Smoked salted tablet

It’s Burn’s Night on the 25th and the traditional way to honour this Romantic poet is to stuff a load of sheep off-cuts into the benighted animal’s stomach and then boil it. Personally, if I was a leviathan of poetry, I’d want to be remembered with something a bit more sumptuous than a big round offal sausage, but then I’m a decadent Englishwoman. The dour modesty of the Highlands and Lowlands hasn’t shaped my appetites (although I’ll admit to liking haggis when the wind whistles and the mash is buttered).

Instead, I thought I’d latch onto something different. Something that isn’t deep fried (an obvious and cheap shot) or based on Buckfast (topical, but tastes like satanic pond water). I’m a sugar fiend, so it has to be tablet.

Tablet is easier to make than fudge or toffee because it’s supposed to be grainy and crumbly, a consistency I can normally achieve whenever I’m making . Traditionally it’s either not flavoured or has a spoonful of vanilla extract added at the end, but I have a pack of smoked sea salt in the cupboard and I couldn’t resist adding it in honour of Scotland’s famously heart attack inducing lifestyle. Sugary, salty, smokey and buttery – it’s a litany of food sins to make your mouth water.

Smoky salted tablet
Makes 2kg

1kg caster sugar
130ml whole milk
397g tin condensed milk
100g butter, chopped, plus extra for greasing
2–3 tsp smoked sea salt

1 Thickly grease a 20cm cake tin with butter and set aside. Place the sugar and milk in a large pan and stir to wet the sugar with the milk. Add the condensed milk and butter and place over a medium heat.

2 Heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it comes to the boil – about 10–15 minutes. You’ll probably see little brown patches appearing, this is the sugar caramelising. Keep stirring to make sure the sugar doesn’t catch and burn and ruin your pan.

3 Once the tablet has come to the boil, reduce the heat to low and continue simmering, stirring very frequently, for 20–30 minutes until it’s a rich brown colour. Don’t leave the pan because it catches and burns easily. You can check it’s ready by sticking a teaspoonful in a glass of cold water. If it forms a smooth ball, then it’s ready to go.

4 Remove from the heat and beat in 1–2 tsp smoked sea salt. 1 tsp gives it a lingering salty aftertaste, 2 tsp gives it a much stronger seaside flavour. I used 1 tsp. Scrape the tablet mixture into the prepared tin and smooth with the back of a spoon. You can sprinkle another tsp of smoked salt over the tablet for a bit of extra salty crunch. It will firm up after a couple of minutes. Slice it into bite-size chunks and then leave to set overnight. To serve, tip out of the tin and chop into the chunks.

Tagged with: ScottishSweets

23 Responses to Smoky salted tablet

  1. Helen says:

    I am loving the addition of smoked sea salt – very nice indeed. There is something very addictive about tablet and then before you know it, you’ve gone too far and you feel sick.

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      Yep, I bagged most of the tablet I made and handed it out to friends straight away ’cause I was already making myself a little bit sick having ‘just one more’ piece.

  2. I’d forgotten this stuff existed, a Scottish colleague once brought some into the office. I too have the smoked salt from my Food Blogger Connect goodie bag and hadn’t thought was to put it in yet. Great idea!

  3. Kerri says:

    Brilliant idea to use the sea salt. We made this a couple of years ago for Burns Night and it was really popular, I ate far too much though. I also found it really difficult to resist eating it from the pot which could have been a disaster!

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      The molten hot tablet is very tempting and in my mind is never quite as hot as it looks. I’m lucky to still have all my fingers.

  4. Di says:

    Interactive ginandcrumpets is truly excellent. The sea salt is genius!

  5. Lizzie says:

    It’s a lot easier than I thought. The sea salt is an inspired addition.

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      It’s easier than making normal fudge because it’s meant to be grainy and crumbly, which is normally a fudge disaster. I think I’ve found my confectionery level.

  6. foodrambler says:

    I’ve never tried tablet. It looks goood.

  7. Tom W says:

    Ah hah – we have four Burn’s suppers over the coming week (one down) and this might be a way to save my taste buds from the usual stuff!

    I shall have a go tomorrow night at this. Thanks for the recipe.

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      I’ve just eaten four pieces in row and still think I’d like another, so be careful. It’s dangerously addictive stuff.

  8. oxfordfood says:

    I LOVE tablet! And I love salt. This sounds amazing. I think I’d have to have someone on standby to forcibly remove it from my hands though.

  9. Well, I think I have just discovered something you today thanks to you! Thanks a lot!

  10. uberVU - social comments says:

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by ginandcrumpets: @eatdorset I may have had it for breakfast, too.

  11. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mathilde's Cuisine, Simon Cooke, ginandcrumpets, ginandcrumpets, ginandcrumpets and others. ginandcrumpets said: @eatdorset I may have had it for breakfast, too. […]

  12. al says:

    amazing. sugar and salt. i will be making this. just as an addition, I tried some lovely scottish lavender tablet once. very tasty too.

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      Lavender tablet sounds lovely. Now I’ve had one successful batch I might start experimenting with flavours!

  13. The Grubworm says:

    Wow – condensed milk, butter, looks great. Never tried it myself so might give it a go, although sweets are uncharted territory for me. Like everyone else though, i think the addition of the smoked sea salt is inspired!

  14. […] Day) and January was full of cakes, cheese and hot toddies. But my favorite recipe is the moreish Smoky salted tablet, which I made for Burn’s Night and reprised for Christmas. Friends can expect to receive bags […]

  15. Claire says:

    I had a nightmare making fudge for Christmas presents this year, so I’ll definitely try this recipes since you say it is easier. Hope you’re right!!
    Claire (

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      The great thing about tablet is that it’s supposed to have a crumbly texture, whereas fudge – well, people will know if you haven’t got the sugar to the right temperature. But with tablet you can just say: “Oh yes, it’s supposed to be like that” and if they look it up the internet will definitely say crumbly is good.

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