These crunchy, Italian biscuits keep for ages and are great for dunking in tea or coffee (or, if you’re feeling really indulgent, more chocolate!).
I’ve put off making biscotti for a long time. I always got the impression they were tricky little blighters to make. As it turns out, they aren’t very tricky at all. Once you understand the basic idea that they are ‘twice baked’ (once in a long sausage shape, then sliced) it really is quite simple. Plus, you can create any flavour combination you fancy. The flavours I have chosen are quite sweet and the white chocolate turns almost caramelly. If you don’t have such a sweet tooth you could stick to nuts or try a dark chocolate. I like the addition of a dried fruit as it provides a softer bite in such a crisp biscuit.
I am a tea lover. As anyone who has been to our house for a cuppa will tell you, we drink tea by the bucket rather than the cup! However, I’ve never really understood ‘dunking’. To be honest, the thought of soggy biscuits (I’ve spent a long time ensuring my biscuits are anything but soggy) and suspicious floating crumbs repulses me slightly. As it is tradition to dunk biscotti, I thought I better give it a go… well, I’m a convert. Because biscotti are so crisp you don’t end up with a soggy mess, just a deliciously warm, sweet mouthful. And this way you don’t run the risk of breaking your teeth!
MACADAMIA, CHERRY AND WHITE CHOCOLATE BISCOTTI
adapted from ‘A trio of biscotti’ by Paul Hollywood
Makes 20-25 Biscotti
- 250g plain flour
- 250g caster sugar
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 100g macadamia nuts
- 125g glacé cherries
- 150g white chocolate
1. Pre-heat the oven to 140°C fan/160°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.
2. Sieve together the flour, baking powder and sugar. Beat the eggs and the vanilla extract together and add a little at a time to the flour mixture. I use a fork (fingers work well too!) to mix this together gradually. You are aiming for it to come together into a firm dough.
3. Roughly chop the macadamia nuts, cherries and 75g of the white chocolate (keep the other half for melting and drizzling over your cooked biscotti). Add these to the dough and mix in until evenly distributed.
4. Lightly dust your worktop with flour and tip the dough onto it. Knead gently and then cut in half. Roll each half into a long sausage (about 4cm in diameter). Place on your prepared baking trays.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes. They will spread quite a lot (I got a surprise the first time I made these!). Leave to cool on the tray for about 10 minutes.
6. On a chopping board, with a bread knife, cut each log into about 10 slices (2-3cm thick).
7. Place the slices back on the tray on their side. Cook for a further 20-30 minutes to dry out the biscotti. Turn them over half way through the second bake. Once dry, remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
8. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 75g white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water.
9. Line the biscotti up, close together (you wont waste so much chocolate this way) and drizzle the chocolate back and forth. You can use a piping bag or just a spoon. I put my biscotti back on the baking parchment to do this as it makes cleaning up easier! Allow the chocolate to set then store in an airtight container. They will keep for quite a few weeks.