The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, 4 April 2006

Almond biscotti

The term biscotti literally means 'twice-baked'. Baking it twice draws out moisture from the dough and makes it harder (and I like hard biscuits :9). It was a means to make food that will last for a long time.

Like most biscuit recipes, this is really simple and straightforward. The recipe I have is for a basic biscotti recipe - you can add ginger, chocolate bits, cocoa or anything you like really. Or do something more fancy like dip it in melted dark choc and drizzle melted white choc to make pretty patterns. I stuck to basic because it's quite nice in its own simple way. I haven't quite mastered how to make it look pretty and dainty like the ones you find in shops or cafes, but this is only my second try, and I will keep trying!


1/3 cup butter (75g), room temp
1/3 cup sugar (75g)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups plain flour (300g)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup almonds (up to 1 cup if desired)


1) Preheat oven to 180degC. If the almonds are raw, chuck it in hot oven for 10mins to roast them. Chop the roasted almonds (this tip will help in cutting the half-baked dough*).
2) Cream butter and sugar together, then add the vanilla essence and eggs and mix well.
3) Sift half the flour, baking powder and salt into the wet mixture and mix. Sift in the other half of the dry ingredients, add the almonds and mix well into a workable dough.
4) Put the dough onto a floured surface, and divide the dough mixture into two. Roll each into a log that is maybe 2 inches diameter. Place dough logs onto a lined/greased baking tray and bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Take it out and cool for at least half an hour. The cooling part is essential so that you have a semi-hard dough to slice (otherwise the dough may crumble into bits while slicing).
5) Using a nice sharp (preferably serrated) knife, slice the half-baked dough into 1 inch thick slices. Place side down onto baking tray and bake for further 10-15minutes, take it out to turn over on other side and bake for further 10 minutes.

*I didn't chop the almonds the first time I made biscotti, and found that the knife cut through the dough more easily than the almonds, which resulted in the almonds dragging through the dough and made it even more prone to crumbling. So using chopped almonds (or slivered almonds) is a good idea.

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