Best Picture Baking Project: Braveheart

IMG_4028   I have big paper draft due this evening, so naturally I spent a few hours this weekend rewatching Braveheart, and attempting to make something called a Scottish butter tablet. (The paper is sort of almost done now so it worked out…though the dessert didn’t especially.)

Had I seen this one before?

Yes. This is probably the first on my Best Picture Baking List that I can’t really be objective about. I’ve seen it many times. It is listed in my favorite movies on OKCupid. It speaks to my Celtic soul.

Top 3 observations on this viewing?

  1. Somehow, despite all of this, I can never remember the actual plot details of this film. I always skip from the beautiful Celtic handfasting secret wedding to the war (skipping the horrific death of Wallace’s wife). I always think the “They can take our lives” speech comes closer to the end (it’s actually at the dead middle), and the crazy plot turn which tries to imply that William Wallace fathers King Edward III, always slips my mind. Probably because it makes absolutely no sense. But the speech is stirring:

2. Hamish (Brendan Gleeson) and Stephen aka the Mad Irishman (David O’Hara) are great sidekicks. They aren’t given enough to say of course (this isn’t really a very talky movie despite it being famous for its rousing speeches, it’s mostly blood and grunting), but their expressions are priceless.

3. Mel Gibson is actually an incredibly talented actor. It’s too bad he’s a horrific person.

Also, those eyes….

What did it beat? Did it deserve to win?

Apollo 13 – I know I saw this as a child, I remember the montage at the end, I’m pretty sure it made both me and my mom cry.

Babe – I also haven’t seen this since I was little, but I just love that there was a time when a children’s film about a pig was nominated for multiple Academy Awards.

Il Postino: The Postman  – Never seen it, am not sure what it is.

Sense and Sensibility – Oooh, this is tough. I love and adore this movie and could probably recite parts of it. (I actually used to rent it every other week when I was a kid.) And Emma Thompson is one of my heroes.

Wow, what a stacked year! I guess Braveheart is the epic choice the Academy always seems to choose. I get more comfort from Sense and Sensibility, but in terms of Oscars I would choose Braveheart. 

Bechdel Test Pass?

Nope, there are 2 named ladies, who each fall in love with William. (There may be 3, the lady in waiting may have a name, but she doesn’t really have a personality so it doesn’t count.) And when the two women do talk to each other it is always about the powerful men jockeying for position around them.

Also, as homophobia is sexism adjacent, I couldn’t have given this movie a pass anyway because of the ridiculous portrayal of Prince Edward’s lover. Edward II may have been ineffectual but it was not because he sometimes slept with men.

In case you’ve never seen the film, this is the charming sequence where Edward’s father throws his lover out of a window

Scottish Butter Tablet

Ingredients 

  • 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 4 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
  • 1 dash of salt

Directions 

  • Generously butter a 13×18 in. baking pan
  • Stir together condensed milk, cream, sugar, salt, and butter in a large saucepan.
  • Place over medium heat, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  • When the mixture has reached a boil, turn heat to low
  • Continue cooking and stirring, until a candy thermometer reaches between 234 and 240 degrees F
  • Remove from heat, and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture cools and thickens. Stop beating when you can feel the mixture turn from smooth to grainy (*Stir for longer than you think, like seriously, if you think “Hey, I’ve been doing this for way too long,” then stir for like 10 more minutes.)
  • Pour into the prepared pan. (Don’t scrape any crystallized bits from the bottom of the pan, or it may cause the whole batch to crystallize.)
  • While still warm, score the tablet into 2-inch squares with the tip of a paring knife.
  • Allow to cool 6 hours to overnight until set.
  • Cut into squares with a serrated knife. (If it didn’t set, put it in the freezer, they won’t be squares, but they’ll still taste really good.)
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One thought on “Best Picture Baking Project: Braveheart

  1. Pingback: And the Nominees Are 2017: Round 2 | I Get a Bit Obsessive

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