Baby-Batch Buckwheat Brownies

7/01/2020 10:22:00 PM

Baby-Batch Buckwheat Brownies! This recipe makes a small batch of the richest, most luscious chocolate brownies! Incidentally gluten free, they're dark and fudgy, with a slightly smoky and nutty flavour thanks to the addition of buckwheat flour, and with little nuggets of milk chocolate studded throughout. They will definitely satisfy your chocolate craving!

Baby Batch Buckwheat Brownies
Baby Batch Buckwheat Brownies

Continuing my adventures in small batch baking... I present to you my baby-batch buckwheat brownies! Unfortunately Corona numbers have going back up in Victoria, so it looks like small-batch baking will continue to be useful for the next little while. Yesterday I learned that some badly-affected suburbs have to go back to Stage 3 restrictions until the end of the month. I'm extremely lucky that I don't live in one of the lockdown suburbs, but still, it behoves us all to take things seriously and stay home as much as possible, without visitors, to protect the vulnerable in the community and help us all get back on top of this.

Given that we have a young baby and elderly parents, the lifting of Victoria's Stage 3 restrictions back in May didn't really change much for us - I was (and am) still working from home, doing most of our shopping online, and only going out for food shopping, medical appointments, takeaway coffees or walks around the neighbourhood. The main change we made was to start allowing occasional short catch-ups with my parents and some friends, always outdoors, and with no physical contact. (So usually it's a walk in the park with friends, or sitting on my parents' deck with a table between us). It is SO hard not letting my parents cuddle the baby, but we gotta do what we gotta do, and complaining about it isn't going to improve anything.

I keep seeing posts on social media of people socialising in close proximity to friends and family - holding each other's kids, huddling together for photos, sharing food around a table, meeting up with different groups over different days - and oh my goodness, just thinking about it sends my anxiety levels through the roof. I am one hundred percent not emotionally ready for "normal" social interactions again! I'm lucky that our close friends are all similarly-minded (I mean, I guess that's why we're close friends), and we aren't pressuring each other to start hanging out IRL again.

Buckwheat Brownie Ingredients
Buckwheat Brownie Ingredients

Anyway, let's get back to these buckwheat brownies! I had a serious chocolate craving over the past week, and just really wanted a lovely dark rich intense chocolatey treat. I'd made Nigella's chocolate buckwheat cookies a short while back, and was craving that same vibe of "dark chocolate with an intriguing smoky hint from the buckwheat flour", but in brownie format - less cakey/crumbly, more gooey innards and crackly top. A quick Google search revealed these delicious-looking buckwheat brownies on Kelly Neil that fit the bill perfectly. I halved the recipe to bake it in a mini-loaf pan (20x10cm) and added milk chocolate buttons to break up the dark gooeyness and add a mild, not distracting, textural component. (I used fancy French 35% cocoa milk buttons from Sisko because why the heck not). I also changed up the method a bit to suit my own style, reduced the cooking time, and of course have converted the recipe measures to metric.

Buckwheat Brownie Batter
Buckwheat Brownie Batter

The brownies are very easy to put together - it's just a melt and mix affair - and they're very quick to make. (Even quicker if you don't measure out all the ingredients individually for pretty blog photos, hah). They're also gluten free if this is something that interests you! (Just double check that your buckwheat flour is certified gluten free, and that the chocolates are also gluten free - some chocolate brands have barley malt as an ingredient, which is super delicious but obviously contains gluten).

Baby-Batch Buckwheat Brownies
Baby-Batch Buckwheat Brownies

Oh my goodness, these brownies were so good! Perfectly rich and so intensely chocolatey. The crackly top and crunchy edges against the gooey chocolate centre are just wonderful. Make sure you use a good quality chocolate - for both the dark chocolate in the batter and the milk chocolate chips - as you can really taste it in the finished product. If you use cheap shitty chocolate, you will get cheap shitty brownies. (By this I don't mean that the chocolate has to be the most expensive one you can find, but just that it should be one you actually enjoy eating. I think supermarket brands are more than fine, but would personally avoid compound chocolate).

Baby-Batch Buckwheat Brownies

When we're back to having friends over again, I can definitely see tiny squares or triangles of these brownies served as part of an afternoon tea platter, or with strong coffee at the end of a long shared meal, as a petit four. One day!

Baby-Batch Buckwheat Brownies
A recipe by Sarah Cooks, adapted from Kelly Neil

85 grams (3 ounces) dark chocolate
60 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
40 grams (1/4 cup) brown sugar
30 grams (2 tablespoons) caster sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
60 grams (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) buckwheat flour
7 grams (1 tablespoon) cocoa powder
2 grams (1/4 teaspoon) fine salt
50 grams (~1/4 cup) milk chocolate chips or buttons, roughly chopped if large

Preheat the oven to 175C (350F). Spray a 20x10cm (8x4 inches) mini loaf pan with vegetable oil spray and line the base and sides with baking paper. (Alternatively, use a foil takeaway container in the same size and spray it but don't line it).
Chop the dark chocolate and melt in 1-minute bursts in the microwave on medium, stirring between each round. When the chocolate is half-melted, add the butter and continue melting in 1-minute bursts until the butter and chocolate are melted. Stir until smooth. (Alternatively, melt both butter and chocolate together in a double boiler).
Add the sugars to the melted chocolate/butter and whisk in.
Add the egg and vanilla and whisk in.
Sieve in the buckwheat flour, cocoa powder and salt. Fold in with a rubber spatula.
Add the chocolate chips and fold in.
Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until dry on top and just set.
Allow to cool completely in the tin on a wire rack.
Once cold, chop into small pieces to serve.
Makes one 20x10cm slab of brownie

Have you made this recipe? Leave a comment below! Tag me on Instagram @sarahcooksblog and hashtag #sarahcooksblog

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My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.