Chocolate Buckwheat Cake

When I decide I need to make brownies, it's usually not because I really want fudgey chocolatey sweet baked goods, though that is a side benefit., and I do enjoy eating brownies, but for me, most of the good parts happen earlier on, I just like stirring chocolate and butter, I find it very relaxing.

Chocolate buckwheat cake involves stirring butter and chocolate, yogurt, and also buckwheat. The result tastes like a particularly nutty brownie, though maybe a little less sweet. It's also gluten-free, if that matters to you, using almond and buckwheat flours. You can also practice folding you egg whites into batter, which makes this an oddly relaxing cake to bake. And at the end, you have a very nice cake, so that's not bad either. And if you happen to have some chocolate-hazelnut ice cream to go with it, that could be quite pleasant.

I found this recipe here (definitely not while slowly reading my way through the entire archive...), and promptly forgot about it for a while. Then I remembered I had buckwheat flour, and was not ready to try buckwheat galettes again. (Being lower in gluten, they are delicate and rip easily, and I was not feeling patient.)

So. Time to bake a cake?

David Lebovitz uses bittersweet dark chocolate. I had a bar of dark chocolate with almonds, so I went up to 200g  of the bar to make up for the almonds, and chopped it roughly, so there would be nice chunks of almonds left at the end.

Grease an 8-inch (20cm) round cake pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper. I was silly the first time and skipped the parchment, but the result was removing two cake halves from the pan. There's not much holding this cake together, so it's nice to have a piece of paper to help out with that.
Preheat the oven to 350°F, or 180°C.

Now the fun part!

Chop up 6 ounces, or 170g of bittersweet chocolate, or 7 ounces/200g of bittersweet chocolate with almonds or your favourite nut, and melt together with 1/2 cup (115g) of cubed butter. Use a heatproof bowl over a bowl of simmering water, or use a microwave-safe bowl and give it 30 seconds on medium high, then stir, and repeat til melted. (Note: Our microwave is old and slow, so you might want to start with 10-15 seconds and go from there)
This looked prettier in person, and very nice melted.

Once that is melted,  in a medium bowl. whisk together 4 egg yolks, 1/3 cup (80 ml) whole milk yogurt, 1/4 cup (50g) sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp salt. Add your chocolate-butter to that and mix til it's nicely blended. (If I had been really clever, I would have used a larger bowl to microwave the butter and chocolate, so the other ingredients could have been added in to that, leading to less clean-up.)
Now add 1/4 cup (35g) buckwheat flour and a 3/4 cup (75g) almond or hazelnut flour, and mix them in.
All mixed together. Underneath you see my notebook.
Egg whites!
Beat four of them (so, the ones you have "left over" from the previous steps) to soft peaks, add 1/4 cup (50g) sugar, and keep beating til they form firm peaks.
Egg whites
Take about one-third of the egg whites and fold them into the chocolate mixture. (This is supposed to lighten the batter, so the egg-fluff is not completely crushed.)

 About one-third?
 Into the bowl!
Fold in the egg whites til no white streaks are left. Then, fold in the rest.
 Looks exciting, but not quite there yet.
Pour that batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 25-35 minutes. 
Not quite done yet.

If the middle of the cake is still a little soft, that's ok, take it out anyway. Let it cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan. 
If you like warm cake, this one is very nice with a scoop of ice cream.

The short version (or just go here)

Chocolate Buckwheat Cake

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C), grease an 8-inch (20cm) round pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Melt together, let cool slightly:
6 oz (170g) of dark chocolate (or 7 oz/200g of dark chocolate with nuts), chopped
1/2 cup (115g) butter, cubed

Add to this, mix til combined:
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup (80ml) yogurt, preferably whole milk
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

Mix in:
1/4 cup (35g) buckwheat flour
3/4 cup (75g) almond or hazelnut flour

In a separate bowl, whisk to soft peaks:
4 egg whites

Add to the beaten egg whites:
1/4 cup (50g) sugar

Beat til firm peaks form.

Fold 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the rest, gently. (Optional: Fold in an extra handful of toasted chopped nuts).
Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top. 
Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until only the center looks slightly soft. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and consider eating right away.
Keeps for a few days if lightly wrapped.


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