Baked oats are the ideal alternative to porridge for people that love porridge, but are tired of the texture.
The palatable dish provides some of the same nutritional benefits as traditional oatmeal but with much more room to experiment with flavours.
Typically made with sweet additions like banana, maple syrup, vanilla extract or similar, there are endless variations of this filling baked breakfast.
Of course, the most unique thing about this kind of baked oats is that they aren’t baked at all. To cook this flavoursome breakfast I ditched the oven and instead, put the power of my Power XL Vortex air fryer to the test.
While I made mine with a mixture of cocoa powder, berries and chopped dark chocolate, the recipe lends itself to a range of substitutions.
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- 45g oats
- 70ml milk or plant-based alternatives (your choice)
- Half a tablespoon of maple or golden syrup
- One and a half tablespoons of cocoa powder
- One-quarter of a teaspoon of baking powder
- A drop of vanilla extract
- One and a half tablespoons of dark chocolate, chopped
- A small handful of frozen mixed berries
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For the best results, the ingredients should be blended before being baked. This ensures a silky texture and can be done using any kind of blender.
It is also recommended to preheat the air fryer to 180C before using it, as this will speed up the actual baking process.
Making the mixture really is as simple as combining all of the ingredients at once, apart from the toppings, which in my case were berries and dark chocolate chunks.
Start by measuring out each ingredient and pour it directly into the blender for an easy clean-up, then blitz for a few seconds until smooth. The texture should resemble thick chocolate milk.
Once the batter is ready, source an oven-proof dish – I just used a cereal bowl, and pour the contents of the blender into it.
To avoid any waste, I poured a dash of milk into the blender once the majority of the mixture had trickled out. I then replaced the lid, gave it a good shake, and was able to get the rest of the batter out of the container and into the bowl.
I then topped the bowl with a handful of frozen mixed berries and the dark chocolate chunks before placing it in the air fryer basket.
Most recipes recommend baking the batter for 18-20 minutes, checking halfway with a toothpick or skewer to see if the oats come out clean. Mine cooked perfectly in just 15 minutes, by which point the oats were fluffy, chocolate chunks gooey, and the juicy berries had bled into the mixture.
They were undoubtedly the best-baked oats I’ve tried and were so easy to check on while cooking to achieve the perfect texture.
Air frying the mixture created a thin film on the top of the oats which didn’t look too appetising, but the flavour and consistency were just right.
The oats tasted like a warm, rich chocolate cake, and the sweetness of the berries cut through the dark cocoa flavours. I think the syrup and vanilla extract was the perfect amount of added sweetness for this dark chocolate recipe, but I did feel that it was too much for breakfast. Instead, I’d serve this as a quick dessert, similar to a mug cake.
Removing the bowl from the air fryer was quite a challenge too, so I’d urge people to take extra care and use oven gloves at this stage as the basket and bowl were both very hot.
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