Those of you who’ve been paying attention, may remember our tagline: a devilishly moreish, chewy chocolate confection, with a hint of crunch. Today, we’d like to talk about that crunch!
In Grandma Noble’s original recipe, this would have come from Rice Krispies and crushed biscuits. For our first few years, we followed this recipe fairly strictly, even purchasing branded biscuits from our local supermarket! We then progressed, and started sourcing our ingredients from Aldi. We’d look a little mad, touring the South East for Aldi’s and filling up trolleys of biscuits and cereal. We’d then hand-crush each and every biscuit in our factory under a rolling pin, a sure way to work muscles you never knew you had!
As we grew, we realised this was not a sustainable solution. Not only was it practically a bad idea, but it gave us very little control over our supply chain, specifically with regards to the ethical stances of these suppliers. We were also very keen to remove gluten from our factory so that our gluten-free recipes had a lower risk of cross-contamination.
We set about sourcing an alternative supplier and, after toying with the idea of producing our own crumb, came across Doves Farm. We had been aware of the brand as most of our local customers also stocked their flours. We were actually looking at free from flour options so that we could trial making our own product, when we discovered that they produced so much more than just flour!
When we discovered that Dove’s Freee range could offer two different sizes of gluten-free biscuit crumb, we were ecstatic! Not only would receiving the biscuit pre-crumbed stop us from spending hours crushing the biscuits ourselves, but it would help to keep a consistency in the texture for more uniform pieces.
The next step was to test the crumb in our base. We were concerned about how a different biscuit might impact the flavour and texture of the product. We needed a biscuit which would keep it’s crunch, and work well with our cocoa-syrup base. We also didn’t want to add a long list of new ingredients to our product, and so were eager to use a clean product from a trustworthy supplier.
The first trial wasn’t a huge success; the finer grade of crumb caused the mixture to dry up too much, and added a lot of additional sweetness. Fortunately, our second trial, with a larger grade of crumb was much more successful. It added a small amount of sweetness which we were able to offset by removing sugar ourselves. We now don’t add any additional sugar into any of our products. The texture was also spot on, with only a minor amount of tweaking to the recipe required What’s more was that Freee uses RSPO certified palm oil, organic ingredients and are Coeliac certified.
Before committing to the ingredients change, we did a number of blind taste tests within the factory and with our friends and family. Unanimously, the new crumb was preferred to the old biscuit, and that very much sealed the deal! It was pretty much a win, win and we haven’t looked back since!
You can buy our gluten-free biscuit crumb to use at home here.