The final episode of the Sweet Makers – a Victorian Treat is on BBC 2 this week 8pm.
Four modern-day confectioners use original recipes to recreate a Victorian sweet shop and discover how the quest to satisfy the national sweet tooth transformed Britain. They come under pressure as small-time players trying to compete in a tough new world completely altered by the industrial revolution and the dawn of mass production. Cheap sugar meant sweets for every class in society for the first time, so everything the team make across four days in the kitchen forms part of the stock for their shop.
The confectioners are from left to right – Paul A Young, Diana Short (Lick the Spoon’s master Chocolatier and Creative Director), Andy Baxendale and Cynthia Stroud, with food historian and co presenter Dr Annie Gray front.
Wrestling with unfamiliar equipment – from drop rollers for moulding boiled sweets, the first rotating pans, fiddly starch trays to some extraordinary Easter animal moulds – tests the confectioners’ skills and ingenuity to the limit. They discover how the sugar they worked with changed from slave-produced cane sugar to the European sugar beet and the huge impact of eating chocolate. And they see their own status change and decline from earlier time periods as the pressure now is about producing cheap treats in bulk not crafting artistic delights by hand.
Pick of the day in The Radio Times- please tune in and watch!
Disclaimer – The BBC do not endorse Lick the Spoon products.
Photograph copyright BBC Media Centre, Wall to Wall television.