Cereal of the month, Buckwheat

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As a patisserie chef, I keep trying different recipes for cakes and desserts that I can incorporate as a new learning for my student chefs. Practice and trials in the kitchen open up new and better ways of working on old methods. Also experimenting with different ingredients and replacing certain ingredients sometimes results in a surprisingly delicious dessert.

A month back I was working on a chocolate ganache recipe for a chocolate filling, and that’s when I came across buckwheat honey. Something new, something that I had never seen or used before, I wondered what it is and what did it taste like and where did it come from. A deeper research of the product led me to know that Buckwheat honey is a dark-coloured honey that is sweet and delicious, with a distinctive spicy-malt flavour and an aftertaste that is reminiscent of molasses.

While the name is suggestive of it being a cereal grain, the Buckwheat is, in reality, a fruit seed somewhat similar to rhubarb. The people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens can use the Buckwheat as a suitable substitute. Quite unlike the wheat plant the Buckwheat is a flowering plant. The pink flowers of the plant are very fragrant that attract bees, and the pollen collected is used by the bees to produce a strongly flavoured, dark and special honey.

The fruit seed has many health benefits and the honey that comes from its flowers is a natural remedy for cough and has exceptionally strong antioxidant properties.

It was quite difficult for me to find this honey in Dubai. I asked many of my friends if they knew where I could find it. In reply, they had a big question mark on their face, as not many are aware that something like it even exists and hence had to order it online. Once the long wait to receive my order was through, I started to work on my recipe made using the honey as one of the ingredients.

It blended very well with the chocolates, and I got excellent results trying out different recipes. So now buckwheat and buckwheat honey have become my secret healthy ingredient and a part of all my pastry and confectionery recipes.

Must you give it a try? Most certainly and I’m sure you will be a Buckwheat honey loyalist for life.

Vrushali Jadhav

Developing a strong affinity towards cooking food as a child, made her pursue her passion to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management from IHM Goa and also become the best outgoing student in Culinary Arts. Her dedication and commitment to excel has made her a name in the Culinary Fraternity in the UAE. Her professional career started with the Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts spotting immense talent in her made her a part of the pre-opening team at the prestigious Madinat Jumeirah Hotel in 2004. She has taken challenges and opportunities as they came, moving from the Jumeirah Group to the Dusit Thani and then to The Palace Down Town, where she worked as the Head Pastry Chef, making the hotel a famous F&B offering in Dubai. In her journey as a Pastry Chef she has traveled to Switzerland and Malaysia, to work with world class master-chefs.

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