Have you met: Fair & Square Brownies?
**SPECIAL OFFER – enjoy a FREE seasonal Pear & Ginger brownie when you buy any box of four (while stocks last!) **
It’s taken years of perfecting to create these awesome brownies, and boy was it worth the wait! Available in 15 lip-smackingly tasty flavours, with just the right amount of squidginess , the brownies are all hand-made using Fairtrade and gluten free products – it’s fair to say these are probably the best brownies in the world!
Who is behind Fair & Square?
I’m Sarah Jaskowska. I started Fair & Square Chocolate Brownies in 2011 and have been the main person behind the company five years on.
How did the idea for making and selling brownies come about?
I worked as a private caterer for several years. Without doubt, my most popular dessert was my brownies (served warm, incidentally, with a delicious local vanilla ice cream). I once made a tower of brownies for an end of filming party in the Cotswolds and was told that the whole world should try them. I’m not quite there yet but am lucky to have Fair & Square enthusiasts from all over the world.
All of your brownies are gluten free – why did you take this decision?
It was purely as a result of listening to my customers. So many people came to me asking for gluten free brownies that I knew I had to respond. I discovered I could make them with no difference in taste or texture from my traditional brownies so made the whole range with gluten free ingredients. It means that I can avoid the risk of cross contamination with any wheat based brownies.
These really are the best brownies I have tasted – how long /how many attempts did it take to come up with the final recipe?
Thank you so much! It’s lovely when people say that; it makes all the hard work worthwhile. It took a LONG time to come up with the final recipe. Let’s just say my children were complaining about having to eat so many brownies (and they love their chocolate). I’m a bit of an obsessive when it comes to brownies so I’m constantly looking at ways to improve.
What gives your brownies their incredible gooiness?
Lots of chocolate! The wonderful free range eggs play a big part too.
How many flavours do you make?
In total, about 15 different flavours. I don’t do all of them all year around, it would be too difficult for customers to choose. I like to reflect seasonal fruits and flavours (Seville Orange brownies in February are always popular).
What is your best-selling flavour?
Salted Caramel always goes down a storm.
How many brownies do you make a week?
It varies throughout the year. At the moment it’s the Food Festival season so this week I’ll be baking just over 2000 brownies!
How do you make your brownies?
I am still just about able to make my brownies from my own kitchen. I’m lucky to have a large farmhouse sized kitchen. That said, my family kitchen space has been rather squeezed into a corner now!
Where do your ingredients come from?
Buying local is one of the main philosophies of my business. I’m so lucky that my eggs and butter are delivered from farms which are literally just down the road. My Fairtrade chocolate and cocoa does have to be delivered from a specialist supplier in Sussex but everything else I buy from producers or suppliers within 20 miles of my kitchen.
Why was it important to you to use Fairtrade products?
It’s all too easy to overlook the origins of some of our favourite foods. Luxury ingredients such as chocolate, cocoa and sugar are frequently the result of extremely exploitative practices lower down the production chain. Cocoa beans for example are frequently grown on community based plantations with workers living in the immediate locality. The Fairtrade system guarantees that, not only is a fair price paid for the beans (usually above the market price) but that the excess payment is invested in local community schemes such as housing and education. If there’s a Fairtrade option available, please buy it. If there isn’t, demand it.
Do you have any new flavours coming out for autumn?
Pear & ginger will be out in October. It contains fruity chunks of pear with deliciously sticky stem ginger.
Which flavour should visitors to the market try next?
Definitely Pear & Ginger! In the meantime, if you haven’t tried Cardamom & Pistachio that’s definitely one with a growing loyal following.