MOTHER and daughter team are cooking up some of East Lancashire’s most mouth-watering desserts, winning awards along the way for their eco-friendly approach to baking.

Sharon Canavan and Leanne Entwistle are also looking for bigger premises to meet the demand for their classic dishes, such as sticky toffee pudding, Belgian chocolate fudge pudding and bitter chocolate tortes.

After leaving their Ramsbottom-based cafe, The Cultured Bean, to concentrate on their food line, Ma Bean’s, Sharon reckons it is common to see large pans of sticky toffee sauce, ready to be jarred-up and sold, bubbling on the stove in the family kitchen.

Sharon, who is from Accrington, says: “It was time to sell the cafe because we wanted to concentrate on producing the desserts.

“When we had the cafe people would just turn up for our puddings. They were very popular so we decided to produce and sell them as an additional sideline.

Then the business developed over the years and the decision was made. we concentrated on the food supplies and we haven’t looked back since.”

All of Ma Bean’s produce is made with free-range eggs and the pair have their own flock of hens, some of which are ex-battery chickens, which were rescued and are now living the organic life in rural Lancashire.

The company was recently granted an Award of Eggsellence by the British Hen Welfare Trust, for the use of free-range eggs in all produce.

“We have our own hens running around in the garden and always use free- range eggs in the baking.

“Sometimes it looks as though we have used yellow food colouring but it’s not, it is just the natural colours coming through,” says Sharon who will soon be adding some more hens to meet baking demands.

she says: “We use locally-produced butter and cream in our recipes, fresh, home-grown fruit when in season and, of course, only the best quality Belgian chocolate goes into our chocolate varieties.” Mother and daughter have won several awards for Ma Bean’s produce.

The sticky toffee pudding won two gold stars in the Great Taste Award, while the Belgian chocolate fudge pudding, the sticky toffee pudding and bitter chocolate tortes scooped North West Fine Food Awards.

The Bean tradition lives on in their products from the time they were at the cafe.

“It wasn’t long before I acquired the nickname ‘Ma Bean’ and ‘Baby Bean’ was Leanne’s.

“At the cafe, our staff nicknames soon followed, and each staff member was awarded their nickname as a badge of honour.

“Inadvertently we created a family unit within the workforce called the Beanies.”

Sharon is currently responsible for the baking, while Leanne travels the Great Ocean Road in Australia.

Ma Bean’s puddings and produce, including white currant and apple jelly, fresh custard, bar-le-duc and a range of sauces are sold at farmers’ markets across East Lancashire and in outlets such as Oswaldtwistle Mills.

The pair are looking to branch out into the hospitality sector, having had interest from eateries in and around the Ribble Valley.

Sharon says, “Making your own products can be hard work but it’s extremely rewarding.

“We already cater for cafes and our next venture is supplying some of the bigger restaurants.”