Classic Italian Biscotti recipe flavoured with chocolate, almonds and orange, perfect for a treat anytime of the day. Ideal for dipping in a hot drink or a cold, sweet glass of wine if you prefer!
Biscotti are something I’ve always been curious about making- and not something I’ve eaten very often. I tend to think of them as something reserved for Christmas, or posh restaurants where they are served alongside your after-dinner coffee. However, I stumbled across a recipe from Paul Hollywood’s ‘Bread’ on the internet and thought they just sounded too tasty not to give them a try. Paul makes a trio of biscotti, and I just couldn’t resist the sound of chocolate, almond and orange.
Biscotti come in lots of different flavours, but are very recognisable from their traditional shape and texture – always an elongated half moon shape with a very dry and crunchy texture. They are also surprisingly sweet, and so my favourite way to eat them is dipped in steaming black coffee. The bitter coffee and sweet biscuit compliment each other perfectly, whilst the almond provides more crunch and the orange zest really brings out the flavour of the coffee, chocolate and almond.
The name ‘biscotti’ originates from Latin and means twice baked. Confusingly, biscotti in Italian simply means biscuit; this could lead to a great disappointment if you were hoping for the twice baked variety (in Italy twice baked biscuits are called ‘cantuccini’)! However, despite their fancy name, they’re very simple to make. By shaping the dough into logs for the first bake, and then cutting them into fingers for the second bake there is no need to be precise or pretty about it – which makes a nice change from the things I usually bake!
Makes 15 – 20 biscotti. Takes 25 minutes to make, plus baking and cooling time.
Recipe from Paul Hollywood’s ‘Bread’.
- 280g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 250g caster sugar
- 2 – 3 medium eggs, beaten
- 50g dark chocolate
- 100g blanched whole almonds
- 50g chocolate chips
- Zest of 1 orange
- Preheat the oven to 140 degrees (if possible, best to do this in a non fan oven) and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Melt the chocolate and leave aside to cool for a few minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and sugar together. Stir the beaten eggs in a little at a time until you have a firm dough – use your hands to bring it together.
- Roughly chop the almonds, and then add to the dough with the orange zest and chocolate chips. Add the melted chocolate and use your hands to bring the dough together until everything is evenly incorporated.
- Knead gently on a lightly floured surface until the dough is smooth (under 1 minute). Divide into two, shape into logs about 20cm long and 4cm wide and place on the baking tray. Leave plenty of space between them as they will spread when baking.
- Bake for 30 – 35 mins until golden and firm to the touch.
- Cool on the tray for 10 minutes, then transfer to chopping board. Using a sharp serrated knife cut diagonal slices 1-2cm thick.
- Place cut side up back on baking tray and bake for another 20 – 30 mins until dry all the way through, turning half way.
- Cool completely on wire rack and store in an air tight container for up to 3 weeks.