Sweet truths

A trilogy of Scottish sweeties to challenge the most ardently tooth conscious amongst you.

by Colin and Justin

Whisky Infused Chocolate and Toffee Shortcake

Let’s kick things off with a whisky infused variation on a classic Millionaire’s Shortbread theme. Wait: what? Did someone say #quarantinefifteen? Hey, what the heck: everything in moderation, huh? That said, we dare you to make our recipe and exercise anything approaching restraint.

First up – mix a cheesecake type base using 250g of crushed graham crackers, four crushed ginger snap biscuits, a knob of butter and 50g of brown sugar. Press into a shallow tray and chill.

Next, in excited anticipation of what’s to come, steady your nerves, and take a deep breath. Very carefully, boil a medium tin of condensed milk for three hours in a covered saucepan. Allow to cool for an hour and – with a cloth over the top to protect – open the can and peek inside. What you’ll find is little short of delicious alchemy: pure gloopy dulce de leche toffee toned loveliness. When your swooning has stopped, add two teaspoons of whisky, and stir to combine.

Spoon the viscous, boozy toffee over the biscuit base and leave to harden. Cover with a layer of melted semi-sweet chocolate and allow to set. Finally, cut into delicate squares using a knife dipped in hot water to ease its passage through the chocolaty crown.

Now all that remains is to see how few of these sugary gems you can eat in one sitting.

Good luck!

Scottish S’mores

Highland hocus pocus? Yes indeed! Scottish up your S’mores by swapping out traditional graham crackers for buttery shortbread. Filled with gooey, melted marshmallow and chocolate, they’re extra delicious washed down with a shot of whisky.

Here’s what you’ll need:

• Marshmallows

• Shortbread cookies

• Hershey thin milk chocolate

• Your choice of Scotch, though Macallan is our favourite.

Here’s how to make it:

Heat the marshmallows over an open flame until they begin to brown and melt.

Grab two cookies and sandwich the chocolate between them before squishing in the hot marshmallows. Pour yourself a generous dram as the marshmallow filling cools, before making like a Scottish gannet. Insert. Masticate. Savour. Swallow.

Repeat as required.

Tablet

Tablet is a semi-hard, sugar-based sweetie that hails from Bonnie Scotland. Typically crafted using sugar, condensed milk and butter, it is, without doubt, a taste of the homeland. Here’s our tried and tested recipe, passed down from our wee grannies (and theirs before them), which we promise you’ll love. Tip: book your dental appointment before going any further.

You’ll need:

• 125g of good quality, lightly salted butter

• 900g of regular sugar

• 250 ml of 3% milk

• One 400g tin of regular condensed milk

• Three teaspoons of vanilla extract

• One bar measure of Scotch.

In a large heavy pan, melt the butter over a low heat. Add the sugar and milk and stir till all the sugar has dissolved. When absolutely no grains of sugar remain, ease the condensed milk into the pan and bring to the boil. It’s important you stir the mixture constantly until it reaches 125C.

Use a cooking thermometer to test temperature, or drop a teaspoon of the sugary gloop into a cup of cold water. If it forms a soft ball, you’re good to go. If not, keep stirring and keep checking the temperature.

Now for the fun part: remove from the heat, add the vanilla essence and the whisky, then beat for at least 10 minutes.

If you have an electric whisk, it’ll make this laborious stage a little less exerting. Either way, you MUST do this until the tablet thickens and takes on a slightly grainy texture. Forgo this stage at your peril: without it the mix won’t properly harden.

Into a buttered shallow pan (measuring around 14-inches-by-10-inches) pour the molten tablet and smooth flat using a wet silicone spatula. If you use a dry spatula, it will “snag” the mix as you layer it into the pan. A wet spatula, conversely, will flatten your tablet smoother than a Kardashian forehead.

Allow to cool (overnight if you can resist the silken buttery lure of your labours) and cut carefully into small squares.

Each of the forgoing recipes is delicious, but let’s just say we have a special place in our hearts for tablet. Sure, it’s sweet, but it’s above and beyond delicious, an epicurean, nay magical, spell that’s best described as manna from Scottish heaven.

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