As soon as I saw the post about biscotti over at Fig and Lime Coridal, it was only a matter of time until I had a go at making some myself. I had made some really good chocolate biscotti a few years ago, but having lost the recipe, it went off my radar. However, once reminded, it was a dead cert. These were on my list for Christmas gifts.
I used Celia’s recipe as my base line, but adapted it to include melted chocolate. I also found I needed to add some water as the dough was just too dry to come together without it. This may be because I used wholemeal flour. Anyway, this is what I did:
- Roasted 140g hazelnuts for 10 minutes in a hot oven to loosen skins (and make house smell good).
- Allowed to cool, then rolled the nuts between my hands to take off the skins.
- Chopped roughly.
- Melted 72% dark chocolate (72%)
- Sifted 300g flour 150g wholemeal spelt and 150g white spelt) into a bowl with 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda, 1/4 tsp salt (Himalayan pink) and 75g cocoa (G&B).
- Mixed in 200g vanilla granulated sugar (or use 1 tsp vanilla extract) and 2 tsp orange zest.
- Made a well in the centre and broke in 3 large eggs.
- Mixed in the eggs working in the dry ingredients from the side.
- Added the melted chocolate and mixed a bit more.
- Added the nuts.
- As the mixture was very dry, added a couple of tablespoons of water to bring dough together with my hands.
- Divided dough into two and rolled into sausage shapes about 3 inches wide.
- Placed these on a lined baking tray and baked at 180C for 25 minutes.
- Removed from oven and left to cool for 15 minutes.
- Cut the rolls into diagonal 1 cm thick slices to ensure a longish thinish shape.
- Baked the slices for a further 20 mins at 160C, turning them over half way through.
- Placed on a wire rack and left to cool.
- Made 33 pieces
Hoorah, these were a complete success. They looked as good as I could have hoped for with a nice dark chocolatey colour contrasting well with the white hazelnuts that studded them. They smelt wonderful and the aroma scented the house for a long time afterwards. I had a hard time stopping myself from opening the tin every half hour just to inhale their fragrance. They had the classic biscotti texture, which can be a bit of a shock if you are expecting a standard cookie type biscuit; these Italian double baked biscuits are hard and are meant for dunking. This batch was not just visually appealing, there was a depth to the flavour as a result of rich chocolate, nuttiness from the hazelnuts and just a hint of orange – all very satisfying. No surprise then, that I had to restrain myself (and CT) from having more than a nibble as these were destined for packaging and passing on.