I was asked this month if I’d like to take part in another supper club, this time by Craig at Titan Travel. When he told me the country we were visiting this month was Italy, and the recipe we were trying was biscotti, I was all over it. Titan sent me a gift card to pay for the ingredients – thank you! – and I was not otherwise compensated for writing this post. They’re all my words and thoughts about the recipe, don’tcha know.
Click the link to pop over to Titan Travel and learn a bit more about biscotti, and Tuscany while you’re at it. Then, you can have a go at baking some biscotti for yourself. The recipe itself comes from Chocolate Log Blog
I’m not gonna lie, there were some touch and go moments for me with this recipe. When you make a new recipe, especially a recipe for something you’ve never tried before, there are often little things that trip you up. For example, with this recipe, the advice was to add a little water to the biscuit dough if it didn’t seem to be holding together. I added only enough so that the dough would just hold together, when I’d given it a bit of a knead. In the end, this wasn’t enough – and I ended up with a lot of biscotti crumbs round my kitchen as I tried to slice it up for the second bake. So, heed my words, and make sure your dough is suitably squidgy before putting it in the oven the first time round – then, when you’re slicing it up, it won’t give you so many projectiles. I would still recommend going in with your hands, though, to make sure it’s all mixed up properly. Yes, your hands will get all chocolatey – but if that’s something you want to avoid, maybe baking isn’t the hobby for you?
Here’s a visual aid. See how the dough has cracks through it, even though it looks sticky and shiny? You might want to add some more liquid until the surface is uniformly smooth.
It looked fine, to my untrained eye, when I rolled it out into logs – but those logs expand in the oven, and if they’re really craggy round the edges, this is where you’re going to find bits breaking off and littering the kitchen (or gravitating into your face, completely by accident oh how dreadful).
This shows you the first stage of baking – once you’ve baked the biscotti as a log, you slice it up and bake a second time (biscotti means ‘baked twice’). I couldn’t bear to take photos of the mild carnage that occurred as I was going along, but I was more than happy to take a photo of the end result, which was really rather pretty:
The other thing to note is that crushing hazelnuts in the food processor can leave you with quite finely ground nuts (how rude). I did it this way but it might be better to crush them in a mortar and pestle or with a hammer (no joke), especially if you prefer chunks of hazelnut through the biscuits. Also, be considerate of which chocolate and which cocoa powder you use – particularly the cocoa powder, because it is the prevalent flavour in the end result. I recommend Green and Blacks cocoa powder (they do not endorse Rock Salt, though I’m open to them doing so – it’s just a really great cocoa powder, streets ahead of any others I’ve tried).
Finally, the recipe up on Titan’s website is currently missing a line of instructions! There’s a fix in the pipeline but, for now, if you’re going to make these biscuits be sure to check in at the original source so that you know when to add the sugar, vanilla and orange zest – just after you mix the dry ingredients together, if you just can’t bear the suspense.
The end result is very crunchy, very chocolatey and bitter-sweet. They’re a sophisticated biscuit, and they go especially well with a hot beverage of your choice, for possible dunking when nobody is looking.
Thanks again to Titan, and to Chocolate Log Blog for the recipe.