Handmade Holidays (Pt 4)

Having nearly broken my teeth on a biscotti I bought in Cafe Nero once, for many years I really couldn’t see the attraction of biscotti. They seemed to go from granite to sludge in the bottom of the coffee cup in a matter of, ooh, hours.

Why bother, when a perfectly nice chocolate hobnob would do the job with minimum fuss and maximum pleasure?

But I am now a convert. I have discovered that homemade biscotti are infinitely superior to the fossilised shop bought ones.

And they’re brill to give as gifts at this time of year.

My annual venture into biscotti land usually involves these beauties

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Triple chocolate almond pistachio biscotti.

These are so nice.

There may not be enough left to hand out as presents.

You will need
200g plain flour
60g cocoa powder
150g caster sugar
60g good quality plain dark chocolate
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten
1tsp vanilla
100g blanched almonds
50g pistachios
50g white chocolate
50g milk chocolate

Heat the oven to Gas 4.

First lightly toast the nuts by dry frying over a low heat for a few minutes until lightly browned.

Put flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt and the dark chocolate ( broken into chunks) into a blender and blitz in pulses until all the chocolate is broken up into the safe size and texture as the flour and mixed in. Add the eggs and the vanilla and mix in pulses until you get a dough. This will be very sticky.
Dust a counter with flour and tip the dough out.

Knead in the now cooled nuts. You can either mix both nuts in together, or split the dough and have one half with pistachio, the other with almond.

You may need to add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky.

Divide the dough into four and roll out into long sausage shapes about 2.5 cm wide and slightly flatten the sausage

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Yes I know this looks anything but appetising at this point. Trust me.

Pop the sausages onto a tray lined with baking parchment or grease proof paper and pop in the oven for approx 25 mins.

Allow them to cool.

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With a serrated knife cut the baked dough into 1.5 cm pieces and pop them back into the oven for 15 minutes.

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Allow them to cool.

Melt the milk chocolate either in a microwave or over a bowl of boiling water and then drizzle the biscotti with the melted chocolate.

Or just splodge the chocolate on in big dollops if you are 7 years old and want to maximise the chocolate content

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Allow this to set a little then drizzle with melted white chocolate

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Enjoy with a cup of coffee secure in the knowledge your teeth should remain undamaged from the encounter.

Just remember to brush and floss afterwards 🙂

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