Two Italian biscotti

Two Italian biscotti
  • Serves icon Makes 40
  • Time icon Takes 30 minutes to make and about 1¼ hours to bake, plus cooling

These biscotti make a great Christmas gift, and are delicious served with a sweet dessert wine.

For 1 almond biscotti:
111kcals, 3.8g fat (0.5g saturated), 2.8g protein, 17.5g carbs, 9.3g sugar, 0.1g salt

For 1 chocolate biscotti:
132kcals, 5.8g fat (1.5g saturated), 2.8g protein, 18.3g carbs, 10.8g sugar, 0.1g salt

Ingredients

  • For the almond and candied orange biscotti
  • 200g unblanched shelled almonds
  • 400g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • 100g good-quality candied orange peel, chopped into small pieces
  • 3 large free-range eggs, plus 2 large free-range egg yolks
  • Finely grated zest of 1 large orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the double chocolate and hazelnut biscotti

  • 200g shelled unblanched hazelnuts
  • 350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • 200g plain chocolate chips
  • 3 large free-range eggs, plus 2 large free-range egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Line 4 large baking trays with sheets of baking paper.
  2. For the almond biscotti, spread the almonds on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 10 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove and cool.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and a good pinch of salt into a mixing bowl and stir in the sugar, candied peel and whole cooled almonds.
  4. In a separate bowl or jug, lightly beat the eggs and egg yolks with the orange zest and vanilla extract.
  5. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and stir in the egg mixture until it comes together into a soft dough. If it is slightly sticky, knead in a little more flour, but don’t let it become stiff and dry. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly until smooth.
  6. Divide the dough into 3 and roll each piece into a long sausage, about 4-5cm wide. Lay on 2 of the baking sheets (2 on 1 sheet, well spaced apart, and 1 on the other) and bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly golden and cooked. A skewer inserted into the centre should come away clean. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, for the chocolate biscotti, roast the hazelnuts as before for 10 minutes and leave to cool. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and a good pinch of salt into a bowl and stir in the sugar, chocolate chips and toasted hazelnuts. Beat the eggs, yolks and vanilla together, add to the dry ingredients and shape and bake as for the almond biscotti.
  8. Lower the oven temperature to 150°C/fan130°C/gas 2. Using a sharp, serrated knife, cut each log slightly on the diagonal into approximately 1.5cm thick slices. Place the biscotti, side by side, cut faces down, on the baking sheets and bake for another 20 minutes, turning halfway through, until the biscotti feel slightly firm and dry when pressed. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. The biscotti will become harder as they go cold. Store in an airtight tin for up to 3 weeks.

delicious. tips

  1. Presentation idea: Fill a tea cup or mug with a mixture of the two biscotti. Wrap up with some Cellophane, ribbon and a handwritten label for the perfect gift.

  2. These treats will keep for 3 weeks in a sealed tin.

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