Are you a biscuit dunker? I’ve never been one for dipping my biscuits into hot liquid. However, these cranberry almond biscotti have made me change my ways!
I’ve seen biscotti being produced on the Great British Bake Off but I’ve never tried my hand at making a batch.
Biscotti are Italian, twice-baked almond biscuits usually served with Vin Santo – a dessert wine from the same region of Tuscany. It’s this liquid that you dip your biscuit into before eating – I’ve only tried it with coffee so far – but give me time!
The traditional recipe is flour, sugar, eggs, pine nuts and almonds. However, there are updated versions that include an array of ingredients such as dried fruit, hazelnuts, pistachios, spices, lemon, coffee and chocolate.
Biscotti is the plural of biscotto but I’ve never heard that term in my life. Perhaps it’s because it’s impossible to eat just one!
Researching recipes, I discovered that there is such a thing as a biscotti tin. I don’t think I’ll be making biscotti often enough to warrant getting one – I used my 18cm/7-inch square brownie tin and it was more than adequate at tackling the job.
For its second bake, I sliced and transferred the cranberry almond biscotti on to a baking sheet and used stainless steel knives (don’t use knives with wood or plastic handles) to prop them up on their sides.
- 70g/2½oz butter, melted
- 135g/4¾oz granulated sugar
- ½tsp salt
- 2tsp baking powder
- 2tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 120g/4oz plain flour
- 120g/4oz semolina flour
- 115g/4oz dried cranberries
- 115g/4oz chopped almonds
- Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350°F/ Gas mark 4
- Grease a biscotti pan or large baking sheet
- Stir together the melted butter, sugar, salt and baking powder
- Beat in the vanilla extract and then the eggs
- Blend in the flours, cranberries and almonds
- Place into the prepared biscotti pan, leaving a 2cm/¾-inch margin free on each side of the pan, to allow for expansion. If you're using a baking sheet, form the dough into a flattened log about 28 x 10cm (10½ x 4 inches).
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool for an hour
- Slice on the diagonal into 4cm/½-inch thick pieces. Place them back on the baking sheet, standing them on edge if you can; this will ensure they bake evenly
- Reduce the oven temperature to 160ºC/325°F/Gas mark 3 and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden
- Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on a wire rack
- They can be stored in an airtight container for several weeks