This post comes with a hat-tip to Instagram, which is where I first caught wind of the recipe. For most of my life, I didn’t care for (if not actively avoided) buckwheat. Something shifted 8 or 10 years ago and now I’m an avid fan of its distinctive, nutty flavor. Lucky to have a good supply of buckwheat flour on hand, I have radar out for any/all interesting options for using it. When this popped up—buckwheat + cardamom + chocolate!!—I hightailed it into the kitchen to give it a shot.
The source of this deeeeelicious recipe is Evelyn’s Crackers, based in Toronto. Here’s a link to the web site where you can find this and a handful of other recipes using less-traditional grains for baked treats—the specialty of the house. (You’ll probably want to go ahead and follow them on Instagram too, right?!) Originally in large bakery-appropriate portions, for the recipe below I quartered the ingredients for a home-kitchen-friendly 9×13 inch baking dish. And I tweaked measurements, also, to use cup measurements but left key metric weights in for those so inclined.
First time through, I was little lazy (more likely, impatient!) and used some pre-ground cardamom I had on hand. The flavor was super subtle; if you go that route consider using 1 1/2 teaspoons. It took a while, next batch, to pop the little black seeds out of whole cardamom pods I had, but it was very much worth the effort to use fresh-ground for more pronounced flavor.
I had every intention, for my second run through, to follow this bit of advice from Evelyn’s: “For the fudgiest brownie, we like to chill the batter in the trays overnight and bake cold.” Truly, I did. But again….impatient! So perhaps the third try it’ll happen. If you do bake the brownies chilled, I expect the baking time may need an extra 3 to 5 minutes. [I’ve remade this recipe twice and have yet to be patient enough to wait on an overnight chill….}
On the buckwheat front, the initial test was with my stock of some wonderful flour from Cairnspring Mills in the Skagit Valley north of Seattle. I almost hate to mention that, because their buckwheat flour is available only to commercial customers far as I know. What is available from them at the retail level is Cairnspring all-purpose, pastry and bread flours, exclusively through Metropolitan Markets in the Puget Sound area. Definitely worth trying out if you’re in the area and can pick up a bag or two. [Update: Cairnspring more recently began selling at least some of their flours online, have a look here]. I re-ran the recipe (due diligence!!) using more easily-available Bob’s Red Mill buckwheat flour. Results delicious both times, I trust that whatever buckwheat flour you can find will be just great here.
Buckwheat & Cardamom Brownies (by way of Evelyn’s Crackers)