Friday, June 4, 2010
Latest cooking obsession - Biscotti
We love our coffee in this house. Some mornings it's essential to my ability to function and we definitely have a less cranky mummy if I've had my morning coffee (and a less cranky mummy is better for everyone, right?).
As an accompaniment to the beloved coffee I've been trying lots of biscotti recipes lately and I think I've come up with the ultimate one (to my taste - hope it's to yours too if you give it a try). It's not too sweet (so won't overpower the coffee), has a hint of citrus, lots of crunchy almonds and is very thinly sliced so that even if you don't dip a piece into your coffee (though you really should) you won't break your teeth! They are also lovely with some good vanilla icecream.
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
150g caster sugar (or ordinary if you don't have caster)
180g plain flour
140g whole almonds
1 tsp orange zest, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 180c. Line a loaf tin with non-stick baking paper (I love that stuff!).
Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. Then gradually add the sugar and beat for another 30 seconds. Fold in the flour, nuts and orange zest. I do this with the mixer, on low speed.
Spoon into the loaf tin and flatten the top with a spatula a bit (I like to leave it a bit rough to get interesting biscuit shapes). This makes your 'log' which you later cut slices from - see pic. Bake for about 30 minutes. It will be starting to brown on the top and look set.
Once cool, refrigerate for a couple of hours at least (or until you're ready for the final bake). This will ensure it cuts well and doesn't crumble.
Preheat oven to 140c. Using a serrated knife cut the log into very thin slices. I use a small Victorinox knife - I think it's a 'steak knife'.
Put the slices onto baking sheets lined with non-stick paper (they do stick to the sheet if you don't use it!) and bake for about 5 minutes, then turn over and bake for another 5 minutes. They should be dry all the way through and crunchy, but not really brown. Allow them to cool on trays then transfer to an airtight container. They'll keep for about a week.
Makes about 60 pieces