Wednesday 13 June 2018

Chocolate Hazelnut Porridge of the Forest

   Inspired quite directly by my wedding cake, this chocolate hazelnut porridge is decadent, but it's also healthy. With a steel-cut oat base blended with cacao (or chocolate protein powder) and ground hazelnuts, it's certainly nutty, and the added topping of ground pistachios gives it another level of nuttiness and texture. There is also 1 Oreo - yes, I used Oreos on my wedding cake, but everything else was totally made from scratch, and they weren't used in any tacky, obvious way, either. And the single Oreo is the only added sugar to be found in this porridge, and is totally optional. The biscuit has been separated and crumbled into 'dirt', and the cream has been scraped off and moulded into toadstools. It adds a burst of sweetness, but the dirt is so finely crumbled that it does little to add texture, it just looks and tastes good - but as both the 'dirt' and toadstools are on top, they're not present in the porridge itself and won't be missed if you decide to miss it out. I've made this porridge twice now - once with, once without, and I didn't miss it.

   You'll notice that I've strayed from my usual rolled oats in favour of steel-cut (also called Irish oats and pin-head oats). Not only are these virtually the whole oat, barely processed, but they also have their own vaguely nutty taste which adds to the overall nuttiness of the porridge. The wedding cake contained no flour, only ground hazelnuts and almonds, but of course we need oats to make porridge. So what better type of oat than nutty steel-cut? There is no compromise.

Serves 1
30g steel-cut/pinhead/Irish oats
10g ground hazelnuts
20g chocolate whey protein (or plain whey & 10g cacao)
100ml skimmed milk
100ml water
Sweetener of choice (if not using sweetened protein)
10 pistachios, chopped (approximately 7g)
1 Oreo
Optional Snapdragon flowers

1. Boil the water.

2. Combine oats, hazelnuts, sweetener and whey in a saucepan. Then, stirring all the while, slowly add the milk.

3. Add the water, stirring slowly again, and set over medium heat and bring to a boil.

4. Reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes.

For Overnight Oats: 5. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and leave overnight. Reheat on the stove the following morning.

To Decorate:
6. Sprinkle the pistachios in a moss-like arrangement.

7. Take one Oreo and split the biscuits. Scrape off the cream and roll it into a ball. It helps to have dry hands. Split the ball into 1/3 and 2/3. Split the 1/3 into three more pieces to make stalks. Split the 2/3 into three pieces to make toadstool caps and press them onto the stalks.

8. Take the biscuits and grind them up. Putting them in a ziploc bag and using a rolling pin over them is the quickest and easiest way.

9. Sprinkle the biscuit over the porridge like dirt.

10. When ready to serve, set the toadstools in place. Don't do this too soon, as they will begin to melt. If taking pictures (I learned the hard way), get everything ready, camera included, then add the toadstools.

• I used PhD Nutrition's chocolate Diet Whey. Otherwise I use Pulsin premium whey and Aduna raw cacao powder.
• I only ended up using half of the Oreo biscuit crumbs, but I've used the entire Oreo in the nutrition below.
• I sourced my snapdragon flowers from Fine Foods Specialist. They arrive in a punnet. To help them stay fresh for a few days longer, take an air-tight box, fold a kitchen paper towel to fit, wet it and lay it in the bottom. Arrange flowers on top of it, then add another wet kitchen towel on top. Arrange more flowers on top, then lay another towel. Keep going until you have all the flowers you wish to keep (they very likely won't all be in perfect condition, but you'll receive about 15-20 flowers) and ensure that a towel is over the top layer, then close the lid and set in the fridge.

400 calories, 13.5g fat (2g sat), 33.5g carbs (10g sugar - 5g of which added), 6g fibre, 29.5g protein


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