Northern Ireland Food Exploration: Fifteens

Traybakes, fridge cakes, squares, bars – these are the taste of childhood. Sure you can buy them as an adult, but I used to make and eat them all the time when I was a kid.

I had never heard of Fifteens before my Northern Ireland research. It always blows my mind how much UK cuisine there is still to discover. What else am I missing out on? The thought torments me!

I bought my Fifteen from another stall in St George’s Market. They had lots of lovely looking treats, but this was the one I was seeking and I was very happy to find it.

I actually waited until the next day to try it, once I was home. I hadn’t read a recipe, and while I could see desiccated coconut, glace cherries and marshmallows, I wasn’t sure what the dough/batter was.

Very sweet. That’s what it was. It reminded me of a blondie or shortbread, but according to various recipes was most probably smashed up digestives mixed with condensed milk. The result is a crunchy, chewy, squidgy NON chocolate tiffin.

These same recipes suggest the name comes from the quantities of each item in the mix. Hard to tell when you’re eating it, but sounds believable to me.

It’s a shame the wider UK hasn’t got on the Fifteens train, especially for people who can’t eat, or don’t like, chocolate. Child me, like adult me, would have loved it.

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