Before reading this post there is a small disclaimer to my Mum – ‘you are an awesome mum and by no means is my criticism of your breakfast choice for us as kids reflective of your brilliance as a mother or your efforts in making us eat well’…… you may now continue.
A breakfast that was a regular indulgence when i was a kid was the ever crunchy, chocolatey delight of coco pops. It really lived up to its catch phrase, ‘just like a chocolate milkshake only crunchy’ and i loved them.
Even as an adult when I was working night shift I would crave a bowl of chocolate crunch as a 3am pick me up (it beat a coffee hands down) ….. But as a regular breakfast?
I really cannot believe mum allowed us to indulge in these sugar coated chocolate puffs. Today, as an adult I still look on them as a delicious treat a but …. a breakfast food?
Skip ahead 30 years to the next generation, there are still requests for coco pops as we walk the shopping isles. The bright yellow box, that cute cheeky monkey inviting the kids inside and the lure of that chocolatey milk – why would you not pester mum for them. But disappointingly for my two, i always so ‘NO’ ….except on one occasion – HOLIDAYS (got to have fun and enjoy the ‘bad’ things sometimes). And we are heading on a holiday!
I know that this decision to fleetingly indulge in this breakfast choice is not going to win points for nutrition and i am willing to cop that for a short duration. But what disappoints me most is that there is absolutely no oomph or sustenance to them.
A chocolate air puff of nothing
I guarantee that Master 5 years will be back in less than and hour on the hunt for another snack.
So last summer i was excited to spy a recipe for chocolate muesli in a Donna Hay magazine. Like all muesli recipes it is a simple blueprint and I have changed tweaked and altered it to make it more similar in texture and crunch to coco pops.
By no means is this recipe an everyday breakfast either – it still has a fair whack of sugar in it but at least this occasional breakfast treat has fibre, nutrients and enough substance to keep them going for a while (i think the qualified professionals probably call this a lower GI alternative)
To this ‘muesli blueprint’ i added chopped almonds and chopped pepitas. Through experience making other types of muesli, I have found when you toast pepitas they go incredibly crunchy. So this is a must if you are to recreate coco pops. Make sure you chop them up finely so that all the ingredients are of similar size.
I also added puffed millet. It is perfectly round, adding to the coco pop effect. If you cannot get them (i bought them in the health food section of Coles) then a puffed rice will do.
I also added rolled oats, malt powder (nestle brand) and cocoa powder.
Give all this a good stir before starting on the wet ingredients.
Stir the ingredients till you have a silky chocolate mixture and pour over your dry ingredients. Give a good mix together till everything is thoroughly coated.
Line two baking trays with non-stick paper and place into a 18o degree oven for 20 – 30 minutes. You will have to keep checking and stir the mix slightly every 10 minutes. Don’t worry, you will not forget to do it. The heavenly scent of chocolate will draw you to the oven time and time again.
When it comes out the oven it will be soft. But as it cools it will go crunchy and crisp. Break up any large clumps so that you have uniform pieces.
Enjoy on your next holiday or when you are hanging for a chocolate treat.
Chocolate Malted Muesli Crunch
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup puffed millet or rice
1 cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup finely chopped pepitas
1/3 cups malt powder
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbs macadamia oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
100 g dark chocolate
Pre heat oven to 180 deg celsius and line two baking trays with non stick paper.
Mix together rolled oats, almonds, pepitas, puffed millet, malt and cocoa powder. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, add water and brown sugar and heat over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Allow to come to the boil and then add finely chopped dark chocolate, macadamia oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Take off the heat and stir with a whisk until chocolate is melted in mixture is smooth.
Add wet mix to dry mix and stir well, ensuring all the dry ingredients are thoroughly coated.
Spread out onto baking trays and back for 20 – 30 minutes, watching carefully and stirring every 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before eating or storing in an air tight container or jar.