Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).
Combine brown sugar, maple syrup, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, salt, cayenne pepper, and cocoa powder in a bowl. Whisk thoroughly. Add oats and almonds. Toss and smear the mixture together using a spatula until well coated. Spread mixture evenly over a silicone-lined baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Toss granola with a fork, breaking up any clumps to get a finer texture. Continue baking until desired texture is reached, 30 to 60 minutes more. Sprinkle some granola onto a plate; if it clinks, it is ready. Turn off the oven and leave granola inside the oven to dry and cool to room temperature.
I used Guittard(R) Cocoa Rouge, a Dutch-process cocoa, which has a lower acidity than regular cocoa.
If you want a stickier granola, that will more easily clump together, you can up the brown sugar and maple syrup a bit, as I used the bare minimum in this recipe, but I think it’s plenty sweet enough, especially if you’re a fan of dark chocolate.
Accessorize this as you see fit. Coconut flakes are an obvious choice, as are other usual suspects like dried fruit, any and all nuts, and assorted seeds.
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