In the past few weeks, I have had a major baking splurge, trying out lots of new recipes from books as well as my own. I have finally found the time to dedicate myself to something I enjoy, and the more I do it the more I love it. I have got a lot of influence from Tanya Burr’s latest book, Tanya Bakes as the recipes are all so delicious and easy to make. Something that I have wanted to try for a long time was biscotti. I have always enjoyed the sweet, crispy treat dunked into a cup of tea, but never actually managed to make it myself. In all honesty I think I was rather afraid, as it seemed like it would be so complex and utterly impossible to get it right. I also didn’t want it to go terribly wrong so that I would never want to try it again. I silly reason I know, but at least now I have finally done it, and completely mastered it… if I do say so myself!
In Tanya Bakes, there is a recipe for Cranberry, Pistachio and Chocolate Biscotti. I made this one pretty much as soon as the book came out, and then also made a batch of dark chocolate and hazelnut from a recipe that I had found online. I wanted to really nail the basics first, teaching myself the basic technique before creating my own. I thought a lot about the flavour I wanted and finally found a combination that I absolutely adore. I have made these a couple of times now, and am completely hooked. They are so quick and easy to make, and absolutely delicious. They have all been gobbled up by my family and boyfriend within days of me making them, and have been highly requested whenever they have run out. They are a huge success, and really something you should try if you want to try baking something different.
Vanilla & Berry Biscotti
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 40 mins
Ingredients (approx. 26 biscuits)
200g plain flour // 1tsp baking powder // 200g caster sugar // 100g dried cranberries (finely chopped) // 6g freeze dried raspberries // 1 vanilla pod (seeds removed) // 1tbsp vanilla extract // 2 large eggs (beaten in a separate bowl) // 200g good white chocolate buttons // extra freeze dried raspberries
I get my freeze dried raspberries from Sainsburys. Get the link here.
Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees (170 fan). Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, dried cranberries and dried raspberries. Leave a few raspberries left over to decorate. Mix this well so that everything is combines. Add the beaten eggs to the dried ingredients, vanilla seeds and vanilla extract. Mix together to form a dough. It should be relatively sticky, yet still dough like in texture.
Separate the dough evenly into two separate bowls, then using a spoon, spoon each mixture into a line onto the baking tray as shown in the photo above. The reason I use a spoon is because the dough is too unbearably sticky to do it with your hands. They should be about 5cm in width, but don’t stress too much about this as they are meant to look a little rustic.
Bake the biscotti in the oven for 30 minutes, until hard to touch and slightly golden in colour. Leave the oven on and put both biscuits onto a chopping board. Slice each biscuit diagonally, about 2cm thick pieces. Again, this only needs to be rough, and you can see by eye whether they look similar or not. Place the biscotti back on the baking tray, all with one side up. Bake for 5 minutes, then turn over and bake for another five minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack to cool.
Once completely cool, you can decorate. I like to use white chocolate as I feel it works best with the combination of flavours. Melt down the chocolate in a bowl over hot water, then transfer to a cup, preferably not too wide. Dip each biscotti piece into the chocolate, to cover the end. Top with a sprinkling of the left over freeze dried raspberries, and put in the fridge to set. A few hours is enough for this.
I don’s store them in the fridge, so as soon as they’re cooked, transfer them to a see through biscuit tin so that you can show off your beautiful work!
– happy baking –
This recipe is entirely my own.