Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I know I already wrote about making granola, but I have a new favorite and I had to share. It's lighter, easier and faster, plus if you allow for a small degree of whimsy, it's French. I found the recipe a while ago and it seems that like with a fine wine, I let all my recipes "age" before I actually pull them out and try them. But I've now made this twice and shared it with friends, and it has come out a hands down favorite. The tiny bits of chocolate make it indulgent without being over the top and the honey gives it all the sweetness it needs. I added some wheat germ to the mix to round out the health benefits, and as long as you don't fill up your bowl too much, it makes for a fantastic everyday cereal. I may never buy Honey Bunches of Oats ever again.
French Chocolate Granola
adapted from Orangette
Yield: about 5 cups
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 Tbsp sugar
Pinch of salt
7 Tbsp mild honey
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup, finely chopped bittersweet chocolate or mini chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 300°F.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, coconut, wheat germ, sugar, and salt. Stir well to blend.
In a small saucepan, warm the honey and oil over low heat, whisking gently until the honey is loose. You can also do this in the microwave, just make sure that you take it out whisk every 20 seconds. Pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to combine well.
Spread the mixture evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden. Set a timer to go off halfway through the baking time, so that you can give the granola a good stir; this helps it to cook evenly. You may need to bake it for a few extra minutes to get an even golden color, but make sure you don't let it go too long or it will burn. When it’s ready, remove the pan from the oven, stir well – this will keep it from cooling into a hard, solid sheet – and cool completely.
When cool, transfer the granola to a large bowl, storage jar, or zipper-lock plastic bag. Add the chocolate, stir (or shake, if using a jar or bag) to mix and store in an airtight container. Don't worry, it won't last long.