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A Magazine for Sheffield

The Sweet Spot

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Treating yourself to something sweet will brighten up any grey day.

You only need to look at Instagram for a taste of the sweet treats you can get in Sheffield, from beautifully-crafted sticky toffee pudding cake at Alyssum cafe bistro in Crookesmoor to creative fruit-filled danishes and cruffins from 4eyes Patisserie, just off Bramall Lane.

Recently we've spotted some fine-looking s'mores at Steam Yard, vegan cookie sandwiches at Union St and a cracking gluten-free cappuccino pavlova cake at The Rude Shipyard on Abbeydale Road.

While we're on the topic of indulgence, we spoke to Pete from Box Bakery and Sarah from Baked on Sharrow Vale Road to hear more about their passion for baking and to glean some top tips for home cooks. Box also kindly shared a recipe for gooey chocolate brownies, which we present here for your enjoyment.

Ros Ayres


Box Bakery

165 Gibraltar Street, S3 8UA

Tell us a bit about what you do.

I'm Pete and I run Box Bakery, a micro bakery next door to Elm. Our main focus is on bread, but we have a love for baking gooey brownies and flavour-packed cookies too. Don't expect small and delicate here.

When setting up the bakery we wanted to focus on the elements that were really important to us: the bread and sweet treats. Our ethos is do this well, using the best local ingredients that we can.

Our sweet specialities are our walnut & dark chocolate and salted chocolate & molasses cookies. Our signature Box brownie is a favourite with our customers. My favourite right now is the salted chocolate & molasses cookie. I developed the recipe to be something a bit more refined and more grown up. The grown up thing didn't pan out, as when you bite into one it's absolute filth - in the best possible way!

Good food doesn't have to be Instagrammable

Who or what inspired you to bake?

Family has always been a huge inspiration. My Dad and Grandad both worked in flour milling. They taught me to make bread and inspired a passion for using quality ingredients. My Mum and Nana inspired the sweet baking aspect of Box. I remember running home from school at lunchtimes to help Mum make cake batters to bake for later in the day.

Recently, I've been lucky enough to acquire the family recipe for my favourite childhood treat, a chocolate oat crunch. That's on the counter at Box now. All it took to get it was setting up a professional bakery!

What top tips would you share with keen home bakers?

Dive in and give things a try. Often good things can come out of what seemed like a mistake, and if not, there's no harm done. Just do something different next time. Good food doesn't have to be Instagrammable. It just has to taste good and make you smile.


14 Hickmott Road

Tell us a bit about what you do.

I'm Sarah and I make and sell vegan cakes which are all gluten-free too. I specialise in making vegan cakes, so much of my time is spent thinking about flavour combinations I can 'veganise' or make gluten-free.

I would say that the most popular cake at Baked is the chocolate & hazelnut cake, a rich chocolate cake filled with hazelnut buttercream and a layer of chocolate spread and topped with toasted hazelnuts.

Who or what inspired you to bake?

I remember baking with my Nan and Mum when I was little. I've always enjoyed it but never for a minute did I consider it as a career. I was a secondary school teacher!

A lot of my customers have coeliac disease and although the selection of gluten-free goods is ten times better than five years ago, it's rare to go somewhere and be able to choose from absolutely everything on offer. I'm passionate about providing delicious cakes to not only people who have dietary restrictions, but also those who can eat everything and just enjoy good cake.

Don't be tempted to scrimp on what the recipe suggests

What top tips would you share with keen home bakers?

Don't believe everything you see. Bloggers sometimes post recipes with these incredible photos. You try and recreate it and you're met with a disappointing variant of what you were expecting.

Buy some basic equipment and don't go crazy. For example, for smoothing frosting you need an offset spatula and an icing smoother, plastic not metal.

Be generous with salt in baking. Don't be tempted to scrimp on what the recipe suggests. It sounds counterintuitive, but it really helps balance the sweetness of buttercream.

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