When Rosie comes home she runs into the house with huge excitement, wide eyed and shouts …
I smell CARAMELLLLL
I did too when I went this week to meet the faces behind Jersey’s newest artisanal food producer “La Crémière” and their delicious Jersey Salted Caramel Sauce.
La Crémière, a ‘Dairy woman’ is in fact two women, Annie and Shelley, who together have worked tirelessly over the past few months to bring their new brand to fruition. Launched only last week the bottles are selling fast. Initial sales have been fantastic, both La belle Gourmande and the Fresh Fish Company sold out straight away and keep asking for new stocks. This week two more stores have been added to the list of shops selling the sauce, Midland Stores and Gorey Village Fruit Shop.
Annie, grew up in New Zealand, a farmer’s daughter, her mother had a Jersey herd so farming and food is in her blood. She came to the island in 2007 cofounded the Gorey restaurant, Feast, but has since sold her shareholding and taken on the roll of Mum. With a background in marketing, Annie worked for Bibendum Wine Co before moving to the island, she can now combine this new role with family life. Originally from Lincolnshire, Shelley trained as a nanny and moved around the world with her job before settling in the Channel islands.
Shelley and Annie became friends through the restaurant and their shared love of good food. “I was their best customer” Shelley, told me and as they both have young families and live locally this was a perfect match. “This new venture works well with everyone’s routine” added Annie.
I asked them how they came up with the idea for La Crémière.
“We started the business by thinking of the cows, the beautiful pasture and wanting to showcase the amazing cream and butter. We thought about how we could we use the lovely cows’ produce for something that people could “Take a bit of Jersey home” with them that’s genuine.”
“The idea of being an artisan producer was something we felt very strongly about, not factory made, and all natural ingredients.”
Shelley told me how they came to the decision to make salted caramel. ‘We love it and Annie made an amazing chocolate and salted caramel cake with seven layers which was divine.
“Firstly the product needed to be possible to produce in our kitchen and also be a versatile one. People can be afraid to make caramel at home. It took hours of tweaking to get the consistency correct. Sugar en masse is hard to work with, it’s hard to get the caramel to volume without it crystallizing.
“After months of research and testing we were beginning to get a bit despondent. Then one day, we each brought an idea to the table and achieved an Eureka moment. When it all comes together it’s caramel alchemy!”
I love packaging, it’s a passion of mine, so I was really interested in the branding and concept of the bottles. “The bottle design took some searching, the neck had to be wide enough to be able to get a teaspoon in the bottle, to get to the last drop and able to spoon it out.” The design resembles a milk churn and the attention to detail with the cow on the front adds to the fun. It also sits beautifully on the table, just serve it up as it is.
Annie added, “ Our bottles make great hostess presents instead of a bottle of wine, a beautifully packaged gift, that’s supporting local produce.” With the end of term approaching what a great teacher present.
Their strap line “Good mood food” with a pun in the mood, refers to the feel good factor you get from salted caramel. Everything in balance, if it makes you feel good you’re halfway to healthy living.
First market launched at the Farmer’s market in St Aubin, two weeks ago, doubters were hesitant at first at the thought of salt and caramel together but there has been an amazing reaction. “We wish we could video people’s faces as they light up. We love doing the markets, it’s so rewarding to see everyone’s reactions.”
The versatility of the salted caramel means that there is so much you can do with it. ‘We’re starting to use our Facebook page to post different recipes showing different ways of using the caramel.”
With a shelf life of around a month, once opened keep it in a dark place for up to two weeks, not the fridge, to keep the pouring consistency correct. I have to add that you’ll be hard pushed to have not eaten it before then! I keep doing a ‘Nigella’ and sneaking to the larder with a teaspoon!
Future plans include doing a 100ml pot for visitors to take in their hand luggage. I also think this size will be great for dunking without having to decant it first, lazy I know. La Crémière have been credited a Genuine Jersey member as the predominant ingredients are all produced here in the island.
So that’s Jersey cream, Jersey butter and Jersey Sea Salt, a marriage made in heaven.
Here are a few quick ideas for easy summer entertaining and beach barbecues.
Cut peaches (one peach per person) in half and remove the stone. Brush with a little oil. Grill on hot bbq or grill. Set aside the fruit. Meanwhile split a vanilla bean in half, remove seeds by scraping and mix with mascarpone cream or thick double cream if you want to be really naughty. Dollop the peaches with cream mixture and drizzle over Jersey Salted Caramel Sauce….
I made a New York Style Cheesecake and drizzled the Salted Caramel around and on top of the cheesecake. It took it to a whole new level.
A girlfriend sliced apple and we just dunked it in the salted caramel sauce, simple but delicious, she says she doesn’t cook!
Lastly, as the embers on the barbecue start to die down, grab a banana, a slosh of rum, sprinkle a few sultanas over the banana, wrap in foil and just before you serve them drizzle over the Jersey Salted Caramel Sauce.