Whaaaat? How did it get to August suddenly? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love August (ever since we moved away from Paros as tourist crazy August there was easily the worst month ever!!), but I realise that we are slowly heading for the end of summer and that’s making me a little sad. I don’t want this summer to end! It’s been too good.
August is all about blackberries, plums, tomatoes and sweetcorn and these are the ingredients I am totally inspired by at the moment. We have the first two growing in our garden right now, which is just amazing as nothing tastes as good as fruit picked seconds before eating.
Today’s recipe is a simple yet delicious dessert or breakfast, if you are feeling indulgent. Since last week, I’ve been trying to resist a bit of a cold that is taking hold of my system. It has not been too bad, I still managed to work and I have not been bed-ridden, but I’ve stopped running and haven’t pushed myself too much this week. As this simple granola pot is what we’ve been having as dessert for the past two weeks, I thought ‘why not share it on the blog?’
I am a big fan of hazelnuts – they are possibly my favourite nut of all time and I think that they really work well with blackberries, so I’ve decided to combine them both in these pots.
My grandparents had an orchard enclosed by a little band of forest that had plenty of hazelnut trees. That’s where my cousins and I used to sneak out to as kids as it gave us the illusion of being in the wild. I especially loved that little forest in late summer / early autumn when we were competing with cute red squirrels for young hazelnuts. When we were in Bath a few weekends ago visiting our friends, we went for a walk and the two things that were growing in abundance in the surrounding countryside were blackberries and almost-ripe hazelnuts, which is what gave me the idea to combine these two flavours in one dish.
So I married sharp blackberries with an indulgent hazelnut and maple-glazed granola with a touch of cardamom and a generous dollop of creamy coconut yoghurt. The granola is nutty, crunchy and sweet and it’s a real challenge not to eat it on its own, straight from the jar. In an effort to keep the clusters big and snappy, I lowered the oven temperature a bit and did not stir the granola at all and, guess what, it worked a treat. I ended up with one massive cluster the size of my head!
While I used homemade hazelnut butter here, feel free to use any nut or seed butter you like or tahini (which technically is a seed butter, I guess). They will all work a treat too and if you want to keep this granola for a while, perhaps give it to your neighbour for safe-keeping (especially the one with a nut allergy would be handy 😉 ) or maybe it’s just me and you are much better at this whole self control malarkey than I am.
- 90 g / 1 cup rolled jumbo oats* (gluten-free certified if required)
- 50 g / 1/3 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 3-4 green cardamom pods**, seeds crushed in pestle and mortar
- 500 g / 17 oz fresh blackberries
- 400 g / 14 oz thick vegan yoghurt (I used coconut) or whipped coconut cream
- Preheat the oven to 130° C / 265° F fan function (or 150° C / 300° F without the fan) and line a large baking tray with a piece of baking paper.
- In a large bowl, mix the maple syrup and nut (or seed) butter or tahini well.
- Mix in the oats, chopped hazelnuts and crushed cardamom seeds.
- Spread the granola mixture on the prepared baking tray and bake for about 40 minutes. Do not stir, I know that’s controversial, but that’s how you’ll get big granola clusters. In fact you’ll be more likely to end up with one “big ass” cluster 🙂 .
- Allow the granola to cool down (it will crisp up) before using. Store in an airtight container. Use within a few weeks.
- Prepare four medium size glasses.
- Place a layer of fruit at the bottom, followed by a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream and sprinkle with granola chunks.
- Follow with another layer like the one described above, squashing some fruit to achieve beautiful colours.
**Use 4 pods if you would like for the flavour to come through more strongly. If you are new to using cardamom in your cooking, use 3 pods.