In case of Spring, mini strawberry buckwheat cakes

As if life isn’t confusing enough, these past couple of August days have been so warm, I have been wondering if we aren’t being set up for an early Spring. I almost wish Winter wasn’t disappearing so quickly. Not a single chestnut or perfumed quince managed to pass through my kitchen this season and the thin film of dust on my favourite braising pot remains.. undisturbed. Besides, I still haven’t made a decision on which slow cooker to get and don’t think I’m ready for the smell of sun screen lotion or the sight of people walking to their city offices in business suits and flip flops.

But the great advantage of living in a country with temperate weather is this is often the best time of the year to be expecting luscious strawberries. They aren’t exceptionally cheap at the moment (but then again, berries rarely are), however I did manage to buy enough recently to make a very delicious strawberry and vanilla pie.

This weekend, I wanted something a little simpler, hence these little cakes which are like bite-sized nuggets of brown butter, vanilla and juicy strawberries. A plateful of these and you know what, I think I’m almost ready to give up Winter.

Mini Strawberry Buckwheat Cakes :

125g butter
150g icing sugar, sifted
55g plain flour
90g buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
4 egg whites

1 x 250g punnet of strawberries (eat the extras while you work!)

Cook the butter in a pan on medium heat until it turns a nut-brown colour. Carefully strain through a sieve into a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.

Sift the icing sugar and flours into a bowl. Lightly whisk the egg whites and vanilla essence together to combine. Whisk this into the sugar and flours, then add the cooled browned butter.

Line a mini muffin tin with little squares of baking paper (or grease the tin well and dust with a light sprinkling of flour). Spoon the mixture (or pour with the help of a jug) into each muffin hole. Top with half a strawberry (or quarter the strawberries, if they are especially large). Bake in a preheated 205’C oven until a skewer inserted into a little cake comes out clean, about 15-18 minutes.

Dust with extra icing sugar and eat while they’re still warm.

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  1. leaf (the indolent cook) said,

    August 7, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

    “…bite-sized nuggets of brown butter, vanilla and juicy strawberries” – I’m sold! πŸ˜‰

  2. Rosa said,

    August 7, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

    Those are lovely! I love their size.



  3. Julia @ MΓ©langer said,

    August 7, 2011 @ 8:06 pm

    I’m with leaf (the indolent cook) above, my eyes were transfixed on your description … “bite-sized nuggets of brown butter ….. “. And you already had me hooked at the first photograph.

    I have been buying strawberries by the bucket load as bub has taken a liking to them. I rarely bake with them though, which is a shame in a way, but the fragrance is often so appealing I can’t help just eating them as nature intended.

    I’m with you about the weather. I skipped up the driveway today in a spring dress, showing off pale, white ankles to the world. Well, just my husband really. πŸ™‚

    But I’m a winter girl, so not ready to let go yet. But a little taste of spring has been nice though.

  4. Laura said,

    August 7, 2011 @ 8:21 pm

    Those are beautiful! The buckwheat must work so well.

    I am in Venice right now, and the weather is humid and hot, I wish it were winter too.

  5. Hannah said,

    August 7, 2011 @ 9:29 pm

    Wooooo! I promised myself months ago that I couldn’t buy buckwheat flour until I’d finished my big stash of coconut flour, and I’m almost there! Cannot wait to try this, but I differ from you in rejoicing in the warmer temps. I abhor winter!

  6. Y said,

    August 7, 2011 @ 10:29 pm

    Hannah : Haven’t baked much with coconut flour. Actually wondering what it would be like with that instead of buckwheat!

  7. Emma said,

    August 8, 2011 @ 12:48 am

    I’m always on the hunt for a good buckwheat recipe. After my success with Julia’s buckwheat banana bread, this could be the perfect follow-up.

    I also don’t find myself baking with strawberries nearly frequently enough. As I wend my way toward the end of summer here, I’ll try to make that happen at least once or twice!

  8. Steph said,

    August 8, 2011 @ 9:00 am

    I know exactly what you mean, I’ve yet to buy a quince this year and was totally unprepared for the sudden onset of warm weather! Lovely little cakes, so true that the strawberries are great to bake with at the moment, the pie sounds fantastic too.

  9. anna said,

    August 8, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

    Those look so nice. Over here, August means we’re all acclimated to but a bit sick of the heat and humidity and strawberries are long gone. Peaches have just come into season, though. I don’t think I’m ready to give up summer when I’ve got a case of peaches waiting for me in the walk-in at work!

  10. InTolerantChef said,

    August 8, 2011 @ 11:00 pm

    What lovely bite sized cakes these are. My mum lives on the Sunshine Coast and is snaffling up strawberries at $4 kg!, I’m so jealous! We went from 21* to minus 8* in a week here, go figure!

  11. Emily Marin said,

    August 9, 2011 @ 4:54 am

    Yay, strawberries! These are just happy foods. I think it’s just fit for winter when all you want to do is cuddle up with those ‘bite-sized nuggets of brown butter, vanilla and juicy strawberries’. I can just imagine how I munch them while watching my favorite movies or just sitting by the fireplace.

    Oh this post truly made me smile. πŸ™‚

  12. grace said,

    August 9, 2011 @ 7:32 pm

    y, the brown butter here is the real kicker–these are outstanding little bites!

  13. Howard said,

    August 10, 2011 @ 10:45 am

    You had me at ‘Spring’.

    Strawberry season is great, sometimes simply mascerated strawberries with vanilla bean ice cream will do me.

    oh and I’m one of those people in suit pants and flip flops, a terrible look.

  14. thelittleloaf said,

    August 10, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

    Absolutely beautiful! I don’t often cook with buckwheat but love the simplicity of this sugary little treat – definitely making these this weekend!

  15. Su-yin said,

    August 11, 2011 @ 5:28 am

    Browned butter and strawberries! I absolutely love this, will have to make this before strawberry season ends. πŸ™‚

  16. betty said,

    August 11, 2011 @ 11:54 am

    they look great love your square sized baking paper cups too!

  17. Danielle said,

    August 13, 2011 @ 10:12 am

    Do people really go to work in business suits and flip flops?? (love the strawberries and brown butter combo by the way – classic, and hits the spot every time).

  18. the caked crusader said,

    August 15, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

    these look so pretty in their flamboyant cases – like little presents!

  19. Angela said,

    August 16, 2011 @ 9:41 am

    Hi, I have been a follower of your blog for sometime and think it is stylishly wonderful. Thank you.

    I just wanted to know if I can replace the buckwheat with plain flour? I do not want to buy a flour that will sit in the cupboard and not get used.
    thanks again,

  20. Y said,

    August 16, 2011 @ 9:59 am

    Hi Angela, thanks for your comment. Rather than plain flour, I would recommend substituting with a nut flour or even dessicated coconut. It’s a friand style cake and would benefit from the texture.

  21. chopinandmysaucepan said,

    August 28, 2011 @ 10:38 pm

    Your little cakes look delicious and we shouldn’t be tricked into an early spring because a cold spell will come just before winter ends, it always does!

  22. Helene said,

    August 30, 2011 @ 8:57 am

    What a great way to use buckwheat. They are so pretty.

  23. Vivian - vxdollface said,

    August 30, 2011 @ 11:53 pm

    They look delicious! I’m loving this warmer weather, not much of a Winter person πŸ™

  24. The Sweetest Vegan said,

    September 1, 2011 @ 1:58 am

    These are so cute. I just made a strawberry cobbler the other day, but yours little cakes are far cuter.

  25. Scott at Real Epicurean said,

    September 9, 2011 @ 6:10 pm

    The strawberry season is long past, here, but I’ll keep these in mind for next year!

  26. Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen said,

    September 14, 2011 @ 1:39 pm

    Little secret about small stuff.. They’re addictive.. you keep reaching out for another one… These look just…addictive…

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