This week I made a new kind of biscotti - chocolate and chilli! It's a well-used combination of flavours known to work well in sweet and savoury settings. In this biscotti, I make a chilli caramel, which isn't tricky but requires some precautions to prevent sneeze-a-thons and watery eyes. To the biscuit dough I added a high quality cocoa powder.
My warnings with the chilli caramel - do not eat it before adding it to the biscuit dough - it will be very strong (but the flavour is dampened down by all of the other biscuit ingredients to give a nice warm sensation at the end). Also, after blitzing in a food processor, try not to inhale the sugary dust - the chilli fumes are pretty strong.
Despite that, these biscotti are delicious, and well worth the effort! Amazing on their own, and even better dunked in a warm cup of tea. YUM.
Makes 36 biscotti
- 160g blanched whole almonds
- 3 red chillis, seeds removed and diced
- 420g caster sugar
- 300g plain flour
- 50g cocoa powder
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 3 large eggs
- 100g dark chocolate
1. Preheat the oven to 180c/320f/ gas mark 4. Line the base of two baking trays with baking parchment.
2. In a medium pan add 300g caster sugar, 150ml of water and the diced chillis. Heat (without stirring) until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Boil mixture rapidly for 3 -5 minutes, until the syrup is a nice-caramel colour. Swirl the pan regularly (do not stir). Pour onto one of the lined baking trays and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes.
4. Once solid, break into chunks and blitz to a fine dust in a powerful food processor. Alternatively use a pestle and mortar to crush the caramel.
5. In a large mixing bowl, mix the crushed caramel with the plain flour, 120g caster sugar, and baking powder. Add the eggs and almonds, and bring the mixture together into a big ball of dough.
6. Divide the dough into two. Roll out each piece into a sausage shape about 5cm thick.
7. Place onto a lined baking tray and flatten with your hands slightly. Bake for 30 minutes.
8. Leave to cool for at least half an hour. Once cool, slice diagonally into slices about 1cm thick.
9. Bake for 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
10. Once cool melt the dark chocolate by placing in a bowl, and microwaving on full power for 30 second bursts. Stir after each burst, until the chocolate has melted.
11. Pour to chocolate into a piping bag, snip off the end of the bag, and pipe lines back and forth over the biscotti.