Chocolate Biscotti 


For those who don’t know Biscotti are Italian biscuits originating in the city of Prato. They are twice-baked, oblong-shaped, dry, crunchy, and nice to have with a cuppa. This was my first attempt at making them and as you’d expect there were a few hiccups. The recipe I used is from a book titled “Taste Chocolate.”

I had to do a few things differently to the recipe so my alterations will be in bold.

Anyway, here goes:

Ingredients 

120g (3/4 C) hazelnuts 

350g (2 3/4 C) plain all purpose flour

A pinch of salt

2 tsp baking powder 

60g (1 C) cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

220g (1 C 2 Tbsp) brown sugar

5 small eggs

50g (1/3 C) pistachios, shelled

75g (1/2 C) raisins or dried cranberries

1/2 tsp lemon zest, finely grated.

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

2. Toast the hazelnuts in a dry non-stock pan, stirringly constantly. Take off the heat when the skins of the hazelnuts crack. Place in a paper towel and allow to steam for a minute or two. Rub the hazelnuts in the paper towel until all skin is removed.

3. Pour the flour into a large bowl, add the salt, baking powder, cocoa, and sugar and mix well. Make a well in the middle, add the eggs and vanilla into the well and mix until a smooth dough forms. Knead in the hazelnuts, pistachios, raisins (I used cranberries) and grated lemon peal. 

4. Shape the dough in a roll approximately 60 cm thick.

5. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and press the dough flat, until it is 3-4 cms in height. Bake on the bottom shelf for about 20 minutes, or until firm to touch.

6. Take out of the oven, remove the baked roll from the baking tray and place on a chopping board. 

7. In roughly 7 minutes, or when the dough is no longer to hot to cut without crumbling, slice the roll at a slight angle into approximately 2-3 cm slices using a serrated knife. 

8. Lay the slices on the baking tray and bake for a further 4-5 minutes on each side or until the centre is dried out. Leave to cool.

The main reason I had to alter the recipe so much is that it was quite brief in parts and I found myself having to look up how to do things online. The mixture also didn’t seem to bind using only 3 eggs, possibly because the recipe required the use of large eggs, but this was not specified. Instead I used 5 small and a little bit of water to get the dough to the right consistency. 

Anyway, it did end up resembling Biscotti, but it wasn’t completely dry in the centre, so you could say it was semi-successful. I think next time I will just use a well trusted Italian recipe. 

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