From the great revolt of 1857, to the states of matter, to decimals and fractions and finally back to obsessing over my neglected blog and less used oven. Am feeling elated and so liberated!! We are done with the final exams but still need to attend school for a few days - bliss! No exams, no homework, kids out of my hair for a few hours ...but only to come back home together and create double the trouble and bedlam as if making up for all the lost time. Sigh! You can't really have your cake and eat it too!
The pandemonium of the holidays comes with restless kids and their never ending hunger pangs...a common manifestation of very frequent, little big bursts of boredom. Heavens! What do I feed them all day! Needless to say, there is always a desperate need and demand for chocolaty somethings which never fail to make them happy! Though granola is one of my favorite things to have in the jar, my daughter normally wrinkles her little nose at the sound of the word. But wait, a chocolaty chocolate granola could be one of the answers!
Scouting for a recipe for chocolate granola, I landed here and made this several times since! A little less cocoa, a little more chocolate, and then I found what we liked! Being a low fat, non-sugar loaded snack which keeps well for days, you can tweak and experiment endlessly with granola till you figure out what you like best! Small batches in my microwave for experimentation and then a large batch in the big oven...so that we always have a bit of chocolate goodness in the guise of granola!
This granola is quite chocolaty no doubt, but mind you this is not meant to be dessert! But then you can always make it more chocolaty, as it is just a matter of heating the liquid ingredients and dark chocolate together, mixing it with oats and baking them till crisp. Mix in more of the almost powdery chocolate to it when still warm so that it coats the oats, and then some more little chunks when its almost cool, but very slightly warm. Let the chocolate melt just enough to get the granola into little chocolatey clusters. Finally stir in toasted nuts of your choice. Friendly granola allows me to divide the whole batch into a lesser chocolate and no nuts part for me and add more chocolate to the rest. Hubby wants to keep a box of this with a tiny spoon in his office to eat as a bite of dessert when the sugar craving hits!
Here is how we go. The below recipe makes enough to make one small batch in your 8-9'' round tin. Double if using a much bigger tray or pan. But remember, make it just one single thinnish layer.
Based on the recipe from the The Wannabe Chef, with modifications.
Quaker oats - 95 grams (please read note)
Granulated sugar - 2 tablespoons
Cocoa powder - 3/4 tablespoon
Dark chocolate - 3 tablespoons / 40 grams approx
Vegetable oil - 1 tablespoon
Water - 1 tablespoon
Honey - 1 tablespoon
Pure vanilla extract - 1/4 teaspoon
Grated dark chocolate ( or tiny bits of it at the bottom of your chocolate tin) - 2 tablespoons
Dark chocolate chunks - 2 -3 tablespoons
Toasted walnuts or almonds - 1/4 cup or more
Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees C / 320 degree F (read note). Line your baking tin with parchment. Weigh the oats, keep aside. Measure the rest of the dry ingredients and put directly into a medium sized heavy saucepan. Then the rest of the liquid ones, again directly into your saucepan. The oil first, then the honey (slips out of the spoon like a dream), water and vanilla. Heat the ingredients in the saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly juts until the chocolate melts. Take off the heat. Tip in the oats. Mix well to combine. You will have a moist but crumbly mixture. Spread this on your prepared pan in a single layer.
Stirring thoroughly every 10 minutes to re-distribute the mixture, bake for about 30-35 minutes (or may be 5 minutes more) or till the oats turn crisp. To test, take your granola out from the oven, take a spoonful of it, it will still feel soft. Allow it to cool for 3-4 minutes and taste. It should be crisp. If its not crisp enough, bake again for about 3-4 minutes, check again.
When done and the granola is still on the tray right out of the oven, add about 2-3 tablespoons of grated chocolate and stir. It will melt coating the granola. Allow it to cool further and when barely warm, add about 2 tablespoons of finely chopped chunks of chocolate. The chocolate will melt just enough to clump some of the granola but still remain as bits of chocolate. Stir in the toasted walnuts when the granola is completely cool. Store in an airtight container.
Here is some oats and chocolate goodness for you!
Please note: When I bake granola, I first sieve the oats to remove the fine powdery part and reserve it for another use. The oats here are first sieved, then weighed. You could alter the quantity of sugar and honey to your taste. This is not very sweet. I personally like eating granola as is, but my kids love to eat this as is and with chilled milk too.
I prefer toasting nuts separately and adding them at the end. Sometimes, if the granola takes longer to bake, the nuts would have got over toasted. If adding dried fruit, add that to the cooled baked granola.
I have baked this at 180 degrees C / 350 degree F as mentioned in the original recipe for about 20-22 minutes. This works fine too, but baking at a lower temperature for longer will give you crisp granola with lesser chances of it getting a burnt taste within minutes. And remember, its tough to see the color change when its chocolate.
This is now another staple in my home and shall be made regularly, so more updates here if any!