northern irish oddities

many things about life in northern ireland puzzled me, when 12 years ago, as a teenager, i first moved here from my village up bringing on the outskirts of dublin

the strange way of splitting people up in grammer and comprehensive schools – the variants in accents in one town ( come on some of them must be put on! ) – the complicated religious / political divides – the change of my education from junior cert to gcse subjects – the list could go on!

but one thing, that still to this day, i find somewhat odd – is the northern irish obsession with traybakes

with further investigation – traybakes do seem to also be available in other parts of the uk & ireland – but somehow i must of missed them!

however one such traybake seems to be exclusively part of the northern irish traybake club

the fifteen!!

this article from the telegraph attempts to explain why traybakes may not be found in southern ireland – and in some areas of the northern irish community. however from my experience these traybakes fly out of our tearooms – to anyone and everyone!

despite my personal dislike of fifteens ( a shock for all who no me -as sweet things are usually a no brainer! ) – many many people cant get enough of them

they are delightfully simple and quick to put together – a perfect family recipe – keep very well in the fridge, all rolled up and ready for special visitors – and contain a friendly combination of ingredients – so here is the recipe for anyone who wishes to give them a shot!

the recipe originally came from my dear friend Emmas grandmother – and shows the origin of the name perfectly!




15 glazed cherries – cut in two

15 marshmallows – cut in half

15 digestive biscuits

150g ( one small tin ) condensed milk

15g dessicated coconut


the instructions are as simple as this

bash up the biscuits – mix in the marshmallows, cherries & condensed milk – roll up tightly in a roll of clingfilm & pop in the fridge for about an hour or until the roll appears to of hardened slightly – cut into single portion sizes – unravel the clingfilm from each bit carefully – roll the sides of each piece in the coconut then pop into muffin cases

eh voila!

your sweet & easy treats are ready for afternoon tea!

are you from northern ireland – or have you moved here? – what is your take on tray bakes? are you a big fifteen fan?