When I was sent a pot of Mexican Smoked Chilli Honey from Gran Luchito to try out, two bakes immediately crossed my mind: brownies and flapjacks. I thought the smoky chilli flavour would work well in both of these and add something rather different to anything I’ve tasted before. As I’d very recently made brownies, I leaned towards flapjacks. But with all the Easter chocolate around the house, I was keen for something a little less sugar and butter laden. I was initially inspired by Carl Legge’s recipe for Breakfast Muesli Bar. He uses no additional sugar and no butter, but unusually adds egg and tea. I’ve also had my eye on Pam Corbin’s Fruit and Nut Honey Bars from her book Cakes for a while. So using a bit of one, a bit of the other and a bit of my own, I came up with these rather delicious energy bars.
This is how I made:
Smoked Chilli Energy Bars
- Chopped 100g dates and 100g dried apricots and placed in a large bowl.
- Added 25g goji berries, 25g dried wild blueberries and 25g linseeds.
- Poured over 125 ml of warm rooibos and fresh ginger tea.
- Grated in the zest of an organic orange, then squeezed in the juice.
- Added 1 heaped tbsp of smoked chilli honey & stirred.
- Covered the bowl with a plate and left to soak for a good ten minutes.
- Broke in a duck egg (large hens egg) and stirred.
- Added 200g porridge oats and 50g jumbo oats.
- Chopped 50g Brazil nuts and 50g 70% dark chocolate and added those to the bowl.
- Stirred until combined, then spooned into a 9″ sq silicone mould.
- Smoothed the top until level, then sprinkled over 50g sunflower seeds and 50g pumpkin seeds.
- Baked for 25 minutes at 180℃
- Allowed to cool for 15 minutes, then cut into 15 bars.
Not only are these bars full of energy, they are very tasty too. There is plenty in there to enliven your palate. The smoked Mexican chilli gives an intriguing and unexpected nudge to the senses, with the fiery chilli and smoky flavour coming through quite quickly – not your average energy bar. With their chewy texture and contrasting crispy toasted seeds, this is the slowest fast food you’ll meet, quipped CT – even he couldn’t gulp them down in two seconds.
It wasn’t until I was set on an unstoppable course that I tasted the smoked chilli honey and actually read the ingredients. The aroma from the jar was distinctly savoury as well as smokey. I discovered that onion, garlic and vinegar had been added as well as the smoked chillies and honey. OK, not quite what I’d been expecting, but my Marmite brownies had worked so why not this. Sweet, savoury and distinctly hot, this is the sort of condiment which I’ve shown can be added to sweet as well as savoury dishes. My energy bars were not only robust enough to take this powerful flavour, but were actually enhanced by it.
I am sending these off to Vanesther of Bangers & Mash for The Spice Trail where it’s all things Mexican this month. In fact the prize offered this month is some Gran Luchito goodies including this honey. So enter and you might get lucky.
These energy bars also fit in very nicely to this month’s Family Foodies where, to counteract all the chocolate floating about over Easter, the theme is Healthy Snacks. Lou of Eat Your Veg is hosting but alternates with Venesther of Bangers & Mash.