Serves: Makes about 30 - Time:
I cannot stress how easy it is to make biscotti-much simpler than a sponge cake for example. If these now ubiquitous Italian biscuits had been popular when I was young, I feel sure they would have made an appearance in My Learn to Cook Book (circa 1975), for they are indeed child’s play to make. The only slightly taxing part is slicing the biscotti for their second baking (should I mention here that biscotti translates as “twice-cooked?). I have found a brisk and decisive cut with a sharp, plain-edged knife the best way to tackle this. Most supermarkets sell these delicious salted, caramelised mixed nuts. I buy my food grade essential oils from www.healthysupplies.co.uk but souchef.co.uk also sell a selection.
- 150g salted caramelised nuts
- 250g caster sugar
- 250g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Grated zest of 1 satsuma
- 4-5 drops of orange oil
- Icing sugar to dust
- Heat the oven to 180˚c, fan oven 160˚c, mark 4. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking parchment. Roughly chop the nuts.
- Put the sugar, flour, baking powder and a good pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the nuts. Beat the eggs with the zest and orange oil and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix everything together to make a smooth dough.
- Divide into two equal pieces and roll out roughly to a fat sausage shape, about 4-5 cm thick. Place on the lined baking sheet, at least 6-8cm apart, and bake in the oven for about 30-35 minutes until light golden.
- Remove and leave to cool for 3-4 minutes. Turn the oven down to 150˚c, fan oven 130˚c, mark 3. Cut the dough into thin slices on the diagonal and place on the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Turn the slices of biscotti over and cook for a further 12-15 minutes until the dough is dry. Transfer the biscotti onto a wire rack and leave to cool. Store in an airtight container.