Last Christmas my wife's Christmas list, among other things,
included Biscotti. So as a stocking filler I thought I would
get her some. Easier said than done.
Biscotti (which means twice cooked) are Italian almond biscuits
which originally came from the city of Prato, in Tuscany.
These days Cantuccini is the more commonly used name for the
biscuits, although I think Biscotti is easier to remember.
I eventually tracked some down in Marks & Spencer where
they are called Cantuccini. They seemed quite pricey to me
so that started me thinking that perhaps I should put my baking
hat on. I looked at various recipes but none produced what
I wanted, but with a bit of experimenting, and my wife as
the guinea pig, I came up with my version of the recipe for
Biscotti or Cantuccini Biscuits.
Biscotti can be baked as a plain biscuit for dipping but
I think Almonds are the most traditional addition to Biscotti
. That is the flavour I have tried to capture with adding
almonds and by the addition of almond essence and Amaretto.
The dried apricots add a little moisture and subtle addition
to the flavour.
2 large eggs
160g of caster sugar
300g of plain flour
2 tsps almond essence
85g whole almonds
85g chopped dried apricots
the oven to 160°C / Gas Mark 3.
a baking tray by covering with baking paper.
together the sugar and eggs until pale and foamy.
the almond essence.
the flour and fold into the eggs and sugar.
flour is about three-quarters folded in add the almonds
and apricot pieces and mix everything together to form a
in a good glug of amaretto to the dough.
your hands with a little water to stop them sticking to
the dough and roll it, in your hands, into two short logs.
Place your logs on the baking tray and smooth them out to
form two rectangles about 10cm wide.
the logs for 30 minutes until golden brown then remove from
the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
a serrated knife, cut the logs into 2cm slices then lay
the slices on the baking tray and return to the oven for
20 minutes until thoroughly dried.
to a wire rack to cool.
is my version of an age old recipe when the biscuits were
baked like this so that they would keep without going off.
When I bake them they do not have time to go off! You can
of course create your own version of Biscotti by changing
the type of nuts used and / or the fruit used.
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