that there is a clear difference in texture between tablet and fudge. Fudge tends to be softer, while tablet has a grainier and more brittle texture. We realised that ‘grainier’ and ‘more brittle’ don’t usually sound like positives but in this case they most definitely are!
Tablet is usually made with condensed milk, butter and sugar. James Morton has a delicious recipe for tablet on our website.
What are the origins of tablet?
While we can’t be sure exactly when tablet was first produced in Scotland and who came up with the recipe, evidence does suggest that it goes back to at least the early 1700s. A book from this time, The Household Book of Lady Grisell Baillie mentions it, though at this time the recipe used sugar and cream.
Of course, since then, tablet has gone on to be immortalised by another Scottish culinary ‘influencer’, Maw Broon!
Is tablet made anywhere else outside of Scotland?
You may occasionally hear of tablet being called ‘Swiss Milk tablet’ but don’t worry – this doesn’t mean that tablet’s origins lie closer to The Alps. The ‘Swiss Milk’ part refers to a name that condensed milk is sometimes known by.
However, there are some recipes close to tablet that are traditional to other countries. Sucre à la crème is a popular sweet creation in Quebec, Canada. However, it does tend to be produced using cream and brown sugar rather than condensed milk and white sugar.
Latin America also has a version of tablet, Dulce de Leche en Tabla, while in the Netherlands there’s something close to it called Borstplaat. The latter can also be made using water rather than cream or condensed milk though – something that sounds like heresy to us at the dairy!
Making your own tablet
However you enjoy your tablet – and whether you keep it simple or add a nip of whisky or a sprinkling of nuts to it – we think you’ll find that our butter makes for a perfect batch.
We love tablet so much, we even decided to add it to our award-winning ice-cream range. Our Scottish Tablet and Vanilla ice-cream can be found in Tesco, Asda and Scotmid throughout Scotland and it’s delicious!