It's been ages since I last blogged. Frankly, I've been feeling a little un-inspired, or perhaps, more accurately, over-inspired. I've got so many wonderful recipes that I want to try, as well as a whole raft of ideas tucked away in my brain, that sometimes I spend more time deliberating about what to bake rather then actually baking. Once I've finally decided on something, I suddenly start to worry that I'm missing out on something even better. It's pathetic, I know, but true. Even though I've made a few things here and there, nothing has motivated me to actually put pen to paper, as it were, and blog. Until this recipe.
For the last few weeks, most of Britain has been enjoying a 'heat wave' - in other words, what the rest of the world would term 'normal summer weather'. Sadly, the day that I had planned to do some painting (of furniture, not pictures) in the garden, the weather decided to change and pour with rain. Always one to make the best of bad situation (I'm really not), I decided to stay inside and bake. Hence, these brownies.
I sort of feel like 'Cherry Buckwheat Brownies' doesn't really sum up everything these babies have going for them. Like all good brownies, they are packed full of chocolate. The edges are firm and slightly chewy, while the middle slices give way to luscious chocolaty goo. So far, they tick all the prerequisites for a good brownie. It's the extras that take these to a level far above and beyond other brownies I've made. The cherries, slightly tart and juicy, cut thought the chocolate, the hazelnuts sprinkled on top add texture and crunch. There's a dash of coffee essence thrown in too for good measure - next time I would perhaps increase the amount for a more pronounced flavour. The combination of ground almonds and buckwheat flour make these brownies gluten free, although I personally couldn't detect much difference in flavour or texture because of this. Tonight, we had 9 people around our dinner table enjoying these with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and everyone loved them, so they are certainly what I would term an all-around winner.
Cherry Buckwheat Brownies (Gluten free) Adapted from these Buckwheat Flour Brownies from London Bakes Makes 20 - 25 brownies, depending on how you slice them - they are very rich so personally I prefer smaller pieces 150g unsalted butter 125g dark chocolate 250g brown sugar 4 eggs 40g cocoa powder 50g ground almonds 50g buckwheat flour1/2 teaspoonbaking powder 1 tsp coffee essence 200g pitted cherries 50g chopped hazelnuts Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 23cm baking tin. Break or chop the chocolate into small pieces and melt it, together with the butter, in a large heatproof bowl. I always use the microwave to melt chocolate, but you can, of course, do this over a pan of simmering water. Stir in the sugar by hand, then whisk in the eggs, one at a time, using electric hand-held beaters. Fold in the cocoa powder, ground almonds, buckwheat flour, baking powder and coffee essence until just combined. Pour into the tin and sprinkle over the cherries and hazelnuts. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes. I always find baking brownies stressful as the stakes, to me, feel so high (i.e you could end up with the travesty that is a dry, over baked brownie). The brownies should be set and just starting to come away from the edges of the tin. Cool in the tin before slicing.