I have recently won a Neven Maguire’s cookbook. For those who don’t know him, he’s an Irish celebrity chef who owns a beautiful restaurant in County Cavan called McNean. It’s also a guest house, so if you are travelling to Ireland, this would be a great spot to stay. Anyway, I was flicking through the mouth watering recipes in this book and got very interested in his granola recipe. Not only did I have all the ingredients in my cupboard and fridge, but it looked very easy to do. The beauty of this recipe (apart from its fabulous taste and texture) is that you can make all the different parts in advance and assemble when needed. One last thing: Neven owns a few Thermomix at his restaurant and he says about them: “It’s the one piece of equipment I’d miss most and it’s in heavy use all day in the restaurant’s kitchen”. Need I say more?
Source: The mcNean Restaurant Cookbook
For the prunes
100g large pitted prunes
1 tea bag (Barry’s gold blend, Earl grey or Darjeeling)
1 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 vanilla pod, split in half and seeds scraped out
350g Greek yoghurt
For the granola
100g mixed seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and/or sesame seeds)
40ml maple syrup
25g flaked almonds
A few dried fruits like dried apricots cut into small dices, sultanas… (optional)
- Preheat the grill/broiler to medium.
- Make the granola: place the mixed seeds in a bowl and mix with the maple syrup until evenly combined. Tip the seed mixture onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and spread in an even layer.
- Place under the grill for 8 to 10 minutes, until light golden, stirring occasionally to break up any large lumps. Watch while it’s baking as it can brown quite quickly!
- Add the flaked almonds, stirring to combine and cook another 5 minutes (I forgot about the flaked almonds so I took out the seeds and placed the almonds on their own to brown for 5 minutes, turning them once).
- Leave to cool and harden and place in an airtight container.
- Place the prunes, tea bag, sugar and vanilla pod (scrape the seeds out and reserve for the yoghurt mixture) in the TM bowl. Add 175g of water. Cook 5 min/100C/speed spoon/REVERSE DIRECTION.
- Simmer for 3 min/90C/speed spoon/REVERSE DIRECTION.
- Leave to cool completely. Discard the vanilla pod and tea bag and blend for 20 sec, turning the speed dial very slowly from speed 1 to speed 6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and repeat (it won’t be completely smooth). Place in an airtight container and chill in the fridge until needed.
- In a separate airtight container, mix the yoghurt and vanilla seeds. and chill until needed.
- To serve, divide the prune purée among 6 x 120ml martini glasses and spoon over the yoghurt to cover completely. Finally, scatter over a layer of the granola (add dried fruits at this stage if you wish).