Monday, June 22, 2009

Dessert Idea 1 and Dessert Idea 1 Revisited

Last week I tried out a dessert idea that was loosely based on my desire to make my own granola. Here's how it went down. I'll warn you know I didn't keep track of measurements because this came from off the dome as they say.

Oatmeal (You know those large cylinder containers of oats)
Sunflower Seeds (Kernels of course)
Pumpkin Seeds
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

First off I toasted the oats in a frying pan. No butter or oil or anything I just constantly stirred them so they would get toasty without burning. After toasting (it will be hard to see the difference so you're gonna need to keep a smell out for the difference, you want to take them off the fire slightly before they start burning) I placed them in a large mixing bowl and then procceded to toast the pumpkin and sunflower seeds in butter. You want to stir these almost constantly for about 3-4 minutes or until they smell good and toasty. Mix these in with the oats and WHILE THE SEEDS ARE STILL HOT hurry up and mix in the chocolate chips and honey. You have to do it while they are still hot so that the heat of the seeds will melt the honey and chocolate. Once they are all mixed press it out into a baking sheet and let cool.

Flaws: Now the problem here is that this mix, even when refrigerated, does not hold together very well. I think the chocolate caused a sugar overkill and the pumpkin seeds threw off the texture (and even though they taste good they are tough and sharp, a dangerous combo). So next time no chocolate, no pumpkin seeds, and I need to find a binder.

The day after the first attempt I asked some coworkers about what could I use as a binder and one of them joking said marshmallows. Hell it works for Rice Krispie Treats so why can't it work for me?

Take two:

Oatmeal (same as before)
Sunflower Seeds (same as before)
Marshmallows (one bag of the smaller marshmallows, the small ones melt faster)

I toasted the oats and sunflower seeds as I did before but this time I didn't depend on the heat of seeds. And also I used a wok instead of a basic skillet for the sake of not losing oats over the edge of the pan while toasting and to have a deeper space to melt the marshmallows. Mix oats and seeds in the mixing bowl.

****Get your pan(s) ready before the next step because once the marhmallows melt the time window to press it into the pan(s) will be short****

Leaving the seeds and oats in the large mixing bowl I melted the marshmallows and butter in the wok (didn't even wash it to conserve a bit of the butter from toasting the sunflower seeds). Drop the heat to low then first melt the butter then add the marshmallows and then stir to preven sticking (and the stirring helps it melt faster). Once its melted its gonna get tricky because you have to pour the melted marshmallows into the bowl with the oats and seeds, mix it vigourously while pausing to add honey (I used about 4oz.), and press it in the pan in a matter of a minute or so before it starts to harden.

Once you have it set in the pan just let it sit and cool or you can cheat by putting it in the fridge. Yeah I went back and checked (it was cooling as I typed this) and it is hard as hell. Perhaps the fridge was overkill or maybe the oats don't take to the Rice Krispie Treatment who knows. I'll have to work on that one so rest assure this will be revisited.

Its almost 2am so I'll post my weekly menu tomorrow.