The Sweet Makers: A Victorian Treat
Four modern confectioners use original recipes to recreate a Victorian sweet shop and discover how the quest to satisfy our national sweet tooth transformed Britain in BBC Two’s The Sweet Makers: A Victorian Treat.
Guided by food historian Dr Annie Gray and social historian Emma Dabiri our 21st century sweet makers are in Blists Hill, Shropshire to experience first-hand the life of confectioners in late 19th and early 20th century England – a time when cheap sugar meant sweets for every class in society for the first time. Children finally get their hands on chocolate, and the modern brands that we still know and love today are dreamt up.
Running their own workshop, every treat the team make across four days is used to stock their sweet shop, from jars of beautiful boiled sweets to their own version of fruit pastilles and an enormous Easter Egg.
Our confectioners are chocolatier Paul A Young, wedding cake designer Cynthia Stroud, sweet consultant Andy Baxendale and chocolatier Diana Short – and they’re using period equipment, original recipes and authentic ingredients.
They’ll discover the alarming adulterants and toxic colours used in sweets, the Quaker families who dominated confectionery, and the poignant letters sent back from the First World War trenches.