Tuesday 2 July 2013

Sweet Secrets: an incredible confectionary


This summer, I had the distinct pleasure of being introduced to Sweet Secrets treats, and I gotta say, I’m kinda in love.

Sweet Secrets Gourmet Brittle and Confection is a new baking business created by two lovely ladies named Jamie and Amy. They make incredible treats from natural ingredients and without corn syrup, which is pretty amazing in the candy industry. You  may have seen them under their red tent at the Ottawa Farmers’ Market down at Brewer Park across from Carleton University on Sunday mornings. If you haven’t stopped in to try something, you’ve been cheating yourself. No joke.

Occasionally we do reviews here on Girl, Crafted; and while we haven’t yet had an unenjoyable taste-test, I was extra impressed with the treats from this confectionary. Here’s a bit about what we got to stuff into our faces.

BACON BUTTERCRUNCH: This is one of Sweet Secret’s newest concoctions; a crispy layer of buttercrunch toffee, enrobed in rich chocolate, and of course, little nibbles of bacon throughout. Taste-tester Jay—an 18 year-old male, so no surprise here—jumped on this stuff right away. I have always loved Skor bars and this is very similar, except with much more richly-flavoured chocolate and more buttery buttercrunch.
Left to right: Mint Meltaways, Honeycomb, Tropical Caramel Popcorn, and Peanut Brittle and Bacon Buttercrunch both at the back.
HONEYCOMB: Honeycomb was something I’d never encountered before; this is essentially sponge toffee done with honey. The usual burnt sugar flavour of sponge toffee is replaced with a similar, but much smoother, burnt honey flavour. When I first took a bite, it seemed much like a traditional sugar toffee taste, but as it started to melt in my mouth, that wonderful warm yellow honey flavour overtook all else. My father and I fought over the last morsels of this one, and I’m ashamed to say, I didn’t even save any for Alan. (Well, only a little ashamed.)

MINT MELTAWAYS: Without a doubt, these were the number-one crowd pleaser of the whole batch. Little cubes of icing sugar-powdered velvety chocolate goodness that melt the moment they hit your tongue, and are gently flavoured with mint? Yes, please! The shocker on this one: even my mother, who doesn’t like mint chocolate, enjoyed these. I think the trick is the pleasant balance between the mint and chocolate flavours; this doesn’t punch you in the throat like a peppermint patty…instead, it just melts, rich and cool, in your now-salivating mouth.

TROPICAL CARAMEL POPCORN: Flavours of coconut and pineapple made this my favourite candied corn experience ever. The fact that it was vegan meant I could share it with just about anyone, too. The fruity flavours were subtle, but I liked this much better than the usual ultra-sweet sticky mess that is the average caramel corn. My only complaint: my bag wasn’t big enough.

PEANUT BRITTLE: I’m not a huge peanut brittle eater, as I generally feel my treats should involve chocolate. But this was indeed a very nice batch, with the brittle done well and not likely to pull out your fillings. Taster Bruce really enjoyed this—a big peanut brittle fan. Butter and rich, with the smokey flavours of peanuts, it was a definite win for the brittle lovers. I'd like to try some of their many other brittles!

SEA TURTLE: I had no idea what a sea turtle was until I bit into it…and then I didn’t want to share it. In essence, this is much like the traditional ‘Turtles’ you get around Christmas, where a dollop of caramel is dotted with nuts and coated in chocolate. But the big, fun, delicious twist on this is the salted caramel. Well, that and the fact that the caramel is done softer and gooey-er, and the chocolate is better, and basically the whole thing just knocked my socks off. I’m nice, so I gave a bite to my dad. Go get one for yourself and see how nice you’d have to be to share that.

You can find Sweet Secrets at the Ottawa Farmers’ Market, and online on their site, as well as at various festivals and events around Ottawa. Oh, and Facebook. If you go home without the honeycomb, you’re a fool. And the mint meltaways. And the sea turtle. You know what? Just get one of everything.

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