Little Book of Sheffield is a big boost to city's independent sector

A new guide to Sheffield’s independent businesses is designed to encourage people to help keep them going in tough times.

Monday, 14th December 2020, 10:00 am

The writers of The Little Book of Sheffield says that its publication “comes at a time when local indies need all the support they can get, and is designed to help people make the most of them.

“Offering an in-depth guide to the best independent businesses in the Steel City, this book showcases the makers, producers, retailers, cafés, pubs, bars and restaurants that make the city hum.”

The book has been produced by the city’s Exposed Magazine and Meze Publishing.

Delicious-looking festive fare from The Mowbray events venue in Neepsend, who are running a Christmas shop at shop.themowbray.co.uk

With a foreword from city institution Henderson's Relish, The Little Book of Sheffield also features the likes of True North Brewery, Locksley Gin, Moss Valley Fine Meats, Freshmans Vintage, Bird’s Yard, The Mowbray, Jameson's Tearooms and The Famous Sheffield Shop.

All are telling their stories and celebrating what makes them and the city unique.

The book is also part of Sheffield City Council's Make Yourself At Home campaign, which is celebrating the city’s businesses, services and arts and cultural organisations. Find the campaign website at www.welcometosheffield.co.uk/makeyourselfathome

In the book, readers can find out how small business owners have coped during this challenging year and learn what they love most about the unique community that has always helped independents to thrive in Sheffield.

Behind the scenes at Sheffield's popular Triple Point Brewery

Exposed say: “Even if you can’t visit a favourite café or restaurant just yet, this book includes some delicious recipes so you can cook up a storm at home.

"Start the day with Vegan Mocha Pancakes from Whaletown Coffee, have a go at making homemade tortillas with expert instruction from Kelham Island’s own Mexican fiesta, piña, and treat yourself to patisserie specialist 4eyes’ hazelnut and chocolate babka (recipe below).”

Exposed Magazine editor Joseph Food said: “t’s been a tough year for many businesses but we’re hoping for a more positive 2021 where the city can get safely back on its two feet.

"The people in this city are incredible when it comes to supporting local independents, and we’re going to continue letting them know exactly how they can do so.”

Online editor Paul Stimpson added: “Sheffield is a beacon when it comes to small businesses; it revolves around our independents and they are entrenched in the very soul of the city.

"We’re hoping this book can give everyone a lift through these turbulent times and remind everyone of how they can support our indies.”

The Little Book of Sheffield is a 176-page paperback and retails at £10.

It will be available to purchase from the contributors, in bookshops including Waterstones and online at Amazon and www.mezepublishing.co.uk

Now here’s that recipe.

4eyes’ Chocolate & Hazelnut Babka

Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus proving. Cooking time: approx. 25 minutes. Serves 12

This recipe is a firm favourite at 4eyes HQ after the team were asked to make it by one of their customers!

For the dough:

500g plain flour

60g caster sugar

5g salt

25g dried yeast

125g butter

2 medium eggs

125ml milk

For the filling:

60g butter

90g caster sugar

50g 70% dark chocolate

25g cocoa powder

5g ground cinnamon

50g hazelnuts, toasted and lightly crushed

For the syrup:

50g caster sugar

50g glucose

Make the dough:

Put everything, except the eggs and milk, into a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Mix for 2 minutes at medium speed, then add the milk and eggs and let it combine for 5 minutes. Leave the dough in the bowl and make the filling.

For the filling:

Melt the butter and put all the other ingredients, except the hazelnuts, into a bowl. Stir the hot butter into the bowl, mix to a paste and then set aside at room temperature.

Line a 30cm loaf tin with baking paper and roll out the dough into a rectangle 2cm wider than the tin. Spread the chocolate filling over the dough and sprinkle over the hazelnuts. Roll up the dough, starting from the top and rolling towards yourself. Make sure the roll is tight as it tends to separate.

Now cut down the centre of the roll lengthways. Lay one of the pieces on top of the other with the chocolate layers facing up. Twist the pieces together starting from the middle; you should get three turns at each end. Gently scrunch the twist from each end to make the babka plumper and fit the tin.

Transfer the babka into the lined tin and press down gently. Cover and leave to prove somewhere warm until doubled in size. Bake the proved babka in a preheated fan oven for 16 minutes at 190°c and then turn the temperature down to 170°c for another 8 minutes.

Make the syrup:

While it bakes, put the sugar and glucose in a small pan with 50ml of water and heat until the sugars have dissolved. Before taking the babka out of the tin, douse it generously with the syrup and then leave to cool. Slice and serve the babka on its own or with honey, cream or more chocolate. Enjoy!

Try swapping out the chocolate and replace it with apple and raisin, blueberry and pistachio or any other favourite flavours too.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.