Will make 48 pieces
You will need:
175g unsalted butter
800g caster sugar
1 x 397g tin condensed milk
Before you start:
Get a chopping board and a knife
A large pot with a thick base
Wooden stirring spoon with flat edge
Small cup with cold water
Line a baking tin 18 x 22cm with foil. Cover with layer of clingfilm and place in freezer for a few hours
Have more cling film for covering
Roughly chop the walnuts.
Put milk, butter, sugar into pot and put over a low heat.
Stir while the butter melts to dissolve the sugar. Do not allow it to start boiling.
When you think all the sugar is dissolved, take out wooden spoon and leave to cool. When it’s cool rub your finger over the spoon to check there are no gritty sugar crystals left.
When all the sugar is dissolved, add the condensed milk.
Bring up to a very slow simmer.
Stir every few minutes. Start testing to see if the tablet is ready when the mixture begins to turn from light brown to darker brown. This may take 10-15 minutes depending on the heat.
To test: drop some of the mixture from the spoon into the small cup with cold water. Leave for a few minutes. Test by rolling between your fingers when it should form a soft ball. (116C if you have a sugar thermometer).
Remove from heat and place on a wet cloth to hold the pot. Beat with a wooden spoon. As it cools, the mixture changes texture from smooth to ‘grainy’. This can take about 5 minutes.
Check the back of the spoon for signs of texture change. It will begin to thicken as it ‘grains’. Don’t wait too long since it will be difficult to pour if it’s too thick.
Add the walnuts.
Pour into prepared tin. Level on top with spatula if necessary. Leave till it is cool. Cover with a layer of clingfilm and put into the freezer for 1 ½ hours.
Remove and turn out of tin onto work surface. Take off foil and cling film from base. Leave for 30 minutes.
Score the base into 4 with the heel of a vegetable knife about 50mm deep and break into two pieces. Break into four pieces. Score each quarter into three strips and break. Score into small squares and break.
It’s easiest to make tablet in a thick based pot which spreads the heat evenly. An electric hob will also spread the heat more evenly than a gas burner. With gas you will need to stir more often while simmering to avoid burning. Since there is such a high sugar content it will burn very easily.
For a soft fudgy tablet, remove from the heat when the mixture is a fairly soft ball. For a harder tablet, leave until it is a slightly firmer soft ball.
Ginger – add 50g chopped preserved ginger
Nut and Raisin – add 50g chopped nuts and 50g raisins
Vanilla – add teaspoon vanilla extract
Orange – add 200ml fresh orange juice instead of milk