This recipe is the result of a challenge and like many results-of-challenges took some effort but paid back, oh yes!!
Some time ago it happened that my boyfriend brought home a bag of granola of a well known brand, affirming that THAT was the BEST granola EVER!
me: Excuse me?
bf: Yes! Look, it has many little clusters, it’s super crunchy, chocolatey and delicious, not like your homemade granola, full of dried fruit . . . bleh!
me: what?? are you kidding me? my granola is sooo good and it has no added sugar and… and… and… (and he left the room laughing after added sugar . . .)
Between you and me; the fact is that my boyfriend has been traumatized (his words) by his mom and grandma: they have been making for years a (fantastic) homemade granola full of dried fruit (here in Switzerland known as muesli) that at some point of his childhood he started to hate.
So that’s how I ended up creating this monster of goodness!
Which also turned out to be vegan, as I often have a vegan breakfast so I didn’t like the idea to use eggs or butter to get the clusters.
And it’s also fully approved by a vegan-sceptical boyfriend, what more could you want?
THE BEST CHOCOLATE & HAZELNUT GRANOLA CLUSTERS
- 3 cups of rolled oat
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar (optional)
- 1/4 cup of almond flour (see point 1)
- 1/4 cup of oat flour (see point 1)
- 1 cup of raw hazelnuts
- a nice pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup of coconut or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (full!) of pure peanut butter
- 1/4 cup of maple syrup (or honey)
- 1 abundant cup of dark chocolate chips (I just chopped up an amazing Swiss chocolate bar, 70% cocoa)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients. A little note about the almond/oat flours: you can simply place the 1/4+1/4 cups of almond+oat in a mini food processor and blend until they become a fine powder. Done! The function of the powder is to get combined with the liquids and create a sort of cookie dough that once baked will give you the crunchy clusters.
2. Combine all the wet ingredients together. If you use honey or it’s winter and they are to thick, just melt them over low heat, stirring constantly with a spoon. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
3. Pour the granola mixture onto a backing sheet covered with parchment paper and spread evenly, pressing it down with a spoon to help it stick together.
4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the granola is golden brown and nicely toasted.
5. Remove your granola from the oven and leave it out for about an hour to cool down and dry out completely. Now break it into clusters with your hands and mix gently with the chocolate chips.
6. Store in an airtight container.
I don’t mind the hazelnut’s skin: if you prefer peeled hazelnuts instead, you can toast them separately following the same procedure described here and mix them at the end together with the chocolate.
This crunchy, chocolatey, rich granola is fabulous with plain yoghurt or unsweetened almond milk. (my recipe here)