About Sweet Angels

Hi, my name is Craig Zimmerman and this all started with Sharon Drake - My wonderful and beautiful cousin. Sharon makes the most delicious culinary iniquities and it was she who taught me how to make proper fudge. Now we are a happy, loving, authentic and caring family so food is somehow special… as it should be when getting together - Love and nourishment are somehow linked. At Innibos Festival around June 2011, Sharon made (Slaved) enough Chilli Fudge to feed Nelspruit and environs - and feast Mpumalanga did that year. I had always known that our Chilli Fudge was something special… But it was then at Innibos that I saw it was something that deserved attention.

Now I must hasten to add that I have tasted a number of copy attempts to recreate our Chilli Fudge. But none come close. I’ve even had people come to me at food markets and confess to me they tried to recreate what we do… but they admit they couldn’t. So I have heard: “I guess we’ll just have to continue to get it from Sweet Angels”. It’s then I’d reply: “Happy to be of service”. At the time of writing this, Sweet Angels has been going for a year now… But I can say it has been one of the most meaningful journeys of my life. Not only the experience gained over this time but the cultivation of ideas… The outlet of deep creative expression. We are heading toward 30 designer flavours within the first year of our existence! Not one has ever been said to be bad or rejected by our fudge loving clients.

One day at a Pretoria market, an elderly lady stated in Afrikaans that Sweet Angels fudge was the best she’d ever tasted “I have been making fudge all my life and I’ve never tasted a fudge so good – You must really know what you’re doing!” , to which I replied: “I haven’t got a clue”. I did not mean that I didn’t know what I was doing; I meant it all happens through inspiration and feel… Not rigid technical and angular knowledge. Rather, Creativity/ -tion and beauty belong to each other and I believe that all beauty (Read: Joy) pre exists… the art is in allowing oneself to become a conduit of Beautiful Creation and a state of thought-less-ness has to be in place for inspiration to occur.

Leading on from the above, I once said to my daughter: “I taste through my fingers”. I only received a strange, then teenage, glance in return. But that’s what seems to happen… that and scent/flavour memory. I imagine it is similar to a musician being able to “listen” to a complete concert in their head. Now they can hum a tune for you but try explaining the taste and fragrance of a strawberry to somebody. Yet even if I recorded a fragrance over an extended period, I can link it to something special I sense today. Thus Marula, Youngberry and Macadamia, Salt to Cashew to Fudge. Yes, fans suggest flavours (Thank you Tanya – Strawberry and Black Pepper) but it’s getting the balance spot on that makes the difference.

I knew that Sweet Angels had arrived when a Master Chef, doing demonstrations at the Rosebank Rooftop Market, proclaimed our fudges as perfect and the first fudge he’d tasted that was what it said it was – one didn’t have to guess with some effort a tenuous flavour connection.

The art in making all the different flavours has really come in combining wet fruit pulps to fudge… water and fudge don’t go well together, so the trick has been to get fudges to set consistently to the ideal “snap” texture but packed with natural fruit or spice or homemade (And fudge specific) preserve. The basic fudge recipe does not change for anybody - but each fudge flavour demands a different cooking technique, be it in the timing of adding ingredients or the different temperature ranges they individually require… or even the actual cooking length of time. Chocolate and Orange for example will go through three temperature changes and double the cooking time with great care not to “scorch” the chocolate. But in all cases, reading the bubbles holds the key!

I Want to Acknowledge

Firstly, thank you Sharon for believing that I could carry on the family tradition and recipe. I honour you in all this. I want to thank my beautiful daughter Romey, a gifted artist, who unconsciously encouraged me to find the self belief to create. To my skinny sister, Shelby, for her encouragement and willing assistance when I was overwhelmed. To Cameron, my nephew, for the e technical and website support. To Claudine Henchie, fortunately an intense fudge lover and Graphic Designer extraordinaire, thank you for your imagination and perfect ideas being put into colour and form. Manny and Rosa, thank you for your commercial kitchen and your patience - You are true friends to me. Oh yes, and thank you for being part of my prestigious Tasting Panel. The pay is nonexistent but the fudge is free. To Trevor Noyle for your true Christian grace and character and for allowing me to use your spacious facilities – It is most most appreciated. To Sean McLeod for assembling www.sweetangels.co.za at a moment’s notice – Thank you Sean.

But mostly I want to thank Colin my friend - Also a true friend. Thank you Colin for your support, patience and standing by me through a time of difficult change. You are as my brother.

I am blessed by those around me.