Tablet makes a brilliant gift (at any time of year), especially when times are tough. This recipe makes plenty, but is still made from cheap, store-cupboard ingredients.
Into a large (preferably heavy bottomed) saucepan, weigh all your ingredients together. Don’t worry about getting every last bit out of the condensed milk tin – you’ve got to leave some to pick at whilst its simmering.
Place the saucepan on a medium-high heat and stir. You might find yourself with a bit of a sore arm, but power through – it doesn’t need to be vigorous, but you do need to stir constantly to stop it sticking.
Heat the mix until it is just about boiling (stirring all the time, of course) then turn the heat down to medium-low, so that it is barely bubbling between stirs. This is perfect. You want to keep it here for about 10-15 minutes, or until it begins to turn brown. Wee specks will form, but these will dissolve with a bit of extra stirring.
Once it has thickened up a bit and reaches your desired colour, remove the pan from the heat. With a whisk (or a spoon) start beating air into your tablet mix. This will cool it rapidly. Be careful here, as it is very hot and sticky and will burn.
Once you’ve beaten enough air into the mix so that it is changing from gloopy to stiff, place the mix in a tin that’s been roughly lined with a piece of baking paper. Smoosh the mix out with the back of a spoon and leave it to cool; once it is room temperature, you can slice into squares using a sharp knife.
For a subtle vanilla hit, add a teaspoon of good vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste at the start. Stay away from ‘vanilla essence’; it’s synthetic, one-dimensional rubbish.