Groat Expectations – buckwheat porridge

PORRIDGE2Kid loves porridge. Loves it.
I don’t love porridge, never have. To the point that until recently I wouldn’t even make it at home.
Instead in winter poor Kid would get Weetbix in the microwave. And fruit.

Last year I wrote the breakfast menu for a cafe/bar in town and in the spirit of the current ‘grains are the devil’ fad, I had a version of this little number on offer during winter.

Vanilla Buckwheat Porridge w/ mandarin jam and  whipped honeycomb butter


Melt the butter in a saucepan on a high heat. Add the cinnamon, scraped vanilla (pod too) and groats. Saute the groats until golden brown, add the sugar and cook, stirring constantly until the sugar starts to caramelise.
It will smell like toffee.Porridge7
Now add the water and salt, turn the heat down and simmer gently with a lid on for 30 mins. Add the milk and dried fruit, remove the cinnamon and vanilla pod and simmer for a further 45 mins or until the groats are soft and a little mushy. Serve with jam, whipped butter and whatever you like on top.Porridge10What Kid Did
Kid was kept busy mainly with the jam preparation this week, amongst other things. I was looking out for blood oranges originally but it’s too early in the year. We settled on these Imperial mandarins and tangellos for some extra tang. There’s extra work (for kid anyway) using mandarins over other citrus, but it’s worth it.Porridge3

Spiced Mandarin Jam
5 large mandarins
3 tangellos
1/2 cup raw sugar
2 teaspoons jam setter*
2 star anise
3 fresh bay
6 cardomon pods
Segment the mandarins. Peel away as much skin and pith as you can. It is fiddly and time consuming. Skin and segment the tangellos. Put everything except the jam setter in a pot on the stove on a medium heat.Porridge.5After about 45 mins, stir in the jam setter and simmer for another 15 mins. Remove from heat, remove the spices and chill. Refrigerate. You could go through the process of sterilized jars etc but for this small amount, just keep it in the fridge. It will keep for months.
*Jam setter is a mixture of citrus pectin and sugar available from supermarkets. It’s for thickening. Jam purists would have you believe that only amateurs add pectin in this form. I can tell you that by using this product (it’s derived from the seeds and skin of fruits) you use less cooking, maintaining a little more nutritional value and need less added sugar, which gives a better fruit flavour. 

Whipped Honeycomb Butter.
1 Crunchie bar – or similar
125 softened unsalted butter

This was an after thought. Make your own honeycomb sure (and we will one day), but this is really easy. Cut the chocolate off the sides of the Crunchie bar. You have no more need for this. Kid and I went halves. Place the butter and honeycomb into a bowl and beat on high for about 5 minutes. Whipped butter takes on a lighter creamier feel whilst the honeycomb, obviously, adds deliciousness.Porridge6And then because enough is never enough Kid toasted some seeds and nuts and ground them to sprinkle over the top for some crunch and protein. This was a really special, decadent breaky. At that cafe I had people come and eat this several times a week. I even enjoy it myself.Porridge4Buckwheat, despite it’s name, is not related to wheat but rather it is a seed from a fruit tree  making it great for people trying to avoid wheat etc… It can be made into a flour too. If you’re interested in its health benefits, these guys seem to know their stuff –

Buckwheat is measured in something called ‘groats’ which gave us heaps of fun playing with the title of this post. Alternative names included –

BALDRICK, YOU OWE ME A GROAT – one for the Blackadder fans
MY HIGHLAND GROAT – sing along now….
trip trap, trip trap

TURN BACK THE GROATS – thanks Tony Abbott, not.
DAS GROAT – for the war story enthusiasts.
THE GROAT LEAP FORWARD – Billy Bragg people..
ROW,ROW,ROW YOUR GROAT – for the kidlings
and of course….

Thank you, and good night 🙂

Leave a comment


  1. Honeycomb butter should be readily available to everyone at any given time!! Yum!
    Really brilliant photos in this post too! Nice job.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Miss Earth. I appreciate the comments. The honeycomb butter leftovers are in the freezer. Might be crumpet time 🙂



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