Chef’s Dish: A second helping of tips hot off the press

Burton Street's Famous Chocolate Brownie

Burton Street's Famous Chocolate Brownie

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The Sheffield Cook Book mark II is due in the shops next week, with an all-new collection of 80 recipes.

The book – Second Helpings – strives to capture the region’s diverse approach to food and the stories behind it.

Burton Street head chef Steve Howe

Burton Street head chef Steve Howe

It features 65 contributors, from local restaurants and food producers to guests including Howard Middleton (Great British Bake Off) and Stuart Archer (MasterChef)... and charity the Burton Street Foundation, which has a popular café and monthly bistro of its own.

The man in charge there is head chef Steve Howe, but he insists: “I don’t really think of it as my bistro. It wasn’t set up to be run by one person, it’s about everyone”.

Looking around Burton’s Bistro, with its motivated staff and unique atmosphere, it’s clear to see what he means.

“It’s our staff who set us apart from most places. A lot of our team is made up of volunteers who come and give up their time to develop their skills,” he says.

Assistant Jonathon at work in the Burton Street kitchen

Assistant Jonathon at work in the Burton Street kitchen

“You can see as you work alongside them that their confidence grows and they become a real asset. They’re the reason people come back.”

Many of the volunteers are adults with learning disabilities, who work under Steve’s careful supervision to put on a night for the Sheffield community.

All profits go back into the Foundation, to give others the support they need to reach their potential.

Burton’s Bistro is a monthly pop-up event, open to all. Based in the beautiful, former Victorian school building which is home to the Burton Street Foundation, it aims to serve up simple, delicious Yorkshire food.

The new Sheffield Cookbook - Second Helpings

The new Sheffield Cookbook - Second Helpings

“We make a conscious effort to step away from anything pretentious and instead focus on the food that we love,” says Steve.

So that means crisp Yorkshire puddings; stacks of golden, crispy fishcakes; Yorkshire cheese melting gently in leek and potato soup... Then, to top it all off, Steve’s famous chocolate brownie.

“We’ve all got a bit of a sweet tooth here,” he says.

“We serve these in our café every day and we can’t keep up with demand – they sell like hot cakes!

“The best thing is that the recipe’s so simple. It’s accessible to everyone who wants to try their hand at baking.”

One of Steve’s helpers is Jonathon, who first came to Burton Street through Enterprise 100 – a project which aims to get 100 adults with learning disabilities into employment over the next three years.

Soon Jonathon will be moving on to a paid role in the NHS as a catering assistant, until then he works hard with Steve to prepare the brownies, and other delicious treats, for the café and bistro.

The brownie recipe is set to feature in the new Sheffield Cook Book – but Sheffield Telegraph readers are being treated to a preview.

“The trick isn’t necessarily the ingredients, but the method,” says Steve.

“It’s important to take your time, get the method right and put plenty of care into the preparation. That’s the beauty of baking, as long as you put in that care and effort, you’ll always have something delicious.”

* The Sheffield Cook Book – Second Helpings is published on Monday by Sheffield-based Meze, priced £14.95.

RECIPE by head chef Steve Howe

Chocolate Brownies

INGREDIENTS:

210g plain chocolate, chopped

210g milk chocolate, chopped

150g white chocolate, chopped

175g butter

150g brown sugar

75g caster sugar

3 tsp of vanilla essence

110g plain flour

4 eggs, beaten

METHOD:

Carefully melt plain and milk chocolate with the butter in a saucepan, slowly on a low heat, then cool the mixture slightly when melted.

Next add both sugars to the chocolate, then mix and stir.

Add in the beaten eggs and vanilla essence and mix them together.

Add plain flour and combine, but be careful not to over mix.

Add the white chocolate and stir slightly.

Pour mixture into a greased and lined tin.

Bake in a pre-heated oven, 180ºC / gas mark 4, for 25 to 30 minutes.

Brownies should still be soft to the touch and squishy.

Cut into 12 square portions.

Cool and enjoy!

These brownies are absolutely delicious just on their own, but for an extra treat they can be served warm, with chocolate sauce or whipped cream and strawberries, or simply with ice cream.