RECIPES BY Rhiannon Lambert

Chocolate Nests

  • 1 Hour 30 Minutes
  • 16 Nests
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Essential ingredients

100g quinoa
50g puffed oats (or rice krispies)
200g dark chocolate
1 tbsp coconut oil
50g mixed dried fruit
30g chopped walnuts
16 muffin cases

Directions

  1. Rinse the dried quinoa thoroughly to prepare it for popping. Place it in a bowl and fill with cold water. Strain the quinoa through a fine sieve, and hold under a running cold tap to remove any of the foam that forms. Return the quinoa to a bowl and repeat this process two or three times, until no more foam forms on the surface and the quinoa seeds remain at the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Heat the oven to 180C. Spread the quinoa over the base of a large baking tray and place in the oven to dry it out for 45 minutes to an hour. Check it every 15 minutes or so, and shake it to break up clumps. You may need to give it a stir if large clumps form. When dry, remove from the oven.
  3. Meanwhile, in the final 5 minutes of the quinoa baking, melt the chocolate together with a tablespoon of coconut oil, either in the microwave or in a glass bowl over a saucepan filled ¼ full with water. Stir and leave aside.
  4. To pop the quinoa, heat a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat, and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil. Test the heat by adding a few quinoa grains, which should pop within 5 seconds if the pan is hot enough. The sign of it popping is when it turns golden and jumps in the air, it will not expand like corn. Add the rest of the quinoa to the base of the pan in a single layer, and cover with the lid.
  5. Shake the pan constantly to prevent any of the quinoa burning. After 2-3 minutes you will begin to smell a nutty aroma, and the popping will slow, and then you should remove it from the heat. Continue to shake the pan for 1-2 minutes off the heat until the popping stops, then pour it onto a baking sheet to cool.
  6. Pour the cooled popped quinoa into a mixing bowl, along with the puffed oats. Add the mixed dried fruit and chopped walnuts and stir together, before pouring in the melted chocolate. Stir well to coat all of the mixture in the chocolate.
  7. Add 2 tablespoons of the mixture into each muffin case and flatten down. Create a dip in the middle to form a nest shape. Place in the fridge for up to 30 minutes to set, then enjoy with some chocolate eggs in the nest! These keep well in the fridge for up to a week.