A glance at the Sweet Peas recipe index is all the confirmation you need that I have a sweet tooth: there are far more cakes than anything else. I worry I’m at risk of sending you all into a sugar induced coma and with this in mind I try my best to write about the things I’m cooking that don’t involve chocolate/butter/sugar. But sometimes, you just have to have a brownie. Or 236,431,908,075, as was the case earlier this week.
On Wednesday I woke up and went for a run before meeting my parents for breakfast. I exercised some self-control decided not to have a brownie for breakfast. Instead, I ordered a broccoli quinoa salad (surely there is a medal for that kind of commitment to healthy living and don’t say longevity). Then I met friends for lunch at Reuben Hills. I had avocado, coriander and lime on toast and a mocha (just to balance out all those greens). There was a stuff up with our table so a courtesy coconut cake appeared out of nowhere. It’s at this point that my sanity is really called into question. The coconut cake was spectacular but just not a brownie, you know? So reader, I headed home to bake the darn brownies. I’m embarrassed to admit I ate the brownies straight out of the pan. I’m even more embarrassed to admit that I then went to Max Brenner with a friend where I ordered a hot chocolate so rich I had to
drink eat it with a spoon. Of course, that couldn’t possibly satisfy a chocolate craving so after dinner I had more brownies with some ice cream for good measure.
Isn’t that horrifying?! Apart from the fact that I consumed my body weight in chocolate in one day, I’m somewhat sickened by the fact that my entire day revolved around eating. I need some new hobbies. In my defence the brownies were stupidly delicious. Does that make it any better? I hope so, because I have no other excuses.
I feel a little silly for posting a recipe for brownies so soon after Valentine’s Day. The thing is, we didn’t eat these for Valentine’s (we did have a delicious crumb cake my housemate cooked with peaches from her parents’ tree). In any case, they deserve better than to be trotted out once a year just because Hallmark said so. This brownie recipe should be printed off, laminated, framed, book marked, pinned or whatever it is you do with your favourite recipes. They are delicious. This recipe leans towards the cakey end of the brownie spectrum. They’re fudgey and gooey and soft, with a lovely crackled top, but they’re not soggy or stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth thick like brownies so often are. Perfect.
A note about the buckwheat flour. My new housemate (everyone say hello to Georgie!) has celiac disease and as a result we’ve ventured into the world of gluten-free baking. This often involves mixing together lots of different, hard to find, exotic flours. The joy of these brownies is that the couldn’t be simpler: buckwheat is all you need. And though these brownies are gluten-free, I would implore you to give them a try even if that isn’t a requirement for you as buckwheat adds another (delicious) dimension to baked goods. It’s available from the supermarket, it’s relatively inexpensive and it’s also super versatile (try buckwheat pancakes, waffles, peach upside down cake or even scones). I do hope you enjoy. In the meantime, there’s some brownies with my name on them waiting in the kitchen. I guess I’ll never learn…
Chocolate Buckwheat Brownies (recipe from London Bakes)
150 g unsalted butter
125 g chocolate (I used milk but dark would be delicious), roughly chopped
150 g caster sugar (I used vanilla sugar – yum!)
120 g brown sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
40 g cocoa powder
80 g buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp instant coffee
pinch flakey sea salt (like Maldon)
1. Preheat the oven to 180’C/350’F. Grease a 23cm square baking tin or line with baking paper.
2. Melt together the butter and chocolate in the microwave (I start with 20 second bursts) or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water or in a saucepan over a very low heat.
3. When the butter and chocolate is melted, remove from the heat. Add the sugars and stir to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring well between each addition. Add the vanilla and stir to combine.
4. Fold in the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, coffee and salt. Stir until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin. Bake for 20-25 mins (for me they took closer to 30 mins). The brownies are ready when they are coming away from the sides of the tin and feel just set if you touch them gently. Leave to cool in the tin before tucking in!