I"ve been trying to replicate my mother's toasted museli for years. I know that she adapted one of the Diet for a Small Planet recipes in the 1970s, but damned if I can get hold of a copy. None of the local organic brands come even close to tasting right, and they burn the fruit. I would abandon my search in disgust, as humphy as buggery, and swearing like a truckdriver. As is my way.
But in keeping with my current Breakfast is a Good Thing theme, I decided to bite the bullet and have another go. I did a little research, and I'm happy to say that Little Birds' toasted museli, while not the same as Mum's, is a perfectly delightful alternative.
The best thing about making your own museli is that you get to to put in all the things that you really love (hazelnuts, dried muscatel grapes), and exclude that which you detest (I loathe dried apple and always will). And Little Birds suggests adding a big spoon of nut paste to your honey/oil mixture, which is downright inspired of her.
4 cups rolled oats
a generous handful of chopped almonds, and the same of chopped hazelnuts, which I toasted lightly in a pan, beforehand, to bring out the flavour,
a handful of sesame seeds,
a handful of sunflower seeds,
a big handful of flaked coconut,
and generous lashings of cinnamon, and a little cardamom powder (to offset the coffee-drinking, thank you Peter), but not too much cardamom, or you'll overwhelm things.
I mixed all that in a bowl.
In a saucepan, I heated, until melted and blended:
1/4 cup honey,
1/4 cup maple syrup (because life is short),
1/4 cup oil (vegetable, or nut),
a ts of vanilla essence,
and a generous tablespoon of nut paste (I used peanut butter, because it's all I had, but I plan to experiment with this next time). I understand that fruit juice is workable, too.
When that was all melted I mixed it into the museli, sans fruit.
It will seem surprisingly wet, but don't be alarmed.
I toasted it in 2 batches in a slow oven (mine was 140 degrees celsius and fan-forced, but that's not really going to help you, just make sure it's not too high). Set your timer and check and turn it every 5 minutes until it's golden and crispy (I think it took 20 - 25 minutes per batch but will depend a lot on what you're toasting in. I used a big Le Creuset cast iron fry pan, which was a bit slow getting off the ground, but once it did, toasted fast.
Once it starts to toast, it all happens pretty quickly, so don't wander off and forget about it, or you'll have a bastard mess on your hands that will leave you feeling dejected and inadequate, and your museli looking like shit. This is really easy stuff, even Stomper can handle it, it's just a matter of sticking around.
When toasted, take it out of the frypan, or baking dish, straight away, or it will keep cooking. Put it in a dry bowl, and stir it from time to time while you're toasting the rest. It helps to cool the museli, and will stop steam from stealing your crunch.
When it was all done, but still hot, I added the dried fruit, a couple of handfuls, which in this case were muscatels and currants (call me old fashioned, I heart currants), or however much you prefer, and I tossed it about some more. Truthfully, this much tossing is perhaps not absolutely essential, but I found it so satisfying that I can only recommend that you try it, and see if I'm not right. You've just made your own toasted museli, dammit; Toss and Be Proud.
The end result should look something like this:
I'm planning cranberries in the next lot, I'm throwing dried cranberries into everything but the wash at the moment. The flaked coconut was particularly successful and delicious, the natural oils inherent in the coconut causing it to crisp up beautifully. Much better than dessicated, (dessicated is so last millenium).
But whatever your weapons of choice, the key is too keep it as organic as you can. A lot of strange and scary creatures are used in commercial fruit drying, affecting both the taste and the value, (nutritional and spiritual), of the food.
This is breakfast we're talking about, after all.
Chant Aum, gratefully, three times,
and then knock yourself out.
And, if you're in Australia, be sure to eat it with this:
then write and tell me, in 25 words or less, exactly what kind of epiphany you had.