I've been working on my sourdough starter lately, which means that every cup of the wholegrain flour that I happened to have, was being dedicated to that slow and sustained fermentation process. Mixing and waiting. Waiting and mixing. Beating. Calming down. Waiting. Mixing. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Oh, but I still love it!
Though, just when I noticed there was not enough whole-wheat flour for even a small and overwhelmingly unpretentious cake, there was no way to back down either. The orange was grated, the juices were squeezed, the oven had almost reached the right temperature, and all that I needed to do was just to make a few gentle stirs in a bowl.
Of course, I could've entirely relied on a regular all-purpose flour, but my heart was wishing for something more earthy. For something essentially profound. For a heavy taste of that deep and solid grain flavor which at the end would've been nicely balanced with a delicate orange note and mischievously sweet sugar syrup playing on the very top.
In this case, my saver was buckwheat flour which was silently hanging out in a pantry. It, actually, possesses just as impressive flavor palette as the wholegrain flour does, whereas the only problem it might carry is that buckwheat flour is the one which does not contain any gluten. Since I still wanted to have a relatively soft sponge, I was practically forced into mixing it half with a regular flour. Never so, the result was great - rich and nutty flour was gently embraced with a soft orange touch and sinfully sweet syrup overflowing the surface. That was the exact taste profile I was looking for, and it made me happy. Besides, buckwheat flour also created a pleasantly grainy texture which was a very nice surprise for me.
If you don't have buckwheat flour, you can safely replace it with any wholegrain flour you have on hand. You might also use quinoa, flax seed, millet or oat flour instead, although each of them will contribute to the final flavor differently. Staying at the safe side, you might also just take a full confidence on the regular all-purpose flour. Then, you'll end up with a milder and lighter-bodied cake.
Muscovado sugar is preferable in here, cause it gives that nice molasses-caramel tone which is a perfect companion for a heavy flour tone. However, if you cannot find Muscovado, don't be afraid to use regular brown or white sugar. The latter might not reach the proper rate of delicacy but, after all, sweet is sweet. Isn't it?
Orange Buckwheat-Flour Squares
4 oz (100 g) butter, at room temperature
2 oz (50 g) light brown sugar, or granulated white sugar
2 oz (50 g) Muscovado sugar
1 orange, rind and juices
2 oz (50 g) all-purpose flour
2 oz (50 g) buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) temperature.
Line square 8x8 inch size baking dish with parchment paper.
Cream butter with both sugars until light and fluffy. Add finely grated rind of the orange.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding 1 Tbsp of sifted flour-baking powder-salt mixture with each egg addition. Finally, fold in the remaining flour.
Transfer the batter into prepared baking dish. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until a wooden toothpick, inserted into the center of the cake, comes out clean.
Leave the cake to chill in a dish for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let it cool fully.
In the meantime, squeeze juice from the orange. Pour them into a small saucepan and heat on a medium heat just until warm, but not boiling. While whisking with a broom, add sifted powdered sugar. Stir until you get smooth and sticky syrup.
When the cake is chilled, pour the syrup over the cake, and leave it to soak for 5-10 minutes.
Now, all that's left is to enjoy!