Meet Kitty and Mark, the couple who’ve spent the last ten years leafing through books, strolling down the beach and making sweets, and who now star in their very own BBC2 series, Sweets Made Simple.
Immaculate in candy-coloured wardrobes, the couple dally around a white-tiled, blue-frilled kitchen crafting all sorts of beautiful handmade sweets, from gin and lime truffles, to walnut whips, to glossy raspberry marshmallows, all topped off with a generous squidge of light banter and over-enthusiasm. Here is a crinkling paper-bag world of gratuitous soft-focus and slow-motion, where the Turkish delight is ever ‘pink and soft and yielding’.
The half hour format is as sweet as its starring confections. Sugar mice announce new recipes in themed stop-motion titles and a tinkling, acoustic soundtrack accompanies close-ups of glossy, bubbling caramel.
Each themed episode is loaded with childhood memories and anecdotal forays into jam-jar-filled confectioners, buying urban viewers into a simple, idyllic life where the hours between making sweets are filled with picnics by the seaside, good books and cuddles.
Kitty is engaging, if a little patronising, while an ever present blurred Mark occasionally shifts into focus to demonstrate a buttered Brazil or munch a tequila chilli. In fact, whilst adding a warm, nostalgic glow, the soft-focus is often overwhelming, the dark, runaway drip of chocolate a little too reminiscent of a Marks & Spencers ident.
However, although the glossy camerawork and sugary score edge on the saccharine, the production provides a fittingly sweet filter through which to promote the art of confectionery and, inevitably, Hope and Greenwood’s tie-in recipe book.