I love cookbooks, and I live in a tiny little San Francisco apartment, so I have to be choosy, selective and really limit myself when it comes to said cookbooks. I'm currently limited to three 13" x 13" cubes to house all my precious books. That being said, I just picked up a new gem during our recent trip to New York. The Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook is beautiful on the outside, packaged in their signature custom papers but it's beyond inspiring on the inside. The photography is out of this world amazing and the recipes are short and simple yet absolutely elegant. The book is laced with a lovely narrative about the Brothers Mast and their inspiring journey as chocolate makers. It even has a foreword by Thomas Keller, which is definitely a testament to the brand and the book.
I spent a few hours the other day (I just got the book less than a week ago) soaking up each and every page, tagging all the recipes I need/want to try. By the end of the book, I realized I tagged about half the book! Yikes. So, where to begin when you want to make everything? I decided that I should try to make something simple, versatile and something I've never had. Well, believe it or not, I've never had chocolate granola (I'm shocked that I haven't because I love chocolate) so I thought that'd be a good place to start.
Initially, I had planned to make this recipe verbatim, straight out of the book and began by measuring out my mise en place. However, as soon I measured everything out, I quickly realized that I wanted to add a few things (really no surprise there). I love all things spiced and even if it's subtle, I feel like it's essential to add a little bit of spice to almost everything, so spices went in. I also believe that vanilla and chocolate go hand in hand, so in went a bit of vanilla bean paste. I subbed dried tart cherries (yum) for the dried cranberries the recipe called for. Finally, after measuring everything out, I decided that if I followed the recipe word for word, I'd end up with a granola that would probably be a bit sweeter than my personal taste, so I added an extra cup of oats and a cup of walnuts to round it out.
In my personal opinion, these are great additions and this granola is insanely good. I enjoyed mine layered with some plain Fage Greek Yogurt with some Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste mixed in for dessert. I'll also probably have it for breakfast with some Califia Farms Almond Milk (because who wouldn't want to eat chocolate for breakfast) and I'm definitely gonna snack on it during the work week. All in all, super pumped about this first recipe from my shiny new cookbook.
Mast Brothers Chocolate Granola
Adapted from Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook
Makes 10 cups
- 1 c. almonds, roughly chopped
- 1 c. pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 c. walnuts, roughly chopped
- 2 c. rolled oats
- 1/2 c. honey
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3 Tbsp. & 1 tsp. cocoa powder
- 1 c. dried tart cherries, roughly chopped
- 3/4 c. cacao nibs
- 9 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Baking sheet
- Silicone spatula
- Small saucepan
- Chef's knife
- Cutting board
- Mixing bowls
- Preheat oven to 300° F.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine almonds, pecans, walnuts and rolled oats with honey, brown sugar, vanilla bean paste, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Spread mixture evenly on baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once after 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Melt butter and cocoa powder in small saucepan.
- Mix cooled, roasted granola mixture, cacao nibs and cherries in a large mixing bowl.
- Stir in the melted cocoa-butter mixture.
- Mix in chopped chocolate.
- Serve and enjoy!
Note: Store in airtight container, at room temperature. Can be made up to 1 week in advance.