Inside the Factory

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Cherry Bakewells

Series 5 - Episode 1 Cherry Bakewells

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Review

“This is a great job!” blares Gregg Wallace on his latest trip. The job in question involves scraping leftover bits of fondant mixture off the lip of one vat into a larger vat, but that’s enough to spark delirium in Gregg.

He’s beside himself for most of the visit to the production line in Stoke-on-Trent that makes Mr Kipling’s cherry bakewell tarts. “You are the icing on the cake!” he roars at an icing technician, of course. But even Gregg is slightly floored by a woman who has been placing half-cherries on top of countless tarts by hand for 12 years.

The factory has hoppers and nibblers and precision dollopers that provide the usual mesmerising visuals. And for connoisseurs of food industry hairnets, there’s a manager who sports that rarity – a net for his moustache.

Summary

Gregg Wallace visits a cherry Bakewell factory in Stoke on Trent that produces 250,000 tarts every day, and meets the team of 12 employed to precisely place the cherries on top by hand. Cherry Healey learns the tricks of avoiding a soggy pastry bottom when baking at home, and visits a factory where almonds are roasted and milled to make butter. Historian Ruth Goodman discovers the origins of frangipane as a perfume in 17th-century Paris, and discovers how the modern cherry Bakewell recipe was arrived at by accident.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Gregg Wallace
Presenter Cherry Healey
Contributor Ruth Goodman
Editor Matthew Reinders
Executive Producer Amanda Lyon
Executive Producer Sanjay Singhal
Series Producer Michael Rees
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Documentary Education