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Biscotti

Biscotti MD

I am rather partial to a biscuit with my tea or coffee.  My problem is that I cannot just stop at one.  The solution is not to buy them and this generally works well.  The only trouble is that I live with someone who is also partial to a biscuit.  Even more partial to a full biscuit barrel but these are rare objects, especially in our house.

Dunking biscuits are my real love, and for me, the biscotti is the Rolls Royce of dunkers.  Best described as a hard, golden, nut-filled biscuit with a crunch, they should not be eaten in their undunked state by those who are teeth-challenged.

If we do have them in the house they won’t last long.  So they are avoided.  Until a few weeks ago when we were both shopping in Terroni of Clerkenwell.  While I was at the counter ordering cheese and salami, Tom disappeared only to reappear with a large bag of biscotti, which I was only too happy to add to the shopping.

When we returned home we indulged in a couple to accompany our coffees.  We were both slightly smug in congratulating each other at how restrained we were in just having two.

My only thought was that when he was out of the way there would be all the more for me.  The next day when I was alone I started to think about those biscottis and how nice they would be with my cup of coffee.  Before I knew it, I was looking for a place to hide the empty packaging.

When Tom returned and made us both coffee I could hear him opening cupboards and drawers – I knew what he was searching for but, instead of owning up, I clung on to the hope that he had forgotten them.  He hadn’t and knew exactly who had had the lot.

So, to make up for my disgraceful greed I have made two batches and, in doing so, I have awakened my addiction for a biscotti with my morning and afternoon coffee.  The shop bought ones were nice but home-made takes them to another level.

Biscotti

Ingredients

90-150g / 3 1/2 oz blanched almonds

(I have put 90-150g of blanched almonds because the recipe can take the lower end of almonds or the upper end its personal choice – plus it depends on the amount of almonds I have, I hate leaving twenty almonds in the bottom of a packet).

250g/9 oz plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

250g/9 oz caster sugar

2 eggs beaten

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

Set oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4.  Scatter the blanched almonds onto a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes making sure that they don’t catch or burn.

Remove from the oven, cool for a couple of minutes and then roughly chop.  The almonds being warm from the oven cut very easily so don’t wait for them to cool too much.

Put the chopped almonds, flour, baking powder, caster sugar, eggs, egg yolk and vanilla extract into a bowl.  Mix to form a dough.

Turn out onto a floured board and knead for about 5 minutes, the dough will be very sticky.

When the dough is well combined, form into a 12″ log and place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

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Bake for 40 minutes.  The dough will have slightly risen and be a beautiful golden colour.

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Put onto a wire rack and allow to cool.

Turn the oven down to 140C/275/Gas mark 1.

With a bread knife carefully slice the log into 1 cm slices.  Place the slices flat side down onto a baking sheet  and return to the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning once during this time.

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Cool on wire rack.

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