“The first stage of this tranquility consists in silencing the lips when the heart is excited. The second, in silencing the mind when the soul is still excited. The goal is a perfect peacefulness even in the middle of the raging storm.”
– St. John Climacus
We live in such a noisy world. Even if we retreat to the silence of the countryside our electronic devices follow us in all of their constant chatter of the world. If we are lucky enough to silence these devices, the mind is a rumbling with worries, concerns, to-do’s and desires.
Learning to love solitude of the world is not hard for me. Time alone has always been a great want of mine and one I deemed necessary for survival. Solitude is easy, silence is more of a challenge. After a year of studying the Desert Fathers I have come to some wonderful information…..one can silence the soul. Whaaaat? Yeah, it isn’t easy and when I perfect it I will get back to you but I can say one thing, for the moments that I can taste that sweet, sweet contemplative silence where “I” become naught and my soul shuts up….well, it rocks.
What does silence mean? It means you are not as easily overstimulated. It means 30 teenagers can be running around and you are not ready to pull out your hair, in fact you see joy in the craziness. It means loud beeping toys, screaming babies and conversations that surround your work become mere background or when lucky, become unnoticed. It means you see joy in all and God in everything. It is a worthy life goal and one certainly worth fighting for day in and day out.
Days that require solitude still exist and when I am lucky to carve that out, they deserve this cake. Spending the day of love alone? Trust me, there is love in solitude but even more love in SILENCE.
This cake is decadent in its rich chocolate interior and deep nutty flavor. Each bite makes me feel like I am happily contented with my cake sitting on the forest floor amidst soft moss & rustling leaves feeling small and quiet amidst towering trees lost in a great woods…alone.
This dark chocolate almond buckwheat cake pairs well with a dark coffee or a nice cup of black tea with milk. It needs a drink that draws out its deep tobacco & wood undertones that come from the buckwheat & dark chocolate yet temper its rich sweetness.
I hope you find love this holiday, whether it comes in giving to others, sharing it with your love or in silence. Love comes in many forms. Most often it comes with food.
Dark Chocolate Almond Buckwheat Cake
7 tablespoons (3.5 ounces) unsalted butter
4.5 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate (I enjoy Valhrona for special occasions)
4 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) granulated or blond cane sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (1.5 ounces) buckwheat flour, sifted
1/4 cup (1 ounce) fine almond meal, sifted
Confectioner’s sugar to dust
Raspberry jam to serve
Preheat your oven to 350°. Line a 9 inch round cake pan with parchment paper. Butter the inside sides of the pan.
Over a double boiler or very gently, melt the chocolate and the butter until silky. At end stir in salt and vanilla. Set aside.
Beat egg yolks with sugar until creamed and fluffy. Stir in buckwheat and almond flour with a spatula until incorporated. Fold in chocolate mixture until well mixed.
Beat egg whites until light, fluffy and forming soft peaks. Gently fold in egg whites being careful not to deflate the mixture. This will give the cake a nice bit of loft and lightness.
Pour into lined pan and bake around 25 minutes or until a chopstick comes out clean and dry. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve with raspberry jam.
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