This is one of those rare treats that my hubby truly enjoys and actually insists that I bake this more often. Biscotti require double baking and that is where it puts me off. But that’s double standards when I am so patient with my breads and their multiples rises but none for my hubby’s favourite biscotti! So I decided to make this biscotti for my hubby to see him devouring it. He did not forget to thank me too.
Last year I made biscotti (twice) around the same time when were all under home arrest; self-induced. The first time it was an almond biscotti which vanished off in a jiffy and the other was a chocolate biscotti which was an equally good contender. The Almond biscotti I did not mention in my older post because I have none left but I was quick enough to take some pictures of the chocolate biscotti. But that was last year.
This year, I searched and searched in my archives for the same almond biscotti recipe and I couldn’t trace it. I was feeling so disgruntled because I clearly remembered my hubby telling me he preferred the almond one over the chocolate. Hmmmpppfff..
Call it divine intervention and I do believe in this miraculous mumbo-jumbo; I was flipping through Dorie Greenspan’s book ” Baking from my home to yours” and there I found an Almond Biscotti recipe that I hadn’t ever laid my eyes on before. I have gone through this book more than a dozen times but never saw this recipe!!
But it solved my problem in a jiffy. I set on the task immediately and finished the job in mere 1.5 hours ( including the double baking and the cooling bit). I realized I have come a long way since last year where it took me so much time to put the ingredients together to start baking etc. Now I am much more at ease and so much more confident in the process.
These may not be the prettiest looking biscotti but the flavour was spot on. All the credit to the almond flakes and almond essence. This got rave reviews from my hubby, his colleagues at work, my friend, Gayathri and my daughter. So even if they weren’t that perfect looking, I was pretty happy.
Recipe for Almond Biscotti
All purpose flour – 1 1/2 cups
Baking powder – 1 1/2 tsp
salt – 1/4 tsp
Yellow cornmeal – 1/2 cup
unsalted butter at room temp – 8 tbsp
sugar - 1 cup ( I used 3/4)
eggs – 2 large
Pure almond extract – 1 1/2 tsp
almonds , sliced – 3/4th cup
1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 F/ gas mark 4/180 C. Line a baking sheet with parchment
2. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the cornmeal and whisk again to blend.
3. Working with a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until very smooth for 3 minutes. (Mine did not become too smooth because it is cold here that even at room temperature the butter was quite solid. I thought at this point, that this project of mine was heading for a doom. But I soldiered on anyways.)
4. Add the eggs and continue to beat, scraping down the sides to incorporate everything. The mixture will turn light and creamy –( BUT mine did not. That didn’t deter me. I went ahead like Dorie had got it wrong.)
5. Beat in the almond extract.
6. Now incorporate the dry ingredients in 3 lots and slowly. Let it mix until everything is just combined. Add the almond slices and combine well. ( At this time, I got the sticky dough out and used a spoon to combine the almonds well)
7. Using your hands or a spatula, work the dough into 2 logs about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide, each. ( I got smaller ones and I think it was because my butter +sugar+ egg mixture wasn’t the dream like creamy and fluffy)
8. The logs that you shape will be more rectangular than domed. It will bumpy, uneven and rough.
9. Place both of them with a lot of care into the parchment paper of the baking sheet
10. Bake for 15 minutes or until the logs are lightly golden but still soft and springy to touch.
11. Transfer the baking sheeting to the rack and cool the logs on the baking sheet for 30 mins.
12. If you turned off the oven, bring it back up to 350 F/ gas mark 4/ 180 C AGAIN.
13. Using a spatula transfer the logs to a cutting board after they have cooled for 30 minutes and then using a serrated knife, cut the logs into 3/4 inch thick slices. Return the slices to the baking sheet – this time standing them up and slide the baking sheet back to the oven.
14. Bake the biscotti for 15 minutes, or until they are golden and firm. Transfer them to the racks and cool to room temperature.
I think the cornmeal gave it that special crunch and the almonds lend the wonder depth of flavour. The sweetness was just right and I feel biscotti obsession coming through. I feel I need to try savoury ones and ones with pistachio and other nuts. Watch this space!