‘Bake something chocolatey.’
Those were the parting words from my boss when I left the office on Friday.
There are few requests I am more happy to oblige than to ‘bake something chocolatey’.
It was also very handy to have my focus narrowed. I am notoriously bad at making decisions, especially when it comes to baking – there is so much choice! Without such direction, my entire Friday evening would likely have been taken up with hours of searching through cookbooks trying to decide what to bake on Saturday.
Now I could still quite easily have spent the best part of an evening trying to decide which chocolatey something I was going to bake. ‘Chocolatey’ is, after all, a considerably large category in the baking world. But I knew instantly which cake it was going to be; a chocolate and buckwheat cake from the gorgeous La Tartine Gourmande cookbook. I’d had my eye on it for months but had struggled to get hold of buckwheat flour. I finally managed to find some the other week…the cake could now be made.
If I had to pick just one word to describe everything ‘la tartine gourmade‘, I think it would have to be ‘beautiful’. And this chocolate and buckwheat cake is a beautiful cake. Not beautiful in the same way as those show-stopper, visually stunning, icing sugar laden cakes, but beautiful in a simplistic, quiet, unadorned kind of way – which, when it comes to the eating, is the type of beauty I like best.
I’ll be clear. This isn’t a particularly sweet cake. Or a richly chocolatey one. It’s too subtle for that, with a mild, almost earthy flavour from the buckwheat flour (which is a positive, trust me!). And the texture is amazing – soft, moist and almost moussey, the result of lots of well beaten eggs and only a smidgen of flour.
I’ll admit I was a bit nervous about bringing this cake into work for an office of men. Because if they were going to be anything like my boyfriend when it comes to cake, this one wasn’t going to be anywhere near sweet enough.
They didn’t complain though. I think they were just happy to have cake.
And as one of my colleagues put it, ‘there’s nothing like a home-made cake’.
Clearly a guy who has his priorities right!
The two of us then went on to spend the rest of our fifteen minute cake-break discussing The Great British Bake Off, home-made Danish pastries and the beyond brilliant combination that is pecans and maple syrup (of which I have discussed before)… It’s always great to discover people who think so much on the same wavelength as you do!