Chocolate and Peanut Granola
Warning: These are super addictive. Eat at your own risk :D.
It's been almost a year that I've been wanting to make Granola. So what stopped me? OATS. The unavailability of rolled oats actually. The only type of oats available anywhere here are the porridge ones and they don't provide the required texture and bite. You either need to use rolled or jumbo oats. Okay now don't laugh at me but since muesli has rolled oats, I had almost made up my mind to buy 6 to 7 packets and separate oats from the nuts and other things, which would have taken I don't know how many hours if not days. When I told my husband about this fantastic idea of mine, his eyes were so wide open, I thought his eye balls are gonna pop out any minute now!
I'm not entirely new to Granola though, we've got out own version here which is called 'Chikki' and it comes in a variety of flavors like Sesame seeds, peanuts, other nuts, dry fruits etc. The sweetening component is either sugar or jaggery. My favorite is peanuts with jaggery, so crunchy and sweet. The texture of this granola is crunchy but not rock hard and is somewhat chewy as well (because of oats).
Some people like their granola to be in pieces whereas others enjoy biting from a chunk of granola. If you belong to the former category, give the granola a stir a couple of times, once it starts setting in the oven. Besides, you can always break any leftover chunks into pieces! If you fall in the latter one (like me), do not stir the granola, though I must mention that you still might have a few pieces.
Please Please ensure that you line your baking sheet with parchment or else get ready with a knife to take out the granola and in the process giving the sheet quite a few scratch marks!
Recipe Source: Nigella Lawson's Feast
Makes enough granola to fill one kg jar.
225 grams / 8 ounces rolled oats
15 grams / 0.5 ounces / 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
60 grams / 2 ounces sunflower seeds
60 grams / 2 ounces white sesame seeds
90 grams / 3 ounces apple sauce (or apple compote)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
60 grams / 2 ounces brown rice syrup / rice malt syrup / corn syrup / golden syrup
2 tablespoons runny honey
50 grams / 1.5 ounces soft light brown sugar
150 grams / 5 ounces raw peanuts
generous pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon any flavorless oil.
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C / 350 degrees F.
Line the biggest baking sheet that you have with parchment paper. The one that I have is 16 * 12 inches / 40 cms * 30 cms and the granola mixture had filled the sheet entirely. If you have a slightly smaller sheet, you can use it for the entire mixture, just that the baking time would increase by a few minutes. Else, you can use two baking sheets.
In a large bowl, tip in all the ingredients and mix thoroughly (your hands will do the best job). Spread the mixture evenly on the lined baking sheet(s) and bake in the preheated oven till the mixture looks toasted about 45 mins to an hour. Cooked granola looks deceptive, so don't over bake it. Even if it looks soft but has browned in color, that's it, it's done. It will firm up while cooling.
Place the sheet(s) on a cooling rack. Once the granola has completely cooled, transfer it to an air tight container(s).
Enjoy your home made crunchy Chocolate and Peanut Granola!
Storage Suggestions: When stored in an airtight container, granola keeps well for a week.