Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Cantuccini - almond biscotti

My mummy loves these ..... I managed to get her some real good ones whilst in Florence, however, the ones in the shops over here have not been able to compare .... so I made her some!
These would be nice with some sort of dried fruit of really dark chocolate chips in.
This recipe comes from Twelve - A Tuscan Cook Book by Tessa kiros

Makes about 45 biscuits

60g butter, softened
250g caster sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon or orange
2 eggs
400g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
150g whole almonds with skin on
3 tablespoons of Vin Santo (yum yum)

Preheat the oven to 180oC. Gas mark 4.  
Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl with a wooden spoon until smooth.
Add the zest and the eggs, and beat well.  Mix in the sifted flour, baking powder and a small pinch of salt.  Stir in the whole almonds and the Vin Santo.

Line a large baking sheet with baking paper.  lightly dust your work surface and hands with flour.  Form about three whole salami shapes with your hands - slightly shorter than the length of the tray - of about 3cm high and 5cm wide.  Put them onto the baking sheet, allowing enough space between each for spreading while they cook.  Bake for about 20 minutes until they are golden and dry.  They will seem a little soft.
Remove from the oven and while still hot, cut about 2cm slices at an angle with a sharp knife, sawing the surface lightly just to pierce through, then chopping through cleanly once, rather than sawing through the biscuits.  Handle them carefully as they will be fragile before their second baking.

Lay the slices cut-side-up onto the baking sheet and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes to lightly toast the biscuit.  They should be cream coloured on the inside and golden brown on the rim.  Cool before storing in an airtight container, where they will keep for a couple of weeks.

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