Saturday, 14 September 2013

Two Types Of Biscotti

This recipe for biscotti, a twice-baked Italian biscuit, is incredibly versatile, and once you have the basic dough (I use a Paul Hollywood recipe for this) you can tailor the additional flavours to suit your preferences by altering the type of nuts, dried fruits or citrus that you choose to include. These two recipes are my personal favourite combinations - I couldn't choose between the fresh lemon and the rich chocolate versions so had to include both! Despite looking both authentic and impressive, biscotti is really simple and easy to make. Although the Tuscans traditionally serve them at the end of a meal with a glass of Vin Santo, in our slightly less sun-drenched autumnal England I think they are best enjoyed as a tea-time treat, or a tasty accompaniment to a mid-morning coffee.
Chocolate, Almond and Cherry
Lemon, Pistachio and Cranberry

 For About 30 Biscuits You Will Need...

Basic Dough
250 g plain flour (280g if making the chocolate biscotti)
1/2 tsp baking powder
250g caster sugar
3 free-range eggs, beaten

Lemon, Pistachio & Cranberry Flavour

Zest of 1 lemon
100g whole blanched almonds, roughly chopped
120g shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
125g dried cranberries, roughly chopped


Chocolate, Almond & Cherry Flavour

50g dark chocolate, melted and cooled
50g chocolate chips
50g dried sour cherries, chopped
100g blanched almonds, roughly chopped

You Will Need To...

- Preheat oven to 160C/325F.

- Make the biscotti base by combining the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then gradually add the eggs and stir until it forms a dough. You probably won't need to use all the beaten egg so add it slowly - you don't want the dough to be sticky.

- Once you have a basic dough add in your additional flavours by stirring then kneading gently by hand until combined. If making the chocolate biscotti, add the melted chocolate along with the eggs and stir until the dough is evenly brown.

- Knead the mixture gently on a floured surface then cut in half and roll into two logs, each about 4 cm in diameter. Place on a lined tray about 5cm apart as the mixture will spread, and bake in your preheated oven for 30 minutes.

- Remove from oven and leave to cool for about 10 minutes, then cut into slices and lay flat back on the tray. Bake for another 15-20 minutes, until dry throughout, turning over halfway through.

- Put the kettle on and enjoy!

C x

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