Sunday 14 November 2010

Burnt Sugar - "Making the world a sweeter place" !

I absolutely love Burnt Sugar. I love their delicious homemade-looking sweet treats obviously, but I also love their wacky sense of humour. Their newsletter always makes me smile when it lands in my inbox and their looniness continues on their facebook page, where their profile states : "Burnt Sugar make everything cosy with the world’s best fudge – the uninhibited fudge that crumbles and melts. Guilt-free: because no-one’s looking, and Burnt Sugar’s the fudge that doesn’t judge. And there’s lovely chocolate-covered honeycomb too, we just couldn’t find anything to rhyme with honeycomb. Maybe it’s the ‘b’ that’s confusing us." They're as nutty as their Toasted Almond Brittle !

Now, in the interests of being a serious reviewer (as opposed to a pig !), I'm sitting here writing these lines with three open boxes beside me and keep nibbling on Crumbly Fudge, Crumbly Stem Ginger Fudge and Chewy Caramels Dipped in Dark Chocolate. Yummmm ! But more about them in a moment, first of all, I want to tell you about the company.

Burnt Sugar tell a lovely story on their website about their origins as a small family-run business and the humbling accident that resulted in their name which keeps their feet on the ground. "One thing you learn when you make fudge, is that it all just somehow happens or not. It's so easy for it to go slightly, or completely, wrong - it happened to us once. Yes, we burnt the sugar (but only once). It wasn't all bad because it made us realise we needed a little reminder - to make sure we never did it again. So that's what we called ourselves - Burnt Sugar - (because we also realised we needed a name)." I love their laidback attitude and the fact that they don't take themselves too seriously. Things don't have to be perfect every time for them to be thoroughly enjoyable - now there's a life lesson there for all of us !

The company evolved from someone's mum making and selling homemade fudge. "Yes, sometimes fudge happens just right. The perfect mix of sticky ingredients, beaten 'til it's the perfect crumbliness and finally broken into the perfect little random pieces. My mother used to get it right all the time. She sold it in paper bag packs in a shop down in Lyme Regis - and the same people used to come back year after year for more. It was almost as famous as the fossils (and a lot less crunchy). We thought it wasn't fair to save it all for holidaymakers - they're happy enough as it is. So with her permission we took it to some people who could really use cheering up-we took it London, to the Borough Market." That then developed into the company that we know and love today which can be defined in just two words - delicious but slightly deranged ! Sounds just like me which is probably why I like them so much !

But back to my testing ! Oh, right, I'd better eat some more then just to be sure ! I love the fact that no two pieces of fudge look alike. Back when Jamie Oliver was still known as the Naked Chef and people tuned in expecting to see him cooking in the nuddie, I remember him ripping apart ingredients like cooked chicken and salad with his hands, saying that rough shapes and texture was the way to go to make it interesting. Well, Burnt Sugar fudge is just like that. Each piece of fudge looks totally handmade and lovingly chopped up rather cack-handedly in someone's kitchen and that's where all its charm resides. The rest is in the taste - yummm !

The fudge is sweet and crumbly, the toffees are really hard and chewy, the flavours are perfectly balanced. They taste as gorgeous as luxury chocolates but due to their down-to-earth company persona, you wouldn't feel wrong sitting around eating them in a pair of grubby pyjamas and fluffy slippers ! Gourmet food without the attitude - that suits me right down to the ground (or, I'm sad to say, the bottom of the box !).

star rating : 5/5

RRP : £1.52 for 110g

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