The usual suspects are meringue and pavlova which, incidentally, feature in this month’s Gourmet Traveller. This post is not about meringue, however. Or pavlova. It’s about biscotti.
A big shout out and thank you to Ruth, from my mothers’ group, who passed this delicious recipe on to me. The leftover whites from a recent carbonara gave me the perfect excuse to try it out and, when I did, it was fabulous.
Recipe #22: Biscotti. Makes 45-50. Biscotti means “twice baked” in Italian.
You will need:
• 3 egg whites
• 1 tsp vanilla essence [or you can scrape the seeds from a vanilla pod, but it’s more expensive]
• ½ cup caster sugar
• pinch salt
• 1 cup flour
• ~1 cup of your favourite nuts, or dried fruit and nuts [I used figs, cranberries, brazil nuts, cashews, almonds and walnuts because I happened to have them in my cupboard]
As the name suggests, you will need to follow a two stage process to cook the biscotti.
Stage 1: baking the biscotti ‘loaf’. Whip the egg whites until stiff, then add the vanilla, sugar and salt. Whip until well combined. Fold the flour into the mix; when well mixed, do the same with the fruit/nuts.
Spoon the mixture into a prepared loaf tin and bake in a 180°C oven for around 30 minutes – or until the top of the mixture turns golden brown. Remove from the oven, allow to cool and refrigerate overnight [I left mine for 2 days].
Stage 2: making the biscotti. Slice the biscotti loaf into thin slices with a serrated (bread) knife.
Arrange the slices onto a baking tray so that no slice touches the next and bake in a 150°C oven for around 5-6 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 5-6 minutes. The aim is to dehydrate the biscotti rather than colour it [remember: it’s already cooked]. I cooled my biscotti on a wooden chopping block.
It’s ok if your biscotti are not absolutely crunchy when you take them out of the oven. They should harden as they cool.
My biscotti were nutty, crisp and pleasantly sweet. I would definitely make them again, possibly with hazelnuts and a little cocoa powder.
The finished product is oh-so-civilised with a hot cup of tea or coffee. I highly recommend it.