Twice Baked is what biscotti stands for, a referenced technique that gives this Italian biscuit its characteristically hard texture. Traditionally, it is served after dinner, with glass of Vin Santo for dipping. It is also delicious with a cup of coffee or tea or fresh fruit salad at any time of day
Ready in: 1hr 10min (Prep: 30min, Cook: 40min)
- Blanched almonds – 50 g (1¾ oz)
- 1 large egg
- Caster sugar – 85 g (3 oz)
- Plain flour – 140 g (5 oz)
- Baking powder – ½ teaspoon
- Ground cinnamon – 1 teaspoon
- Dried cranberries – 55 g (2 oz)
- Preheat the oven to about 180ºC (Gas mark 4).
- Spread almonds in a tin (baking tin) and toast them in the oven for 10 minutes or until it becomes lightly browned. Then set it aside to cool.
- With an electric mixer, whisk the egg and sugar in a bowl until it becomes very thick and pale. NB: The mixture should be thick in order to leave a trail on the surface when you lift out the beaters. If you are using a hand whisk or rotary beater, set the bowl over a bath/pan of almost boiling water, ensuring that the water is not touching the base of the bowl.
- Sift the baking powder, flour and cinnamon onto a sheet of greaseproof paper.
- Sift the mixture again, but onto the whisked egg mixture.
- Gently fold the sifted mixture into the egg mixture with a large metal spoon.
- Then stir in the toasted almonds and cranberries in order to make stiff dough.
- Now, spoon the dough onto a greased baking tray and, form it into a neat brick shape about 25 x 6 x 2 cm, with your floured hands.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Allow it to cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a board.
- With serrated bread knife, cut the brick across into 20 slices (slightly on the diagonal). Arrange these slices flat on the baking tray and return to the oven for the second phase of baking.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10–15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Again, allow it to cool on the baking tray for about 5 minutes, and then transfer it to a wire rack and cool completely.
TIP: you can keep biscotti in an airtight tin for up to 2 weeks.
You can substitute sultanas or dried cherries for the cranberries.
If you want to make chocolate biscotti, replace the cranberries with 55 g of coarsely chopped dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids).
Add 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract when you whisk the egg and sugar.
NOTE: Almonds provide a good source of protein. It is also rich with several vitamins and minerals, which include vitamin E, several of the B-group vitamins, copper, zinc, magnesium, iron and phosphorus. They are useful source of calcium, specifically, for people on dairy-free diets. Also, they have proven to be useful in diabetes as part of a healthy diet.
Fresh and dried cranberries are all good sources of vitamin C.