Friday, 11 January 2013

Almond Biscotti

You know, an Italian colleague of mine told me an interesting thing about biscotti - when she first moved to England from Italy, she went into a coffee shop, and surprised to see it sold there, asked a member of staff why they sold it. "It goes with cappuccino," she was told. It turns out that in Italy, biscotti is actually served with wine!

I first made some white chocolate and cranberry biscotti to go into my Christmas hampers back in December (I'll post that recipe soon - they were yum!), but I realised it would be a perfect recipe to re-visit in my "healthier baking" month, due to the low-fat content. This time I've switched out the chocolate and cranberries for healthy almonds! I worked out an extremely rough estimate of the fat and calorie content per piece, based on 16 pieces: 103.5 calories and 3.6g of fat - not too shabby for a snack of this tastiness! Please don't take this as a given though, I'm not a nutritionist, dietitian or mathematician for that matter, plus all of your pieces will be slightly different sizes and so the figures above will vary, I've just provided them here as a guideline.

200g plain flour
30g ground almonds
1tsp baking powder
50g whole almonds
75g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
2 medium eggs

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50-55 minutes
Makes 16 pieces of biscotti

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  2. Put all of your dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix together. Create a well in the centre of the dry mix. Add the vanilla extract and the eggs to the well you created then start to beat with a fork, working in the dry mixture a little at a time until a rough dough forms.
  3. Knead the dough lightly by hand until it becomes smooth, then break in into two pieces. Shape both pieces of dough into a sausage shape, then place them on the prepared baking tray. Make sure to leave plenty of space in between them as they will grow!
  4. Pop the biscotti dough into the oven for 20-25 minutes until it firm to touch and just starting to turn golden brown. Remove the biscotti from the oven and allow to cool on the side for 5-10 minutes, until cool enough to handle. Leave the oven on at gas mark 4.
  5. Once the biscotti is cool enough to handle, slice into it diagonally with a serrated knife, to create pieces a little over 1cm thick. Put those pieces back onto the baking tray and bake for a further 25-30 minutes, until crispy and golden brown all over.
  6. Allow the biscotti to cool on a wire rack before tucking in!

Happy Thoughts

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