I have a torrid love-hate affair with coffee. Love the taste, loathe the after-effects: racing heart, sweaty palms, inability to sit still. It’s never agreed with me, despite my love for everything coffee. It marries beautifully with cocoa, cardamom and vanilla, to say the least. It’s the epitome of social catch-ups. It makes sleepless nights (and the unavoidable morning to follow) that much more bearable. I watch my Italian family knock back espresso’s like water, while I slip slowly on my chamomile tea, because Italians think you’re a martian if you ask for decaf. But luckily, in the safety of my kitchen walls, away from confused barista’s glances, I can use decaf freely, and it works a treat.
I mentioned espresso pairs so well with cocoa, and this is key in this recipe. With both having a rich and earthy flavour, they play off each other wonderfully. You can’t taste the espresso explicitly as it more so lends an intensity to the overall chocolate flavour, and the figs lend the sweetness that roasted, dried fruit brings. The hazelnuts and nut butter give it a Nutella-esque feel, while also giving you a great hit of protein and good fats. A little goes a long way with this batch, so top a handful with fresh fruit, creamy yoghurt and your favourite milk to give you a deliciously naughty but nutritious breakfast (or midnight snack).
fig, hazelnut + cocoa granola spiked with espresso – vegan, gluten-free (if using certified oats) – loosely adapted from the kitchn
- 120g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 1.5 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup buckwheat groats
- 1/2 cups finely chopped dried figs
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips (70% cocoa content – sub cacao nibs or omit if you don’t have)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1.5 tsp dark cocoa (I use Cacao Barry Brute – sub 2 tsp regular cocoa if you don’t have)
- 2 tblsp hazelnut butter (or almond butter)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla powder (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 fresh espresso shots (60ml – I use 2x decaf pods – if you prefer a less intense bitterness, use only 1x30ml shot)
here’s what you do…
- Preheat oven to 160C (fan-forced). Place hazelnuts, oats, buckwheat, figs, pepitas, chia and choc chips in a large bowl, stirring to combine.
- Place remaining ingredients into a small saucepan and heat on medium, stirring just until mixture comes together. Pour contents of pan into the bowl of oat mixture, stirring to coat thoroughly.
- Spread mixture onto a lined baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until mixture starts to dry out slightly and brown up. Allow to cool on the tray before storing in an airtight container.
Note: I’m not a fan of super sweet granola, preferring to add sweetness in the form of fruit (this pairs wonderfully with fresh strawberries and banana). If you prefer it sweeter, up the maple syrup content during prep, tasting as you go.