Saturday, 1 March 2008

Baking warm

With a nasty weather outside and feeling chilli in the house, baking makes me feel warm and cosy. The sweet smell in the house and of course oven working for 1 hour does make the house warmer :P
I have always wondered how biscotti tastes. They look very delicious, but I have never actually tasted one. My eye stopped on this recipe from Joy of baking, mainly because the picture was "calling" and I happened to have the ingredients, well almost. I was missing lot of cocoa powder. That's why they came lot lighter than the original picture was showing, but despite of it very very tasty. The flavor of hazelnuts compensated all the missing cocoa.
Here is what came out from a project "Baking warm".

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

125 g semisweet or bitter-sweet chocolate coarsely chopped
1 cup (215 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
1 3/4 (250 grams) cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa , preferably Dutch-processed
1 tablespoon (4 grams) instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. To toast hazelnuts: spread on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned and the skins begin to flake. Remove from the oven and place nuts in a dish towel. Roll up the towel and let the nuts 'steam' for 5 minutes and then briskly rub the towel (with nuts inside) to remove the skins from the nuts. Cool and then chop coarsely. Set aside while you prepare the dough.

Reduce temperature of oven to 150 degrees C. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the coarsely chopped chocolate and brown sugar and process until the chocolate is very fine; set aside.

Sift or whisk together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl; set aside.

With mixer combine the eggs and vanilla extract and beat to blend, about 30 seconds. Mix in the chocolate/sugar and flour mixtures until a stiff dough forms, adding the hazelnuts about half way through mixing.

Transfere the dough on well greased baking sheets, forming 2 large logs. Bake until almost firm to the touch, about 35 - 40 minutes (logs will spread during baking). Remove from the oven, place on wire rack, and let cool for 10 minutes.

Using a long spatula transfer the logs to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife cut the dough into slices 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick on the diagonal. Arrange the slices cut-side down on the baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake until crisp and dry, about 15 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.

Makes about 30 biscotti.

Supposably they last in air tight container for several weeks. Mine were eaten in a first week, so beats me, if they do or not.

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