Spreadable 'After Eight' and 'Terry's Chocolate Orange'? This local producer's got luxury breakfast spreads sorted
PUBLISHED: 17:32 18 October 2018
Scarlett & Mustard's new products sound very yummy indeed.
It’s Sunday afternoon. You’ve spent the best part of two hours peeling carrots and spuds for the roast and, to be quite frank, you can’t be bothered to make pudding. Not with a stack of ironing piling up, dogs to walk and gripping autumn telly to watch later.
But there is that hankering. That urge for something sweet and indulgent to round off dinner. A new quick fix you might want to look out for is one of the super-indulgent chocolate sauces/spreads from award-winning Scarlett & Mustard.
Sandy Ruddock, who formed the business (a range of fun dressings, salsas and preserves) at her kitchen table, said she wanted to expand their sweeter offerings. “Chocolate is always popular but as with all our stuff we wanted a twist and we wanted what we made to be premium.”
The result is five pots of dark ‘gold’ which are the epitome of indulgence and can be slathered on toast or croissants for a wickedly good weekend brunch, drizzled over profiteroles, warmed and poured over ice cream, smoothed between the layers of a sponge cake or, Sandy says naughtily, eaten straight from the jar.
“They’re made with really really good 70% dark Belgian chocolate and the sugar content’s very low. We also use fresh double cream which gives them a lovely sheen.”
That Scarlett & Mustard twist comes in the form of the flavourings of the pots. There’s chocolate and mint (apparently it tastes like spreadable After Eight), chocolate and orange (liquid Terry’s chocolate orange – but darker), Espresso, regular and chocolate and chilli. And there’s a nice story linked in with the sourcing of the chocolate too.
“My stepson William is getting married to a Peruvian girl,” Sandy said, “and her parents have a chocolate farm there. So one of the reasons behind this is eventually I’m hoping to use their Fairtrade chocolate. I’ve got a big sample of their raw cocoa powder here and I’ll make samples up for their wedding. Chocolate is a bit like asparagus. It has four to six years to mature before you can pick it. It’s year four at the moment so from next year I think we’ll be able to source from them!”
Very tasty indeed.
Scarlett & Mustard is just one of a merry band of producers in East Anglia to be part of the East of England Co-op’s Sourced Locally scheme, having joined the initiative six years ago, after being taken under Kevin Warden’s wing.
“The relationship with the Coop is very important for us,” Sandy said. “They are so good at supporting local producers and you can grow with them. They’re open to ideas and suggestions and helped us get the best start we needed to get traction. We’re now in dozens of their stores.”
Sandy supplies several dressings, curds, her salsas and her chilli jam to the East of England Co-op and recalls her first ever product was Granny’s Original Tarragon Dressing – something she remembers with delight eating as a little girl.
“It’s a recipe from my great grandmother. We can trace it all the way back to 1870 and I remember my granny making it when I was young. I remember the familiar smell of it on the stove. We all loved it as children and she passed it onto my mother who passed it onto me. I started making it for my own children and they love it. My son was at the kitchen table one day and said “I love this, can we sell it?”.
“So he started selling bottles from the cupboard and came back in with £76 in his pocket! All our recipes come from things we’ve made at home that are real family favourites. We just love cooking and making up new products. We’re real foodies.”
The biggest sellers for Scarlett & Mustard are its Chilli Jam and Lime and Chilli Dressing. “The Chilli Jam is my original recipe I’ve been making for years,” revealed Sandy. “When I got together with Julian and gained stepchildren they loved it so I made great vats of it for them to take back to uni. All their friends would say it’s delicious…and it grew from there. I’m looking at introducing different heat levels of the jam in the future too. The British palate is getting much more used to chilli flavours.”
Working with other local businesses and using the very best ingredients to magic up her products is very important to Sandy who says she’s delighted to have teamed up with another East of England Co-op supplier – Havensfield Eggs – who are now supplying all the eggs for the range of Scarlett & Mustard curds.
“We were waiting for them to start supplying egg without shells. These eggs are laid just five miles away from us and that’s the way forward for us. Our rapeseed oil is from Hill Farm seven miles away and I love that. That’s how it should be. We cut down on food miles and make great working relationships!”
How do you eat yours?
1. Use the lime and chilli dressing for so much more than a dressing. I regularly get salmon in a parcel, drizzle this over, wrap it up and bake it for 12 minutes. That’s super delicious and easy to do. It’s also excellent for an instant stir fry with prawns, or as a marinade for beef, duck and tuna.
2. The curds are wonderful swirled into yoghurts and ice creams.
3. One of my favourite and most versatile products is our salsas. They contain 66% fresh tomatoes whereas a lot of others are under 20%. We make our own pizzas at home and use this as an instant base or as a pasta sauce. Or we throw it into a casserole or Bolognese. If you mash it with avocado you have instant guacamole. And in summer I mix it into cous cous.