Baked and flooded hot chocolate oatmeal with banana. Gluten-free, and easily vegan.
As much as I love coffee (and can’t live without it), I’m also obsessed with hot chocolates. It’s almost like eating a giant, mug-sized piece of chocolate. And I, like around 95% of the human race, freaking love chocolate.
So, why the banana? To be honest, the main reason was that I had a super ripe banana to use. But mashed banana also adds sweetness and a fluffy texture (hence why bananas are sometimes used instead of eggs in vegan baking). If you would prefer this to be a regular Hot Chocolate oatmeal, reduce the banana to a half, so it’s not as noticeable. Alternatively, replace it with about ¼ cup of pumpkin puree.
I read about baked and flooded oatmeal at The Oatmeal Artist, and was really intrigued by the concept. But to go with the theme of this recipe, I flooded my oatmeal in a hot chocolate made with almond milk.
Ok, technically speaking, it was a hot cocoa. For something to be a ‘real’ hot chocolate, it needs to have been made with actual chocolate (instead of just the powdered mix).
The recipe below calls for hot cocoa mix (also called hot chocolate powder, or drinking chocolate) in the actual baked oatmeal. If you don’t have hot cocoa mix on hand, you could just add some maple syrup. Or you may wish to omit it entirely, depending on the sweetness of your banana.
And there’s no need to be too fancy with the ‘flooding’. If you have steamed milk or feel like making an authentic hot chocolate, then I’m sure that will be amazing. However, some warmed up chocolate milk (dairy or non-dairy) will work just fine.
Last but not least, let’s talk about removing the baked oatmeal from the ramekin. While I usually eating baked oatmeal straight out of the dish, if you want to flood your oats, you’re going to have to take that extra step and get it out of the ramekin.
I’m actually writing this part of the blog post from the future – more than a year in the future. When I first posted this recipe, the accompanying picture was a total disaster. We’re talking about a half-collapsed baked oatmeal. All due to my clumsiness in removing the oatmeal from the ramekin.
So, after lots and lots of experience, I have these suggestions for you:
- Bake the oatmeal for at least 25 minutes. Make sure that top is a little firm! Wobbly or doughy baked oatmeal will collapse if you try to remove it from the dish.
- Let it rest for at least 5 minutes. Yes, this is a painful wait. But just do it.
- After waiting 5 minutes, run a butter knife around the circumference of the baked oatmeal. Then invert it onto a plate – or, if you’re game, your hand. Then invert the oatmeal again into a bowl.
Inverting the baked oatmeal is a crucial step. Do not try and dig it out of the ramekin – trust me, you’ll end up with a mess.
But the most important thing to remember when removing the baked oatmeal from the ramekin – or when making any breakfast recipe – is just to relax. This is a simple oatmeal, not rocket science or a five-layer cake. So chill. This is something that comes easier with practice.
Oh, and since this is a single-serving recipe, no one has to know if it doesn’t look pretty!
This post was updated in March 2015.
- For the baked oatmeal:
- 1 very ripe banana
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- Tiny pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 - 2 teaspoons hot cocoa mix
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup almond or dairy milk
For flooding the oatmeal:
- ~ ½ cup hot cocoa (or just warmed up chocolate milk)
- Grease a ramekin very well. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Mash the banana in a small (or medium-sized) bowl. Add the rolled oats, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, hot cocoa mix and vanilla extract.
- Pour in the almond milk, and mix until well combined. Transfer the mixture into the prepared ramekin.
- Bake for 23 to 28 minutes, or until the top is dry and a little bit firm. Let sit in the ramekin for 5 minutes.
- Carefully remove the baked oatmeal from the ramekin and place it in the middle of a bowl. Pour over the prepared hot cocoa, and enjoy!