Sunday, 29 December 2013

Chocolate and Almond Biscotti

Anyone who knows me knows that I am completely obsessed with Bake Off (Great British, Irish, Australian, American... I've watched them all) so I received some lovely Bake Off gifts for Christmas. One of my favourites is this fab book from my little sister! 

The only problem is trying to decide what to make. I handed that responsibility over to my mum and she chose Biscotti. I was wary of these, mainly because I've never had too much success with biscuits, but what mummy wants, mummy gets!! 

Biscotti means 'twice baked', and that's exactly what they are. First you make up your biscuit dough, shape it into a log shape and bake it. Then you slice it up and bake it again. This results in a very dry and crisp biscuit which is what makes them perfect for dunking into coffee. 

To be perfectly honest, these didn't really excite me. They tasted nice and were really chocolately, but I wasn't dying to go back for seconds. I'm blaming it on the texture.... I'm definitely a gooey biscuit girl at heart. Maybe if I liked tea or coffee I'd have a different opinion... 
Scratch that, I'm officially converted. I have been nibbling at these all week! They are so moreish and just a lovely after dinner treat. I will definitely be making these again!!

100g whole blanched almonds
100g unsalted butter
3 medium eggs
200g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
325g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp cocoa powder
110g dark chocolate (about 70%), roughly chopped

Heat oven to 180ºC. Put the nuts on a small baking tray and toast in the oven for 6-8 minutes, or until golden brown. Leave to cool a bit, then chop each nut in half and set aside. Gently melt the butter in the microwave (use 10-20 second bursts) and leave to cool slightly. Put the eggs in a large mixing bowl and whisk until frothy. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and whisk until very thick. Pour the melted butter into the bowl and whisk until combined. Sift in the flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Stir in the chopped nuts and chocolate. Split the mixture in half and place each half on a lined baking tray. Using your hands, mould the dough into a log shape. Place in the oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until barely firm when gently pressed in the centre. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. When cooled, reheat the oven to 180ºC. Using a serrated bread knife, gently slice the log into 1cm slices and place them on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes until firm and dry. Remove from the oven and leave for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

You will also need:
150g dark chocolate (about 70%)

When the biscotti has cooled completely, melt some dark chocolate either over a pan of hot water or in the microwave. Dip one end of each biscotti into the chocolate and then place on a sheet of baking paper to set. 

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