Every year, in the field at the back of the cottage, I plant something meaningful. A mighty oak now 8 foot tall, found as an acorn in a wood near Gort, co. Galway in 1995; another one a little bit smaller, given years ago by my Dad, from my Grand Parents’ house in Brittany. I want the wildlife to be happy, as this is not really for me, a mere contribution, a legacy maybe? Maybe… I have Hazel, Chestnut and Walnut trees in there, Aronia and Sea Buckthorn for the crazy berries and a couple of years ago, I planted some goose berries and blackcurrants… At last, a decent crop!
The rule about foraging, is 1/3 for your face, the rest for nature. Of course I enjoyed picking a few berries as I went, one could call it quality control I guess, I just wanted to make sure, or rather go back to my summers in Fouesnant, when we gorged ourselves in the tall fragrant bushes by the house while playing “Hide and Seek”; I think I enjoy the smell of the Blackcurrant leaves more than anything else… The truth is out!
I am not going to lie to you; as I was gathering a wee bowl of the berries, the fruits of my loot, my mind was already set on a chocolate theme; brownies came to mind, but my Gran used to make a fine chocolate cake – my Aunt too- and I wanted to sync all these inter cultural memories in something a bit lighter, using some of that Buckwheat flour my Boss brought back from Brittany where he and his family had sojourned a few weeks ago: ” Brittany is really, really nice” he said to me while handing me the gift. ” I told you so, now you know, now you know…”.
- 150 g of 70% Dark chocolate
- 150 g of Iris salted butter
- 4 whole happy eggs
- 50 g of organic honey
- 80 g of buckwheat flour
- 1 tsp of natural “wine” baking powder ( optional)
- Two handfuls of blackcurrants or your favourite berries
In a bowl over a Bain Marie, melt the chocolate honey and butter together. In another bowl, mix the flour with the eggs and whisk until smooth… When the chocolate and butter mix has melted, pour the flour and egg mix on top while keep stirring…
Pre-heat the oven at 180 c and take a shallow oven dish, the reason behind is that you want a quick and uniform bake; make sure the dish is rubbed with butter and flour ( remove excess flour). Pour the chocolate mix and top and tap left, right and centre for the mix to be well spread. Add the berries on top, gently pressing on them… Bake at 180 c for 20 minutes ( check after that with the tip of a knife, all ovens are different but this should do)…
Take the slab out of the oven and let it cool by the window…
You’ll find that this chocolate cake is very light and digest, yet packed with flavours. The “zing” of the blackcurrants work really well. I serve it with reduced homemade jam sieved and a bit of fresh cream…
Keep Well and Eat Happy