About Us

Retro Sweets

We have been making Hand Made Quality Retro Sweets since the 1920's, and nothing much has changed in our goal to make the best sweets possible. There has been some modernisation, with the introduction of cooling conveyors and powered rollers and Natural Gas instead of Coke Boilers, to speed up production but this is still a far cry from the mass production lines of some of the UK sweets manufacturers, but here every sweet gets our personal attention, and we pride ourselves on making the best..


Peanut Brittle: Recipe

For the best results use selected Roasted Peanuts, if you are doing this at home salted nuts will be fine, just scale down the ingredients to a quantity for your purposes.

Ingredients: Nutty Brittle, made by traditional methods

Cane Sugar 35lb(16kg) Glucose Syrup 15lb (6.8kg) 2oz Salt.

Method: Heat 4.5 litres of water and stir in the sugar when dissolved and it boils add the glucose. Once this has melted in, apply the heat again and boil to 315 degrees Celsius, now stir in the nuts until you are unable to coat any more.

Then spread out the gooey mixture out on the cooling table and allow to cool. When solid break up and bag.

This can be made successfully on a small scale, I made some one Scout night using the gas cooker, a large pan and some tin trays to scrape the Toffee Brittle out onto.

Traditional Sweets
Many shops claim to sell handmade sweets, but there are actually very few shops were the sweets are still made using an open draught fire on which a cauldron like copper pan sits.
Most boiled sweets today are cooked through enclosed steam cookers
and the whole process of sweet making is automated. We specialise in Traditional Hand Made sweets, such as Herbal Tablets, Cough Candy and Nutty brittle. Our sugar boilers use their years of experience to manufacture the sweets.

Compared to the uniformity of mass produced sweets normally manufactured in the UK, our hand crafted sweets are made in interesting shapes and colours such as Rainbow Crystals and luminous pink Pear Drops, dazzling effects that a machine cannot do.
Mass produced sweets do not taste the same, our sugar boilers make sweets such as Kendal Mint Cake in an open copper pan for a fuller flavour using cane sugar and the finest American Peppermint.

 

Toffee Fudge and Nougat

Caramels are known as soft eating sweets, while toffee is usually harder. Fudge is very soft. The simplest toffee is made from sugar and glucose, with added flavours and the main difference between these sweets and hard boiled sweets is simply the temperature the sweets are taken to when cooked.

In the manufacture of hard boiled sweets the sugar is allowed to stay in its original state, however when making toffee the temperature is taken to a point where the sugar is no longer white, and changes flavour, giving the sweets a toffee flavour, sugar boilers call this process caramelisation.
This process starts to occur at a temperature of 320 degrees F
Butterscotch usually includes 3-5 % of butter. Other luxury toffee also include milk, fats and butter in their ingredients.

Our Hand Crafted Fudge, also known as Tablet is grained, the process of graining these sweets is done by hand while the sweet is still runny.
The combination of the rich ingredients and the care in making these sweets gives a taste which cannot be compared to sweets that are mass produced.

Making Traditional Throat Sweets

To make a boiling you need the following equipment-:

Large copper Pan
Heat source, forced draught gas fire upon which the pan sits, fed by natural gas and compressed air.
Pouring table slab, 6ft by 3ft table specially cast with a water jacket for cooling.
A pair of brass rollers with which to form the desired shape. (look rather like old fashioned mangles) they are about 5 inches long and 3 inch in diameter. The shapes in the rollers have been crafted by hand out of Brass.
Drop roller, which power the rollers, and allow the rollers to synchronise together, producing the required shape of sweets.

We make two strengths of Throat and Chest a Regular (round drop) ant Extra Strong (lozenge shape) both are very popular. In fact they are our number 1 best seller, during the Winter months we sell on average 30kg in Oldham Market closely followed by Fleetwood Market shifting nearly 20kg.

Both contain Menthol, Eucalyptus, Oil of Peppermint, Natural Black colour.

Pear Drops               

Ingredients-:
35lbs (16.5Kg) Cane Sugar 15lbs(7Kg) Glucose Syrup       
1oz Pear drop Flavour Colour

Put a gallon of water in Copper Pan (4.55 Litres) Heat up and stir in sugar & syrup. Boil to 300f, pour onto slab.
Pear Drop flavour is added vigorously by hand. The sweet mixture is divided into three parts in order to create three colours, pink white and yellow.
The white is created by placing the mixture on a pulling machine, which is basically three mechanical arms two swigging and one fixed, under this process the air is allowed to get into the mixture by stretching it, this causes it to turn white. The three part Yellow, White and Pink are put together and fed through the Rollers, this form the shape of the sweets

The rollers can be operated by hand or power. As the formed sweets pass through the rollers they are carried along by conveyor to trays, were they are collected. The Pear Drop sweets are now formed. They are now riddled and placed in a rotating drum and crystallized or sugar coated, this is done first dampening then with water as the drum spins and then when nice and sticky adding Castor sugar which coats the damp sweets. Riddle them out and allow to dry, then bag.   Pear Drops just made and ready for the jar

It all sounds easy but believe me it isn't, and if the mixture goes cold before the sweets are formed you are left with a 24kg Pear Drop.

Sweets which do not have a sugar coating such as mint balls are packaged immediately after the sweets are formed.

Herbal Cough Tablets

Ingredients-:
35lbs (16.5Kg) Cane Sugar 15lbs(7Kg) Glucose Syrup
5oz (125g) Herbal Oils Gallon (4.55 litres) Water

These sweets are basically made the same way as the pear drops, but Herbal oils replace flavourings. The Herbal oils are added to the mixture manually, the sugar boilers wear special gloves as the semi liquid mixture is still very hot. When the sweet mixture is the correct consistency it is fed through the rollers as before, but this time the shape of the roller is different to give the sweets a saucer like shape. The sweets then run along a conveyor belt being cooled by a stream of cold air until they arrive at the other end crisp and crunchy.
The Herbal sweets are now formed. Again a sugar coating is added to the sweets.

Kurly Aniseed Also known as Anisseed Twist

Ingredients-:
21lb Soft Brown Sugar 15lb Glucose Syrup
14lb White Cane Sugar 2oz Aniseed Oil
Caramel

Method-:
Put a gallon (4.55litres) of water in a copper pan. Heat up and stir in sugar & syrup. pour the boiling mixture onto slab, forming a sticky sheet.Traditional Handmade Twirly Aniseed, containing pure oill of Aniseed.

 

Fold the mixture towards the centre of the slab as it becomes semi solid, knead into a putty like consistency. The Oil of Aniseed is forced into the mixture by the use of a metal rod. If the essential oils are added while the mixture is still in full liquid form it will simply evaporate.

Put the sweet mixture on a metal tray to keep warm, and cut a chunk of toffee (about 3lb) this piece is then pulled repeatedly over a hook to lighten the colour until it becomes white. (this occurs due to the introduction of air) The white mixture forms the stripes in the sweets.
The mixture is pulled out by hand to form a continuous rope shape, this is then wrapped around metal rods to form a curly shape.
When the sweets are cool they are removed from the rods.

Liquorice

There are varieties of liquorice which have been moulded into novelties such as bootlaces or whips which are not true liquorice, but a mixture in which liquorice has been added as a flavouring.
A glazing effect can be added to give a polished look, but this is not necessary if the sweets are made properly.
Specialist equipment is needed for making liquorice sweets, a pan is needed for the making of the syrup from raw sugar and special liquorice boiling pans are also needed.
Good quality wheat flour must be used, also the manipulation process is important to produce good quality sweets.

Sherbet

Lemon Oil Bicarbonate of soda
84lb Icing sugar Tartaric Acid

Sherbet can be used as a filling for sour sweets such as sherbet Lemons or loose in bottles. It can also be found in novelty type sweets such as, Dip Dabs and sherbet fountains. It is important that the blending of the ingredients for this type of sweets takes place in a dry environment In the manufacture of crystals such as Rainbow Crystal, Castor sugar is used to give sweets with a grainier texture. .

 

Marshmallow

Traditionally the flavours used in the making of marshmallow sweets are quite delicate. They are also aerated giving a very light texture.
Marshmallow sweets can be made by various methods including cooked and uncooked. The sweets are usually cooked, uncooked methods can be are used for the centre of sweets.


A combination of the recipe and the method of manufacture will determine the texture of the sweets. The amount of aeration & moisture are important as is the gelling agent used.

We do not manufacture Marshmallow ourselves. A traditional recipe for Marshmallows Sweets would be as follows-:
70lb Sugar 6oz isinglass
27lb Glucose 1 oz Vanillin
3lb gelatine 5oz egg Albumen in 0.5 water

 

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