Saturday, 20 December 2014

Q&A WITH SWEET THEATRE FOUNDER SALLY WOOD

Here's an interview with Sally Wood, the founder of Sweet Theatre, that I wrote for Harper's Bazaar's website. Love her Shakespearean Leading Ladies chocolate bars:



Q&A WITH SALLY WOOD

The Sweet Theatre chocolatier, theatre producer, actress and wife of a Rolling Stone gives Bazaar a look into her life
Picture courtesy of Matt Crockett

As well as working on a new musical of Jackie and touring with her husband Ronnie Wood, Sally launched her highly successful Sweet Theatre range of chocolates at Harvey Nichols last year. A result of her love of baking and Shakespeare, the chocolate bars are named after the Bard’s leading ladies, here she tells us all about them...

When did your passion for baking start?
I lived in the home economics room at secondary school. I had a wonderful teacher called Mrs Adams who taught me all about baking and how to decorate cakes. I was immediately hooked!

Can you remember the first thing you baked and was it a success?
It was a Christmas cake for a school competition; I must have been about 13. I just kept icing more and more silver trees on it and won first prize - possibly for the ‘most trees on a cake’!  I’ve still got a photo of it.

What was the catalyst for launching Sweet Theatre?
I’ve gifted a lot of bakes over the years and eventually started to wonder if I could produce something with a longer shelf life. I worked on the chocolate bars for fun originally, but decided to take them more seriously when they got such a positive reaction.


SALLY WOOD'S SHAKESPEAREAN CHRISTMAS TREATS

Here are some festive chocolates treats to try from a recent post for Harper's Bazaar. Created by Sally Wood of Sweet Theatre and international chef, Lawrence Otterburn, the recipes are all inspired by Shakespeare's leading ladies. You can find Sweet Theatre at Harvey Nichols and at www.sweettheatre.com:



SALLY WOOD’S SHAKESPEAREAN CHRISTMAS TREATS

The Sweet Theatre founder and chef Lawrence Otterburn create five mouth-watering recipes exclusively for Bazaar
Juliet's white chocolate, cranberry and chestnut fudge. All pictures courtesy of Matt Crockett.

No food is as synonymous with Christmas and celebrations as chocolate. Here Sally Wood, founder of the Sweet Theatre chocolate company and chef Lawrence Otterburn, share five delicious festive recipes created exclusively for Harper's Bazaar.

Juliet’s White Chocolate, Cranberry and Chestnut Fudge

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Cooling time: 3 hours in fridge
Serves: 20–24 pieces

Ingredients
200g Sweet Theatre Juliet white chocolate (broken into pieces)
350g golden caster sugar
30g unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
125ml evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g dried cranberries
50g roast chopped chestnuts
Icing sugar to decorate

Method
1. Place sugar, butter salt and evaporated milk into a large solid based pan (copper or Le Creuset are best) and heat gently until everything has dissolved.
2. Increase heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly, for around 5 minutes (it should start to reach a soft ball stage which you can check by dropping a little into a glass of cold water or using a sugar thermometer).
3. Take your fudge mixture off the heat and stir in chocolate and vanilla extract until smooth.
4. Leave for 5 minutes and fold in cranberries and roast chestnuts.
5. Pour into a large flat silicone or tin tray and chill in fridge until set, you could also use greased baking tray or individual silicone chocolate moulds to make single pieces.
6. Cut into 20-24 pieces and sprinkle with icing sugar to serve.


Q&A WITH LAURENCE DACADE OF RAYNE

I spent a lovely morning with Nick Rayne and Laurence Dacade of Rayne at London Fashion Week recently. Here's the Q&A with Laurence that I wrote for Harper's Bazaar's website. I'll be posting my interview with Nick Rayne and lots more images very soon:



Q&A WITH LAURENCE DACADE OF RAYNE

The designer and committed anglophile talks footwear, British heritage and stepping into the future
Picture courtesy of Rayne

As the talented French footwear designer introduces her second collection for Rayne, Laurence Dacade discusses the relaunch of the quintessentially British luxury brand with Harper’s BazaarOriginally launched in 1885 by Henry and Mary Rayne, the brand has collaborated with designers Roger Vivier and André Perugia, and worked closely with British couturiers such as Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies in the 1950s and 1960s. The shoes have been worn by an enviable line-up of famous women, including Elizabeth Taylor, Brigitte Bardot and Queen Elizabeth II, who wore Rayne designs at both her wedding and coronation. Today, the brand is run by the founders’ great-grandson Nick Rayne, who re-introduced it in 2013 after a 20-year absence from the market.

Were you very familiar with the Rayne brand before being appointed as designer?
When Nick originally showed me the Rayne archive, I realised that I had many images of the shoes on my wall and vintage footwear in my own archive. I buy vintage shoes because I like the design and not the label, so all these things came together when we met. I loved the history of the brand and I also loved that it was an English story, which sounded so exotic to me.