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Coming up with new flavours

Coming up with new flavours
Have you ever wondered how we've come up with over 30 delicious flavours of fudge?
We pride ourselves on making all of our fudge by hand at Ochil Fudge, carefully crafting each batch we make into a delectable delight. 
We believe when it comes to making great fudge, the devil is in the details and coming up with a new flavour is no exception... 

So, how do we come up with our new flavours?

We love fudge! In fact, we’re probably obsessed with it. It will come as no surprise that one of the main topics of conversation in the kitchen is about the next flavour of fudge we’re going to create.
The kitchen is always busy, but there is always a special energy in the air when the fudge team are working on a new flavour.
So how does it all start?
We’d love to tell you that there is some super creative process with how we come up with our flavour ideas…but the truth is, it comes from the chat in the kitchen.
That’s right, our flavour ideas normally come from one of the fudgeteers just talking about something they’ve really enjoyed eating recently. The magic moment actually happens after that…
Picture the scene, we’re hard at work in the kitchen making fudge by hand and one of the team says something like “you know what I had for dessert the other night, sticky toffee pudding, it was delicious!”.
Someone else chimes in, “Ooh! I love sticky toffee pudding; it’s been ages since I’ve had that.”
Then it happens, the moment that turns the environment in the kitchen into pure electricity. Someone utters the immortal phrase, “Hmmm, I wonder if we could make a fudge that flavour?”.
Then, all at once, the mood shifts to excitement as the entire team of fudgeteers begin to bounce ideas off each other as to exactly how we’d make the new flavour happen. Once they agree that it can be done, then the real work begins!

The core principle we use for all our fudge flavours

Because every flavour we’ve ever produced is unique, the story and process behind exactly how we created it are just as unique as the flavour itself. But the overall process follows a similar pattern each time and it comes down to something we believe very strongly at Ochil Fudge.
We like to use kitchen cupboard ingredients, for example in our raspberry pavlova fudge, a dessert that uses meringue, we take meringue – crush it up and add it to the fudge. It gives the fudge the texture and flavour that comes from using real meringue rather than flavourings that mimic the taste.
Our 12-year-old Deanston Malt Whisky Fudge is much the same story. Guess what goes into the fudge? - that’s right, a malt whisky that’s taken 12 years mature, as the closest distillery to our kitchen we take great pride in adding the buttery 12-year-old Malt Whisky to our butter fudge, a match made in heaven!
Our Espresso Chocolate Fudge comes from us boiling an espresso pot on our stove and adding it into our chocolate base 15 minutes before the end of cooking to allow it to infuse into the fudge. We say 15 minutes because we discovered that 20 minutes was too overpowering, 10 minutes made it too subtle.
In the interest of full disclosure, of course, at points we have to use flavourings, sometimes it’s just unavoidable. Typically, we do this only to enhance something and to make sure that the flavour notes are delivered, if you have to guess what our fudge tastes like, we haven’t done our job and a “wee tweak” is required!

The first step in making a new flavour of fudge

We start baking! Well not always, but usually we start baking.
Let us explain, we’re experts in fudge. But we need to understand how our new flavour works in the real world. To go back to our example of Sticky toffee pudding, we spent weeks searching for the best recipes and making the dessert.
Once we’ve got a good understanding of what goes into making a great sticky toffee pudding, from the best methods to use to the individual ingredients, we move on to the next stage…
 It’s not always baking, for example when we made our Espresso Chocolate Fudge, we spent weeks researching and refining how to make coffee, as you can imagine the kitchen was a bit jittery those weeks!

Where the flavour meets the fudge

Once our fudgeteers have finished their initial research, they begin the process of making the new flavour for the first time.
They carefully select the right base for the fudge, for example, some flavour combinations work better with a cream base, others with a chocolate base or butter base. It depends on the flavour the fudgeteers are trying to create, but because they’ve been working on the new flavour for a few weeks by this point they already know which fudge base is going to work best.
With the base of fudge already selected, they begin to create a new flavour. When creating sticky toffee pudding the team worked out how to use the ingredients for sticky toffee pudding and combined those with the ingredients for the fudge to create a fudge that tastes just like sticky toffee pudding.
On average, it only takes our fudgeteers three or four attempts to create a fudge that tastes like the desired flavour. But tastes like isn’t enough!
We have a reputation to maintain after all. The entire team then begins the process of refining the flavour, testing everything from the amount of each ingredient used right down to the very spoon used to beat the fudge.
We keep refining the flavour until we feel that it’s ready for the final test…

The final test

Simply referred to as the "Mmmm...test", we're looking for that moment of pure indulgence when someone takes that first bite of our fudge.
It's simple, raw and honest.
We give out tasters at our local farmers’ market in Stirling and then watch people's reactions to the fudge. We don't say anything, just listen and watch as faces light up. 
With enough people satisfied and usually asking for more samples, our new flavour is added to our website so you can have that “Mmmmm…” moment too.

Fudge that makes you go "Mmm..."

Have you tried any of these flavours yet?
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