If you were born or raised in Northern Ireland, this recipe will have been handed to you on exiting the womb. Everyone here knows how to make fifteens. They are a proper Northern Irish staple traybake always to be found in bakerys, baptisms, funerals and coffee mornings – the easiest and yummiest (in my opinion) too. It has to be said, the real expert in making fifteens in our house is Dave, but since he’s working tonight and I have friends over tomorrow evening, I thought I’d make some and show all you non-NI folk how it’s done.
All you need is:
A big bowl // wooden spoon // tin foil // 15 digestive biscuits // 15 pink & white marshmallows // a bag of malteasers // 1/2 a tin of condensed milk
Crush those digestive biscuits good and proper. You can use your hands (good activity for kiddies to help with), or put them in a ziplock and use a rolling pin…whatever comes easiest to you. The finer the crumb the better and easier to work with at the end.
Add in your 15 marshmallows (eating one for one as you pop them in the bowl, obviously). Below is a double batch so I just sprinkled them in heavy handed.
Traditionally fifteens are made with 15 chopped up candied cherries but I loathe them so I added some fairtrade malteasters. You can basically substitute anything you want to along with the marshmallows.
Pour in your condensed milk (try not to straight up drink the other half of the can)...
Mix it all together and plop the mix out onto a baking tray sprinkled with desiccated coconut. I’ve heard some people in the rest of the UK say they’ve found it hard to get their mitts on desiccated coconut. I hope that’s not the case…
Roll them into a big log (muahaha) and wrap in the foil. Set in the fridge for as long as you can bear to (an hour is good enough for the impatient amongst us).Once they come out of the fridge they are ready to be unwrapped and cut into slices!* They are called Fifteens because of the number of each ingredient you put in, but also because they’re SO quick to make. Just 15 minutes! They are a sure-fire hit with kids and adults alike, aren’t messy to clean up after making and no mega-expensive ingredients.
Let me know if you try them!
*Fifteens last fifteen seconds in this house - that's why there is no picture of a tasty little slice to finish this post like a proper blogger.