cereal mixology – we share 7 secrets of the perfectly-balanced breakfast bowl
Why do cherries go so well with almonds? How many blueberries is just enough? Creating a perfect bowl of muesli or granola has a lot more to it than you might realise. Here are seven secrets of the art of ‘cereal mixology’…
Ever wondered why your bowl of luscious berry & cherry muesli has just this many blueberries and precisely that number of raspberries? Or why our gently spiced carrot & apple muesli had a little hint of cinnamon and nutmeg added in?
These things don’t happen by accident – our cereal experts spend many hours tinkering away in the Dorset Cereals kitchen to get the balances of flavour, texture and even visual appeal just right.
It’s an art that deserves a name, so we’ve called it ‘cereal mixology’. Here we reveal seven of the key principles to creating breakfast bowl perfection – the secrets of the cereal mixologists…
1) know what your mix is for
Breakfast is much too important to be rushed. We think it should be a proper sit-down experience that you make time for, not something you scoff on the way to the bus stop.
So when our mixologists sit down to plan a new muesli or granola recipe, they start with an idea of what the cereal is for. What unique sensations will you get when you eat it? How will it make you feel happy and satisfied at the start of the day?
It could be a sense of luxury (see choc cherry granola) or cosy comfort (try almonds and honey bircher muesli). Our ultimate adventures range even aims to create an exciting sense of travelling the world through flavour.
2) deliver a multisensory experience
Flavour and taste are of course the keys, but as any cocktail mixologist or masterchef knows, we drink and eat with all of our senses.
Our experts have to think about texture (getting just the right amount of softness or crunch), aroma and even the way the cereal looks when you pour your morning mix. So if you want to be a cereal mixologist, you have to know what makes a beautiful bowl!
3) know your ingredients – and use the best
The most basic rule of all food creativity is ‘know your ingredients’. Our mixologists must know all about different grains with different textures – from oats to barley, to spelt and wheat – and how they can be toasted to make them light and crispy, or flavoured with raspberry for a guaranteed taste explosion, or just rolled to form a classic grain.
They’ve learned about drying and freeze-drying the best blueberries, redcurrants, cranberries, blackcurrants, raspberries and cherries – and how to make all these flavours sing in harmony.
4) understand flavour combinations and balancing
Most of the great drinks cocktails have three elements: a base ingredient (the largest portion of liquid), a modifier (usually a second spirit which combines with the base to create the overall flavour) and an additive (the last little extra touch of zing or colour).
Balancing these three to make a coherent whole is the key to mixology – either by finding flavours that work in harmony (such as the rum, coconut and pineapple in a Pina Colada) or deliberately contrasting opposites (think Whisky Sours, which balance sweet bourbon with a sour mix).
And cereal mixology works in a similar way. You might have a base of selected grains (like the coffee-flavoured barley flakes in our machu picchu muesli), a modifier of fruit such as tangy golden berries, and finally a touch of zing or luxury, like some slightly decadent pieces of dark chocolate.
5) every ingredient should be there for a reason
Another guiding principle in all food or drink mixology is simplicity. Every ingredient should be there for a reason, not adding complexity for the sake of it.
For example, seeds might be needed to add texture and visual appeal, or blackcurrants for a touch of tang. But if it does not add something distinct and essential to the mix then our mixologists will simply take it out.
6) leave room for improvisation
Of course there’s a science to mixology. Many classic flavour combinations are well established, like cherry and almond, or cherry and chocolate, or cranberry and orange, or pistachio, fig and honey.
But even though our mixologists like to start by planning a recipe on paper, there’s always room for the artistic side, for experimentation and improvisation. Otherwise we would never have discovered – as we did while playing around recently – that seaweed and salted caramel could work so well together… Perhaps we’ll make it into a limited edition muesli one day!
7) follow the Dorset Cereals ‘no dust’ rule!
At Dorset Cereals we don’t believe in muesli dust! A key principle our mixologists follow is that each mouthful should be representative of the whole bowl, and generous with all the ‘good bits’. The last drop of a perfect cocktail is just as delicious as the first – so why should cereal be any different?
Our unique 10-second mix process ensures that the ingredients aren’t over-mixed, and guarantees the right balance of grains and fruits or nuts… but no dust.
So now that you know the secrets of cereal mixology, you’ll be able to appreciate your muesli even more than ever!
Whether you’re a berry & cherry-lover or nutty about granola, we recommend you make yourself a bit of extra time in the morning, pour yourself a bowl and enjoy a perfectly-mixed breakfast on the slow…