From nostalgic flavours to plant-based treats, the future is certainly sweet, says Deputy Editor Kayleigh Rattle…
While chocolate liqueurs have long been associated with Christmas, you can now get your hands on everything from Cornish gin fudge (buttermilk. co.uk) to prosecco infused caramel sauce (joeandsephs.co.uk) and even gin flavoured gummies (sugarsin.co.uk).
The number of Brits embracing vegetarian, vegan or flexitarian lifestyles continues to rise, as does the demand for plant-based confectionery. In line with trends, M&S’s famous Percy Pigs now have a gelatin-free version, and artisan chocolatier Booja Booja has been making waves with its dairy-free truffles and ice cream. It’s also predicted that more lentils, quinoa, beans and seeds will be added to chocolate this year (try Doisy & Dam’s superfood-rich maple and toasted rice dark chocolate, or Amelia Rope’s puffed quinoa dark chocolate if you’re not convinced).
A NOD TO NOSTALGIA
Memories of gazing at jars of sweets lining shop windows may be synonymous with childhood, but mother/daughter duo Creightons knows exactly how to evoke these feelings of nostalgia with their delicious ‘spoon of cereal’ and ‘bourbon biscuit’ chocolate bars. Also check out The Grown Up Chocolate Company, whose tasty creations are reminiscent of much-loved chocolate brands.
FULL OF BEANS!
Dark, white, milk and now ruby – chocolate has a brand new flavour, and it’s bright pink! Made with rose-hued beans from the Ivory Coast, Ecuador and Brazil, this exciting new variety is set to hit the shelves this year, and it’s the first naturally coloured new chocolate in over 80 years!
BEYOND THE SWEET
Look out for sweets existing beyond pick and mix, too. While a quick scroll through Pinterest will reveal many sweet-topped cakes (Martha Collison has a fantastic recipe for a rhubarb and custard piňata cake), spirit companies are also jumping on board this trend – we love The Sweet Potato Spirit Company’s marshmallow moonshine liqueur.
MORE TO EXPLORE…
The nation’s favourite drink has been making its way into confectionery circles. Try Buttermilk’s Cornish Earl Grey fudge for starters.
Expect to see more bold, sharp flavours like blood orange and yuzu. We can’t recommend Lauden Chocolates’ yuzu and white chocolate ganache enough. (laudenchocolate.co.uk)
While sea salt is now a widely used ingredient in sweets, miso fudge is something which has been appearing on gourmet restaurant menus across the UK.
According to Whole Foods, edible flowers are set to be one 2018’s top trends. Hotly anticipated flavours include violet, lavender and hibiscus.
Keep your eyes peeled for sweets containing sugar alternatives such as British honey, agave and stevia. We love Fudge Kitchen’s sugar-free peanut brittle.
Agar agar [made from red seaweed] is already a popular gelatin alternative for sweets, but you should see far more of this umami-rich ingredient being used.
Reflecting the UK’s love for peanut butter, look out for more nut butter infused confectionery this year.