Wednesday, 11 May 2011

biscotti with almonds


Let me just go ahead and say it: I love biscotti. Dipping a biscotti into my coffee cup is a moment of bliss. I get restless if I don't have these wonderful Italian cookies in a container in my cupboard. I like keeping some in my bag too so I can enjoy them wherever I am with my takeaway latte. The recipe comes from my friend CafeSigrun (how fabulous is it that her website is finally available in English!); it's the only one I've tried and the only one I'll be baking in the future because to me it's perfect. If you want more fibre in your diet then mix wholegrain spelt flour with white spelt flour when making them.

BISCOTTI WITH ALMONDS

INGREDIENTS

  • 110 g raw cane sugar, not too coarse
  • 1 egg
  • ½-1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract (from a health food store)
  • 240 g spelt flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder, gluten free
  • optional: ¼-½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 75 g almonds, coarsely chopped
  • a few tablespoons cold water

You can add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder to make a chocolate version or you can add a handful of chopped organic dark chocolate.

METHOD

  1. In a small bowl, mix the raw cane sugar, egg and vanilla/almond extract (you can also use organic vanilla sugar). Add a couple of tablespoons water to dissolve the sugar
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the spelt flour, baking powder and salt
  3. With a large wooden spoon or a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add water (I use 3 tablespoons) to be able to kneed the dough without it sticking much to the bowl
  4. Chop the almonds in a food processor and stir them into the dough
  5. Place baking parchment on a baking tray. Use your hands to mould a 12 x 22 cm (4.7 x 8.6 in.) loaf. Make the height of the loaf approximately 1.5 cm (0.6 in.). If the dough sticks to your hands then simply wet your hands with cold water and keep on moulding
  6. Bake the loaf at 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 for 40 minutes (160°C if your oven is fan assisted)
  7. Place on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes and leave the oven on
  8. Place the loaf on a chopping board and use a serrated knife to carefully slice it diagonally into 1 cm (0.4 in.) thick slices
  9. Place the slices on the baking parchment and bake further for 10-15 minutes
  10. Turn the slices over and bake for 5-7 minutes. Turn off the oven, leaving the slices to cool in the oven with door slightly ajar
  11. Store the biscotti in an airtight container

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