raspberry, mint, chia seed, walnut oat bars
I don’t quite know how it happened but the first time I made them they turned into a cake rather than a crumble, which confused me as much as I am sure it is confusing you, crumble, cake, how they become one I don’t know. The cake was actually still rather tasty but just didn’t make much sense when I wanted a bar, although I may have to share that recipe one day too, because like I said it was still really delicious. Denser than a normal cake it turned into a sheet like cake with a thin layer of somewhat caramelized raspberry coulee on top. That is the thing with baking; it is not like savory cooking where adding a few things here and there can actually make the end result better. Savoury cooking really comes down to personal taste and likes. Baking is a science, it is based on specific measurements that when you screw up or try and get a little too playful with totally backfires, at least normally in my kitchen it does. The finish has the ability to turn out dry, bland, gummy or maybe it doesn't rise or it rises too much! It can be intimidating to say the least.
This weekend, if you follow me on Instagram you would have seen a total baking flop. I tried making a Dutch baby for the first time and although it ended up being really delicious, the whole rising, crispy factor didn’t really happen? I mean it rose a little but not as much as I expected it to or have seen. I am now making it my weekend assignment to perfect that little baby; you can probably expect to see a few more “flops” on Instagram while you follow me on that journey.
But I do love the art of baking, call me crazy, I like the science within it, which is wild because I didn’t exactly like science in school, actually I hated it. But I find baking to be such a beautiful craft; especially afternoon baking, when it is raining outside and the skies are overcast, which is 9 months out of the year here. You would think I would be a master at baking with all of the rainy afternoons I have spent doing it. But alas I am not, though this year I want to make it a mission to try some of the harder things like croissants (maybe not that hard but I have never made them, I know, what?!), éclairs, soufflés, maybe a napoleon and apparently Dutch babies.
I also really want to make a beef wellington, not sweet I know, but I have watched enough MasterChef’s that I am so intrigued to make one myself. Oh and also sourdough bread, this might actually be my number one, I really want to make sourdough bread from scratch. It is pretty much the only bread we eat, besides a few fancy fresh bakery ones so it would be really nice to have a starter ready to go whenever the need for some bread arose. I have heard it can be a bit tricky so if you have any tips leave them below. Or even how to start a starter! There is nothing like fresh, homemade baked bread coming out of the oven on a Sunday afternoon, served still warm enough to melt the butter entirely on its own accord.
Needless to say this year I want to branch out a bit further into the cooking world, spread my wee wings and get a little more creative and adventurous! When it works I will be sure to post them all for you guys as well.
raspberry, mint, chia, seed, walnut oat bars
4 cups of frozen raspberries
juice and rind of one lemon
2-3 tbsp of maple syrup
1 tbsp of vanilla
2-3 tbsp of fresh chopped mint
2 cups of rolled oats
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 ½ cups of chopped walnuts
¾ cup coconut oil
¾ cup of maple syrup
2 tsp of baking powder
2 tbsp of vanilla
¼ tsp of salt
3-4 tbsp of chia seeds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a sauce pan on medium heat add the raspberries, lemon juice and rind, vanilla and maple syrup. Bring to a slight boil and then bring the heat down to simmer and let cook for 5 -10 minutes. Mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with an equal amount of water and add to the raspberries. Bring the temperature back up a little and cook for a couple of minutes. Take off the heat, add in the mint, stir and set aside.
In a small food processor finely chop the walnuts. Add them in a large bowl with the flour, rolled oats, and baking powder, stir. Add in the coconut oil, crumbling the mixture with your fingers until it comes together, and then pour over the maple syrup and vanilla, mixing with a spoon. Crack the egg into a small bowl and lightly beat with a fork, pour over the crumble mixture and stir in.
Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch pan and place a little over half of the crumble mixture on the bottom of it, lightly packing it down. Next pour the raspberry coulee evenly over the crumble and then top with the remaining crumble. Sprinkle the chia seeds over the entire crumble and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes.