From candy canes and sugar mice to yule logs and chocolate coins, sweet treats are an integral part of our Christmas celebrations. Following the success of The Sweet Makers on BBC Two earlier this year, four modern confectioners will recreate the treats of Christmas past – and discover how their predecessors helped create many of the culinary festive traditions that we enjoy today.
Chocolatier Paul A Young, bespoke cake decorator Cynthia Stroud, chocolatier Diana Short and sweet consultant Andy Baxendale will use original recipes and equipment to whip up the festive bestsellers of Christmases past.
Guided by food historian Dr Annie Gray and social historian Emma Dabiri, they’ll uncover the mystery of what an earth a sugarplum is, before decorating a series of exquisite Twelfth Cakes, affordable only to Georgian’s wealthy elite. As they move into the Victorian era our confectioners encounter the gaping gulf between rich and poor and create treats for both – from Queen Victoria’s favoured Boar’s Head cake to jelly pistols and sugar mice accessible to children with just a few pennies to spend.
Finally they’ll explore the wealth of chocolate novelties launched in the 1920s, including the predecessor of that modern Christmas favourite the Chocolate Orange – the Chocolate Apple.
Produced by Wall To Wall for the BBC. The Executive Producer at Wall to Wall is Emily Shields and the BBC Commissioning Editor is Abigail Priddle.
Pictured above are Dr Annie Gray, Diana Short, Andy Baxendale, Cynthia Stroud, Paul A Young, Emma Dabiri
The Sweet Makers At Christmas airs Friday 15 December 2017 from 9.00pm-10.00pm on BBC Two.