BakingAlison Lambert

BISCOTTI

BakingAlison Lambert
Biscotti seems so out of fashion now and perhaps it is; but i was thinking of after-school snacks for the children and Biscotti kept jumping out. What i like about recipes like this they are pretty flexible in flavourings, mixture of dried fruits and nuts and it lasts well if dried properly in the oven and stored in an air-tight container.One of my sons is having issues with gluten so i made this gluten-free, by simply exchanging the flour for (shop-made) gluten free flour and it taste no different. Biscotti is great added to your dessert such as roasted plums, cream fraiche and biscotti.  It goes unbelievably well with blue cheese and a glass of dessert wine or simply dunked in your coffee.

Please adjust variety of fruit and nuts to suit your tastes and your pantry - just keep the weight the same!

Makes about 50 slices 250g/9oz plain flour or gluten-free flour 250g/9oz caster sugar 1½ tsp baking powder 3 medium free-range eggs, lightly beaten 50g dried sweetened strawberries or cranberries 100g dried apricots, chopped 50g/2oz dates,stones removed, 50g raisins 50g whole blanched almonds 50g hazelnuts, shells removed 1 lemon, zest only. 1 orange, zest only

Method

For the biscotti, preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Mix the flour, sugar and baking powder together in a large bowl. Add half the beaten eggs and mix well, then add half of what's left and mix again. Add the last quarter a little at a time until the dough takes shape but isn't too wet (you may not need to use all of the eggs). Add the fruit, nuts and lemon zest and mix well. Divide the dough into 3-4 pieces. With wet hands, roll each piece into a sausage shape about 5cm/2in wide and place well apart on the baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden-brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool and harden for ten minutes. With a serrated knife, cut the 'sausages' on an angle into 0.5cm/¼in slices and lay these on the baking sheet. Turn the oven down to 50C Return to the oven and bake for eight minutes, then turn the slices over and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, or until they are a pale golden colour. Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks. When completely cold, the biscotti can be stored in airtight jars for a week or more.