• Sarah Rainey

Fifteens


Today, dear bakers, I want to talk to you about Fifteens.

Now, I grew up in Northern Ireland. And much as I love my Motherland, it's not exactly the home of gourmet patisserie. But what we do like to boast about is our Fifteens.

As anyone from Norn Iron will tell you, Fifteens are a delicacy. The sort of sweet, gooey, marshmallowy treat that no school fair, coffee morning or kids' party would be complete without. I grew up eating, and making, them by the dozen. And now you can too!

Fifteens get their name, rather creatively, because they contain 15 of everything. And they take 15 minutes to make. And you will want to eat at least 15 of them once you start.

The originals contain glace cherries and desiccated coconut - but, being limited to just three ingredients, I've had to improvise, using caramel digestives (and leaving out the cherry bits, which nobody really likes anyway).

Once you've tasted them, you'll see what all the fuss is about...

(PHOTOGRAPHY: Al Richardson)

Makes 10-12 slices

Ingredients:

1 x 300g packet of caramel digestives (you can use plain or chocolate if you prefer)

300g condensed milk (around ¾ of a tin)

15 marshmallows

Method:

Put 15 digestives in a bowl and bash with a rolling pin until they’re crushed into crumbs.

Add in the condensed milk.

Chop the marshmallows into quarters (I find scissors work better than a knife, as it’s very sticky work) and add to the biscuit mix. Stir until it’s all combined.

Lay a large rectangle of cling film (at least 50cm long) on a flat surface.

Put the remaining digestives from the packet into a ziplock bag and crush up.

Scatter them over the cling film so they cover the central area.

Spoon the mixture from the bowl on to the cling film, on top of the crushed digestives.

Take the top and bottom of the cling film and fold them together over the top of the mixture.

Twist these two ends like a cracker, compressing the mixture inside.

Fold the ends into the centre and roll the biscuit mixture a few times on the table to neaten it. You’re aiming for a nice fat log, around 10cm in diameter.

Put it on a plate or baking tray and place in the fridge to harden overnight.

AAAND PREPARE TO BECOME SO ADDICTED YOU WANT TO MOVE TO NORTHERN IRELAND SO YOU CAN EAT FIFTEENS ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT (or maybe that's just me...)

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Content © Sarah Rainey

Photos © Clare Winfield, Alex Luck & Al Richardson

Styling © Emma Lahaye, Octavia Squire, Laurie Perry & Sarah Rainey

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