On short notice, a few girlfriends and I were invited to a friend’s house for lunch on Saturday where we asked to bring a plate. I am actually starting to find this issue of “what to bring” a little. Not because I don’t want to make anything, but because there is so many great recipes to try that I get overwhelmed by all the possibilities. Basically I search though the recipes of my favourite sources and wait for something to jump out at me or that I find exciting. Sometimes my time constraints make this difficult as the recipes that sound interesting can be complex.
So when I found out about the Saturday lunch on Friday afternoon the first thing I thought was “what can I make”, all the possibilities began racing through my mind. Next was “how much time do I have to make it”. I realised I would need to go to the store and stock up on supplies and whip something up in a bit of hurry before lunch the next day. I needed something quick and easy.
After searching some of my favourite spots for inspiration I stumbled upon on old classic which I had never made: biscotti. The recipe (adapted from the Joy of Baking) looked simple enough and not too time consuming. Plus I had all the ingredients except the almonds. Easy. Excellent!
Come Saturday morning, as The Hubby was busy making a very yummy cooked breakfast of eggs, mushrooms and grilled haloumi, I darted around him (we have a rather small kitchen) beating eggs, sifting flour and chopping nuts across several spaces including our dining table. It was a little frantic but we made it work.
I loved my little loaf of biscuit (which I was excited to get The Hubby to inspect) and had a lot of fun slicing it up to make individual biscotti. The only time-consuming thing was thrice cooking the dough and having to wait for it to cool, but I was able to use this time to pack up and get ready.
In the end I thought the biscotti turned out great. The minute the girls took one bite of them they all craved a cup of coffee – it was rather funny. Watching them enjoy dipping the biscotti into their coffee and nibbling away gave me a lot of joy. Well worth the mad rush to make them.
Overall they were easy and delicious – the perfect combination of chocolate and almond in a very light but crunchy biscuit. Just right for dunking into some steaming coffee (or tea for me please).
Chocolate Almond Biscotti
Makes about 20-24 biscotti
- ⅔ cup granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- ¾ cup blanched whole almonds, toasted and chopped
- ⅔ cup dark chocolate, chopped into chunks (can use chocolate chips)
- Preheat oven to 350F/1800C and line baking tray with paper
- Beat the sugar and eggs on high speed until thick, pale, and fluffy which will take around 5 minutes
- Beat in the vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, sift and whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix and mix
- Fold in the almonds and chocolate
- Transfer the dough to a well-floured counter and roll into a log shape, about 12 inches/30 cm long and 3 ½ inches/9 cm wide
- Place on baking tray and bake for 25 minutes or until firm when touched
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes
- Reduce oven temperature to 325F/1650C
- Transfer the log to a cutting board and cut into about ½ inch/1.25 cm slices, on the diagonal
- Place the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking tray
- Bake for about 8-10 minutes
- Turn slices over, and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until golden brown
- Remove from oven and let cool
- When shaping the dough into a log you may have to flour your hands as the dough is very sticky
- Toast the blanched almonds for 10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant
- if you love your chocolate dip the ends of the cooked biscotti into melted chocolate to create a chocolate covered biscuit
- you can make the biscotti base chocolate by adding cocoa powder
- the flavour combinations are endless with biscotti and this recipe can easily be changed by replacing the chocolate and almonds with any other chocolate, dried fruit or nuts. Some popular combinations are:
- cranberry and pistachio
- chocolate hazelnut
- plain almond
I would love to hear if you also have felt a sense of being overwhelmed to make something as you know the possibilities are endless. Do you have a go-to recipe that you frequently use for gatherings?