Thursday, 28 April 2011

Recipe of the Moment:
Apple & Cinnamon Sugar Snap Porridge

For those of you who follow the musings of the Scoffing Cow on a regular basis, you may have realised by now, that I undeniably hold a particular penchant for porridge (and alliteration too it would seem.)

Yes indeed, I am a porridge whore. And sadly, would be content beginning each and every day with a steaming great big bowl of oats for all of eternity.

But alas, that doesn’t mean that I’m averse to variation, and in fact, often treat porridge creation as if I were preparing an a la carte meal.
You see, a sprinkling of sugar or a dollop of jam will get you so far, but really, with such a versatile substance, porridge can be so much more.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to get all ‘Heston’ on you; snails and camel ears have no place in my breakfast routine, but you’d be surprised how sexy porridge can actually be, with just a few little tweaks here and there.

So why not get a little creative…

Grated nutmeg and a swirl of honey; maple syrup with ground ginger; apple sauce with powdered cinnamon; the possibilities are unashamedly endless. And provided we maintain a little self control when adding any of the above accoutrement, you're porridge will remain a healthy and nutritious breakfast, with significantly more pizazz.

Still not convinced? Well let me see if I can change your mind with the Scoffing Cow's very own recipe, for Sugar Snap Porridge.
This recipe works with about any flavour or spice creation you can fathom, and adds an indulgent and sophisticated addition to even the most simple concotions. (Okay perhaps not sophisticated, it is still porridge for gods sake.)

Try it, and let me know what you think....
Unless you don't like it of course... in which case, ignorance is bliss.


Apple & Cinnamon Sugar Snap Porridge


©      1 Sachet of Oat so Simple porridge or about 40g of porridge oats.

©      180ml of Semi-Skimmed, or 1% milk.

©      1 heaped tsp of powdered cinnamon.

©      1 tbsp of apple sauce.

©      15g of golden caster sugar, or 3 tsps. (Superfine Sugar)


©      Small saucepan

©      Ovenproof bowl

©      Grill (or blowtorch if you know what you’re doing, and have adequate supervision of course!)


1.         Add porridge oats to a pan and mix in the cinnamon. Add milk, apple sauce, and heat slowly on the hob stirring continually.

2.         When porridge has reached desired thickness, remove from heat. If too thick, add a little more milk or water and keep on the hob until the consistency is right for you. (I like mine to be textured, but fairly runny.)

3.         Empty the porridge into an ovenproof bowl and stir well to ensure that the bowl’s sides are slightly coated. Place under the grill on a low heat until the surface has set slightly and then leave to cool for at least 5 minutes.

4.         Dust the porridge evenly with caster sugar, ensuring that the surface is completely covered and that the sides are coated.

5.         Return the bowl to a hot grill and check after around 1-2 minutes of cooking. The lid should be a very light golden brown, and quickly turn solid when removed from the heat (give it a tap). If it doesn’t, pop it back under for another minute or until this effect is achieved.

6.         Leave to cool for a further 2 minutes, and then devour.

Serves 1
Takes about 15 minutes in total, including cooling.
275 calories per serving, made with Golden Syrup Oat So Simple and 1% milk.

The Scoffing Cow’s Top Tips

Don’t rush the initial grill. The reason behind this step is to give the sugar something to rest on; almost a film. If the surface isn’t hardened, the sugar will dissolve straight into the oats and the lid won’t anywhere near as crunchy. If you overcook the porridge at this stage, and the surface catches under the heat, you can always give the bowl a stir and have another shot at it.

Ensure you allow the surface to cool between grilling. If you don’t, the final product won’t have that crucial ‘crunch.’

When heating the caster sugar in step 5, don’t be tempted to over cook. Perfect crunch relies on the sugar granules not completely caramelising – you should still be able to see the grains if you look closely, and the colour will be a very light golden brown.
The 'solidifying' won't occur straight away, and the sugar needs to oxidise away from the heat in order to get really hard (Heston eat your heart out!) and crystallise. If you tap it with a spoon and it makes a lovely hollow clunk, you're all set.
Yes, this maybe a little OTT, but have a look at one I made earlier...

If the sugar is overcooked, it will be a lot darker in colour since it has fully caramelised. Whilst this works nicely on a crème brulee, because the oats are still hot in this recipe, the caramel won’t become cold enough to set and the syrup is likely to be reabsorbed into the porridge itself.

Finally, don’t be tempted to substitute the sugar with sweetener… it just won’t work, and quite frankly, defeats the purpose of the whole thing. Yes I know 15 grams seems like a lot for one person, but with a breakfast as sinless as porridge, even the most cautious of cows has significant room to manoeuvre.

1 comment:

Maria said...

This sounds really interesting! Happy New Year!!