There is a particular type of ‘tray bake’ that I love. They are especially prevalent here in Northern Ireland. In fact I don’t ever remember having one down south. They are called fifteens. Apparently they are simple to make. You don’t even bake them (you might suggest they are not actually a ‘tray bake’).
Fifteens consist of 15 crushed digestive biscuits, 15 glazed cherries, 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk and one cup flaked coconut.
As easy as they are to make they can be got wrong. Here are my tips:
1. Never use those small marshmallows. They must be the big ones.
2. Use nice digestives. I have seen some fifteens that look dull.
3. Get your portion size right when serving. I don’t like fifteens being presented as half biscuits. Don’t give me subtle! This isn’t finger food. Fifteens should be cut into substantial segments.
4. Don’t try to improve your fifteens. Some people serve fifteens that don’t look like fifteens. They are fifteen hybrids. Just keep it simple and pure. Take the fifteen in the above photo: what is going on there?
The two places I think of as having good fifteens are Café Rhema here in Richhill and Clements in Stanmillis (where the portion is huge). In Clements I recommend eating your fifteen with a large hot chocolate (which comes in a bowl-like mug). I take my hot chocolate without a layer of cream on top and with the big marshmallows (again little marshmallows are a mistake). After your hot chocolate and fifteen from Clements you will have had enough sugar for the week. I would suggest that you avoid this combination if you are a diabetic.