Confectioners take a trip back in history with BBC TV series
Four modern confectioners are set to step back in time to discover what life was like for their Tudor predecessors for a BBC TV series.
They'll explore how our national sweet tooth developed, and how the tables of the aristocracy boasted fantastic displays of sugar craft, which showed off their owners' wealth and status.
The Sweet Makers, which airs on BBC 2 from this evening (Wednesday, July 19th), will also explore the negative side of the introduction of sugar to the Tudor lifestyle, including the impact on teeth and fuelling our involvement in the most shameful chapters in British history - the Slave trade.
Guided by food historian Dr Annie Gray and social historian Emma Dabiri, our modern professionals enter the world of the 16th century confectioner - a time when sugar was believed to have medicinal qualities and was so valuable it was kept under lock and key, the preserve of the elite. Every dish the team makes will form part of an elaborate aristocratic sugar banquet.
Their final lavish sugar banquet includes candied roses (believed to cure gonorrhea), a sweet candied root that was considered to be a Tudor aphrodisiac; sugar plates and goblets, gorgeously decorated marzipan and a spectacular model banqueting house made entirely of sugar.
The competing confectioners are (pictured L-R) are: chocolatier Diana Short of Lick The Spoon, sweet consultant Andy Baxendale, chocolatier Paul A Young and wedding cake designer Cynthia Stroud.
They are spending four days using original recipes, ingredients and equipment to create dishes that haven’t been made, let alone tasted, for hundreds of years.