Cacao Granola

I thought this was destined to be one of those recipes that sounded better in my head than the breakfast reality.

Cacao granola should be delicious, right? Crisp, dark granola that leaches its darkness when greeted with milk. And before you can sing "cheer up Charlie" you have yourself a Willy Wonka chocolate stream situation. Indeed I thought that only good could come from the addition of cacao to oats. But each time I baked a batch it fell a little short...

And so I'd potter back to the kitchen, adding a little coconut here and cardamom there, trying to get it just right. Yet nothing I did got me closer to finding that granola golden ticket. Until I remembered the chocolate rule. The one that says "for generally excellent results in every endeavour, combine coffee with chocolate".

Of course! Not only does coffee highlight the flavour of chocolate spectacularly, it elevates the whole granola game in a wondrously soothing yet spritely manner. I'm hooked. I love it. And I hope you do too.

Today I'm having a little pot of leftover cacao granola with a lot of milk. Black coffee, two too. As well as a banana that I forgot to slice into the photograph. In fact, this granola pairs particularly splendidly with sliced, fresh banana. Stewed rhubarb is also a treat and I'm dreaming about almond milk with raspberries. Fresh ones! That'd be swell.


Cacao Granola

Makes a few good cups of granola.

2 cups Rolled Oats
1 cup roughly chopped Almonds
2 tablespoons Sunflower Seeds
2 tablespoons Pumpkin Seeds
A good pinch of Sea Salt
3 tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
2 teaspoons Ground Coffee (I used heaped teaspoons, FYI)
3 tablespoons runny Coconut Oil (I'm yet to try it with Olive Oil but am super keen)
3 tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup (I'm sure honey would be fab)
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
2. Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan and set aside.
3. Add all the ingredients, including the melted coconut oil, to a large mixing bowl. Stir keenly, ensuring everything is well combined.
4. Pour the mixture onto the baking tray, spreading everything out so it is in one even layer. Bake the granola in the hot oven for 10 minutes, then remove and give everything a good stir to ensure even browning before baking for a final 10-15 minutes until golden and toasty (mine only took 20 minutes all up). This is a shorter cooking time than my other granola loves, as it is prone to burning. Don't worry, the mixture will harden upon cooling.
5. Allow the mixture to cool completely before serving with milk, fruit and yoghurt. Store in an airtight jar on the bench for up to two weeks.

Heidi xo