I love lazy winter weekend mornings, when you just want to sit in with a cup of coffee and read the newspaper over breakfast. Home made granola is a terrific breakfast for such mornings. It fills the house with a welcoming aroma and you can make enough granola to last through the week. It’s perfect for topping your yogurt and or fruit. This crunchy granola is easy to make and delicious to eat……it takes about 5 minutes to get the ingredients mixed together and into the oven. There is nothing like a little effort with big results!
From by the bay, wishing you sweet and crunchy food memories!
Dried Cherry, Coconut and Chinese Five Spice Granola
3 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
1 1/2 cups pepita (pumpkin) seeds, unsalted
1/2 cup blanched sliced almonds
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chinese five spice powder
4 tablespoons orange blossom honey
½ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Combine all ingredients except the dried fruit into a mixing bowl, combine well. On a parchment lined sheet spread ingredients in 1 layer. Bake for 50 minutes until brown stirring every ten minutes until mixture is browned. Remove from oven and cool granola. Once cooled add dried cherries and coconut. Mix well. Keep in airtight container. It should keep about one week.
What would Valentine’s Day be without chocolate? It’s a example of a perfect union. For this Valentine’s Day I wanted to experiment with making my own truffles. There are a lot of truffle recipes around so I wanted to make mine a little unique in taste. I opened my spice rack and experimented with mixing cocoa powder with a variety of different spices and landed on my favorite pairing which I’m sharing with you here today.
From by the bay wishing you the sweetest Valentine’s Day and food memories!
Spicy Chocolate Truffles
Makes approximately 32 pieces
2/3 cup heavy cream
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
zest of 1 orange
1 cinnamon stick
4 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon chili powder or chinese five spice or cinnamon – optional
On medium heat place in a sauce pan the cream, rind, cinnamon, honey and butter. Melt the butter and bring to a simmer. Strain the mixture and pour over the chopped chocolate. Let stand a minute and then whisk until chocolate is melted and smooth, with no air bubbles. Cover with cling wrap directly on top of the chocolate. Let set on the counter for at least 4 hours. Shape using a teaspoon the chocolate into small balls. Place on a baking sheet and put into the freezer for 15 minutes. Sift cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon of the spice of your choice onto a plate. Roll the chocolate truffle in the cocoa powder until completely covered. Set on a plate and serve.