Do you remember when I made Peanut Butter Granola? I do. Partly because it was delicious, and partly because I was thrilled to discover that both a fellow blogger and my officemate have made (and professed to love) it.
If you come closer, though, I’ll tell you a little secret.
Closer than that. Closer.
Hush, now. Are you ready?
I like the granola in this post even better than the peanut butter one. Possibly even seventy-four times better.
I know this is shocking to hear. And maybe you won’t agree with me; maybe for you, peanut butter will always win out. I am, however, tempted to get down on my knees and beg you to give this recipe a try, if only because it’s the first recipe I’ve made up entirely on my own, and I’m flabbergasted at how well it turned out.
That said, if you only like granola that is cloyingly-sweet, unimaginative, uncomplicated, and (let’s face it) akin to the processed-sugar versions found in supermarkets, then you might want to move along.
Because this spiced fig, pepita, and molasses granola is intense, seductive, and refuses to play second fiddle to anything it’s accompanied by. Oatmeal, yoghurt, ice-cream… they’ll only ever be the supporting actors.
In addition, if I were to translate the taste of this granola into a scene, it would look like this:
Night-time. A clearing at the outskirts of a forest, with the flickering orange-white-red-orange of tiny bonfires shimmering and crackling around you in a pattern that you can’t quite understand. Smoke and haze curl up against your face and low voices murmur stories you aren’t allowed to hear, while glimmering fabric catches, then shakes off, the light of the fires as women dance in the darkness in front of you. The thrill of an exoticism you long for but can’t reach envelops you, and you close your eyes to remember dark eyes and skin that smells like smoke…
Mercy! What is this, Mills and Boon?!
In less, well, wanky* terms, this granola is a heavenly, blows-my-mind amalgamation of flavours. No one spice or ingredient overpowers the others, and as a result each bite is a complex blend of spices, dark sweetness, nuttiness, toasted-ness and, well, did I mention the blows-my-mind bit? As you can see from the photos I added the figs at the beginning, and I must admit they burnt a little. Funny thing is, I actually liked the slightly-burnt flavour, as it reminded me of Maggie Beer’s Burnt Fig Jam. However, in the recipe I’ve instructed you to add the figs in the final stages of baking. Whatever floats your boat.
Spiced Fig, Pepita, and Molasses Granola, or The Tall Dark and Handsome Granola of Your Dreams
Definitely worth doubling or tripling. I tend to make my granolas in small amounts so that I can finish them quickly and make more with different flavours, but I wish I’d made at least four times the amount of this.
- 1 1/3 cups (120g) rolled oats (not instant)
- 1/2 cup (60g) pepitas
- 1 1/2 tb (30ml) muscovado (or brown) sugar, firmly packed
- 1 1/2 tb (30ml) molasses
- 1 tb sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1/3 cup (70g) dried figs, chopped
- Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Mix oats and pepitas in a bowl.
- In a separate, larger bowl, whisk together the sugar, molasses, sesame oil, spices, and almond extract. Tip the oats and pepitas into the wet ingredients and stir well to combine.
- Spread this granola mix onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then take out and stir the granola to avoid its edges burning.
- Tip in the chopped figs and stir through, then put granola back in the oven for another 8-10 minutes, until starting to look toasted. Remember, the granola will crisp up as it cools.
- Eat multiple handfuls from the baking tray as the granola cools, then package up the rest and post it to me. Thanks ever so!
* Sorry Grandma.