Here’s another recipe inspired by watching The Great British Bake Off last week! The signature challenge was all about making biscotti, known in Italy as cantuccini, a twice-baked biscuit that are perfect dipped in coffee. Although I loved the look of Ugne’s white wine biscotti, I couldn’t find a similar recipe for them anywhere :( So instead I decided to adapt Ian’s recipe of orange, almond and rosemary biscotti (found here). I didn’t like the idea of the rosemary, so left it out, and added goji berries for an added health kick (and Ugne used them very successfully).
The recipe is slightly more complex than the classic, making an orange caramel that is then crushed to form the sugar component of the biscuit. HOWEVER, it gives the biscotti an unbelievable orangey flavour, and when drizzled with chocolate it’s like eating a biscuit version of a Terry’s chocolate orange. Heaven.
The recipe makes 36, but I have tried halving the recipe (using two medium eggs instead of three large ones), and this worked perfectly as well.
- 160g blanched whole almonds
- 4 large oranges
- 420g caster sugar
- 350g plain flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 3 large eggs
- 100g goji berries
- 100g dark chocolate
1. Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas mark 4. Roast the almonds on a baking tray for 3-5 minutes, until they start smelling lovely.
The next few steps seem lengthy, but trust me – they are very worth the effort.
2. Use a vegetable peeler to peel off 1cm wide strips off zest from the oranges. Cut the strips into pieces approximately 5mm wide. Boil for 2 minutes, before draining. Repeat this boiling and draining process three times – this blanches the peel and removes the bitterness the zest normally has.
3. In a pan add 150ml water, 300g of the caster sugar and boil the peel in the syrup until the pieces are soft. This took me about 5 minutes – the peel becomes chewable and very shiny. Drain the syrup into a jug, and leave the peel to one side.
4. Place the syrup back in a pan and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for about 5 minutes until the syrup becomes a caramel colour. Keep an eye on the pan, and swirl the pan regularly (but don’t stir). Once caramelized, pour onto a lined baking tray, and chill. Within 5 to 10 minutes, the caramel will have solidified.
5. Once solid, put the caramel into a food processor, and blitz to a fine dust. Weigh out 200g of the sugar and blend with 100g plain flour. If you don’t have 200g, make up the rest with caster sugar.
|After blitzing, the caramel dust has a texture similar|
to caster sugar
6. In a large bowl, mix the sugar/flour mixture with 250g plain flour, baking powder, and the remaining caster sugar.
7. Add the eggs, almonds, orange peel, and goji berries, and stir together. This is easiest done with your hands. Pat your hands in flour first to help prevent the dough sticking. Bring together to a ball.
8. Split the dough into two pieces, and roll each piece into a sausage shape about 5cm thick.
9. Place onto a lined baking tray and flatten with your hands slightly. Bake for 30 minutes.
10. Leave to cool - this is important to prevent cracking! If you are in a hurry, place them in a well ventilated spot, or by a fan – don’t be tempted to refrigerate. Once cool, slice diagonally into slices around 1cm thick.
11. Bake for 20 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
12. Once cool, melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Pour the melted chocolate into a piping bag, and pipe lines of chocolate over the biscotti.