This is actually a 'toasted muesli', or, a healthier version of granola. Nutty oven-baked oats are mixed with just a little honey and water, with no oil and very little sugar. It is not very sweet, but it really gives off the nuttiness of the almonds. As you bake it, the almond essence gives off its smell and your kitchen will turn into a little corner of amaretto-spiced heaven. —Valentina Solfrini
about 2 1/2 cups
Almonds, roughly chopped
Walnuts, roughly chopped (extra)
(heaping) Good quality cocoa powder
Five spice or, even better, Cinq Epices
A good grating of Tonka bean, if you can get a hold of it
Maple syrup or Agave syrup
Almond flavoring (more or less, depending on how strong it is)
Preheat the oven to 320 F? (160 C?). If you can turn on the fan setting, even better (it will be quicker).
Mix together all the dry ingredient in a bowl. Mix together the liquid ingredients, as well. I find that slightly heating the water and stirring the syrup in helps.
Mix everything together. As for the almond essence, You have to really, really smell it. You’ll have to smell it to the point that it’ll seem like you’ve added too much. It will evaporate in the oven, and leave a nice, subtle amaretto flavor sticking to your granola. If you’re not happy with the amount of spice, add a little more to taste.
Line a tray with baking paper and spread the mixture evenly. If you like clumpy granola, pinch pieces together with your hands to create the clumps. Bake for about 10 minutes, then toss the granola with a spoon and turn the tray around. Bake for a further 8-10 minutes, until golden and completely dry. Be careful to not let it burn! If after this time it doesn’t look ready to you, leave it in the turned off-oven for a few minutes, but keep a close eye on it!
Let it cool completely before adding extras, like dark chocolate nibs. Add to your smoothie bowl, yogurt, milk, ice cream, breakfast bowl, and then tuck the jar where you can’t see it to avoid finishing it in one sitting.
24 Year old Italian web dev, Graphic and UI designer who, like many designers, got seduced by food photography. I talk to way too many random people when in New York and to way too many random animals when I'm in the Italian countryside.
I run hortuscuisine.com, a blog about Italian, natural vegetarian cooking.