It would seem that once my baking mojo is on it does not know how to switch off. I have been baking like a maniac this past week and I simply cannot keep up with the posts I then have to write. There comes a point in time where I feel like I don’t have as much to say anymore as opposed to the sheer number of things I bake. Lately I have been baking almost every day! Ever since the gaming PC blew up I have nothing else to occupy my free time with … missing all my online gaming buddies terribly … so now I spend most of my time either in the kitchen making food or I am online reading about food.
Last week I busied myself with traditional Indian sweets in preparation for Diwali, the sacred festival of lights. I managed to make one sugary treat, the Basbousa with Honey and Orange Blossom Syrup, but failed at making others. I attempted to make almond barfi and that was a royal fail … haha. Not making another attempt yet because I have broken the shopping budget this week by buying so many nuts to make these Indian sweets. I am also more than a little frustrated at my failures, so I have chosen to give it a rest … move on to something less complex and that should boost morale.
Had some leftover almonds, one orange sitting in the fruit basket and I managed to scrounge for some raisins long forgotten at the back of a box of cereal in the pantry. Initially I was aiming to make chocolate biscotti but I didn’t even have cocoa powder anymore, hence orange it is. I used whole blanched almonds in this recipe, and to finish everything off I drizzled melted white chocolate over each biscotti. YUM! Everything tastes better when chocolate is added to the mix, don’t they?
Zesty Orange, Almond & Sultana Biscotti
2½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
½ cup blanched almonds
½ cup sultanas
3 whole eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest from one whole orange
juice from half an orange
I never knew making biscotti was this easy. Apparently all you do is dump everything into a mixing bowl and voila, you have a sort of cookie dough. Turn it out onto the work bench and knead it gently until everything comes together neatly and isn’t sticky.
Roll into a log shape, place it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake in a preheated oven at 160°C for 30 mins. Then remove from oven.
At this point the dough is still fairly soft and cutable. Use a large knife to cut the dough into slices and place them back on the tray to bake until they become crisp but not overly coloured. Use a nice gentle heat and a low rack. A low temp does mean a longer cooking time however so be patient. Low means 120 – 130°C for the final bake to dry them out … roughly a further 30 – 60 mins depending on how thick you cut your slices.
Once they are done cool them completely on a wire rack then dress them up with melted white chocolate.
Amazing. Guilt free biscuits coz they contain no butter, haha. The boyfriend won’t eat them since there are raisins in this recipe so I guess MORE FOR ME!
I feel that this recipe has the potential of being manipulated in a hundred different ways to make other wonderful biscotti flavours and those ideas are already running through my head as I type.
These biscuits will keep for a good week or so (if you can resist the urge to eat them) stored in an air tight container. Come Christmas I think I will be making a batch or two of these goodies to have on the coffee table, next to the gingerbread cookies. So festive.
~ Enjoy! ~