I came up with the idea of Peanut Caramel as a product some 12 years ago when experimenting with millionaire shortbread, one of my Mum's go-to classic traybakes and a family favourite. I incorporated peanut butter into the recipe to bring a punch of extra savouriness to the already excellent shortbread. The result was, unsurprisingly, delicious. The caramel that came from this experimentation was a sweet peanut flavoured spread, similar in consistency to Nutella. I loved this concoction so much that I decided to make bulk batches of it, package it into jars and sell it. My hot-shot graphic designer sister, Claire, did a design for the labels and Peanut Caramel was born.

I was working as a chef at the time, so it might come as a surprise to any readers who know the typical hours of a chef that I had any spare time to work on a side project such as this. I was a pastry chef at a restaurant that was sadly not doing very well and was very quiet most days of the week – hence I was blessed with enough spare time to work on Peanut Caramel. However, the restaurant would soon go out of business and I'd be looking for another job. I started working at a bigger, more successful (and busier!) restaurant, and had to shelve the Peanut Caramel project. I intended to revisit it when I had the time.

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Peanut Caramel jars lined up, ready to be sold!

Fast forward to 2024 and I'm now excited to tell you that Peanut Caramel is back! It has a revamped classy new label design (thanks Claire), an improved recipe and an accompanying website with a growing library of delicious dessert recipes to make with it. Coming up with recipe ideas has been the most fun part of the project – there seem to be an endless number of desserts and sweet treats to make with Peanut Caramel.

It's a true family business, with Claire in charge of design matters and Gemma managing the social media side of things. We've got an Instagram page and an online shop. We're planning to supply wholesale to some local delicatessens and garden centres and I have some chef pals who are keen to buy bulk 1kg tubs for their restaurants. We'll also be eyeing up local food markets soon, where we'll be able to sell some delicious desserts alongside the jars of Peanut Caramel themselves.

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Peanut Caramel biscuit traybake, one of the many delicious things you can make with Peanut Caramel

If you fancy giving it a try, head over to the shop to place an order. There's a 15% Grand Opening discount until the end of this week (5th April).

And if you're on Instagram, check out our profile and follow us :)