|Buckwheat & Fig Tea Cake|
Fun fact: Buckwheat isn't a grain. Nope; it's actually the seed from a flowering plant (there are different names & varieties in different countries). These seeds, known as buckwheat groats, are completely gluten-free and can be ground into all sortsa goodness, such as noodles (soba), crepes, crackers and cakes. Likewise, the groats are also sometimes treated like oats, soaked overnight with nut milk for a chilled porridge or cooked hot on the stove.
Buckwheat is nutrient dense, containing considerable amounts of fiber, magnesium, calcium and iron. It's also relatively low on the glycemic index. In addition to its rockstar stats, buckwheat has a wonderfully nutty, earthy flavor, which is why I'm smitten with it right now. I decided not to include buckwheat in the next cookbook, simply because it's still somewhat difficult to find and I want to limit the number of 'unique' ingredients in the book. Instead, I'll allow my blog recipe readers/maker to be my buckwheat guinea pigs for a while!
The other 'unique' ingredient in today's recipe is garbanzo/chickpea flour. This is becoming somewhat more mainstream, but I've been cooking and baking with it for almost 5 years, so it will be making an appearance in the book. Just as it sounds, chickpea flour is from...ground chickpeas! It is also a fantastic source of fiber, and it creates a dense, moist (sorry) texture when baked that I simply adore. Because the flavor is quite mild, I thought it would be a great foil to pungent buckwheat in this lovely tea cake. I also couldn't help but top today's creation with fresh, seasonal figs. I've been snacking on them raw, straight up, which is amazing, but they're on another level when baked into gooey, barely crunchy little toppers on this cake.
Ok, I can't lie—I don't really know what the exact definition of 'tea cake' is, cause there are countless on the internet. So for our intents and purposes, a tea cake is a lightly sweetened, rustic and buttery cake that pairs beautifully with a hot cup of tea or coffee. Does that work for y'all? MMMkkkay glad we're on the same page!
Seriously though, this cake is healthy enough to be your afternoon snack/treat, or your breakfast...or lunch or dinner for that matter. I personally love it best drizzled with a touch of honey and almost butter, or with an extra swipe of butter then quickly broiled for 1-2 minutes.
P.S. if you don't have figs at your disposal, feel free to add whatever thinly sliced fruit you like. Strawberries, peaches, plums apples or pears would all be wonderful.
P.P.S. If you do go out on a limb to buy buckwheat, rest assured that you'll use them up making this cake multiple times OR check out my Strawberry Buckwheat Muffins or Inspired Date and Pecan Loaf. The chickpea flour can be used again in my Chickpea Pizza or Dreamiest Carrot Cake!
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(p.s. you can totally look for them at your local Whole Foods or Health Food Store or get them on Thrive Market if you're a member, for a better price)