Monday, 30 April 2012

Chocolate, Fruit and Nut Biscotti

If I adore something, I would definitely be making different flavours and varieties of them. Biscotti are one among them. I have been making these jewelled cookies on and off whenever I feel like baking something that uses no butter and something that could be stored for a while. Biscotti are great to snack or for an evening tea and easy to make so I tend to load them with whatever fruits and nuts I have in hand. 

Talking about Biscotti, these are Italian biscuits that are baked twice until dry, crisp and crunchy. They are studded with dry fruits, nuts and chocolates. We normally have it by dunking in tea/coffee. These are fantastically versatile and we can use our own favourite combination of dry fruits, nuts or chocolates. I found this recipe on Good Housekeeping Magazine but added apricots, and more nuts. As my husband dislike chocolate, I added chocolate just to half the dough and they were just delicious, with or without chocolate.

Chocolate, Fruit and Nut Biscotti
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: About 45 minutes
Makes: About 40 mins

90g shelled pistachios
70g lightly roasted hazelnuts
70g apricots, chopped
1 cup (200g) caster sugar
3 (~190g) medium eggs, lightly beaten
75g milk/dark chocolates, chopped into small chunks
1 tsp vanilla essence
275g all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

1. Line a large baking sheet with baking or parchment paper. 

2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.

3. Add in eggs and stir until clumps form, then bring together with your hands, kneading until smooth.

4. Add nuts and chocolate and knead until evenly distributed (dough will be a stiff and a bit sticky) sprinkle little flour to make it less sticky and manageable, but don’t add too much.

5. Preheat the oven to 180 ºC (160 ºC Fan), gas mark 4.

6. Now, on a lightly floured surface, divide the dough in half and roll each dough into two 15 inch sausage shapes. Place them on lined sheets, spacing much apart. Bake them for 25 minutes or until the dough is slightly golden and has spread, then cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Turn down the oven to 140 ºC (120 ºC Fan), gas mark 1.

7. Using a serrated bread knife, cut rolls diagonally into 1cm thick slices. Lay flat on baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes until dry and lightly golden – They will harden on cooling.

8. Cool completely on wire rack and once completely cooled store in an airtight container.
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