I like biscotti chewy, but I also like biscotti crunchy, so cooking them fresh puts you in control to go either way, or, even better, do some of each. They’re so much fun to make, and they can take on different flavours, so feel free to experiment.
MAKES 40 PIECES
1 HOUR 15 MINUTES, PLUS CHILLING
250g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
250g soft light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
3 large free-range eggs
600g Tipo 00 flour
150g quality dark chocolate (70 per cent)
75g blanched almonds
75g blanched hazelnuts
1. In a very large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla bean paste and finely grated clementine zest together. Whip the eggs, then beat into the creamed mixture with a pinch of sea salt. Slowly stir in the flour until combined. Roughly chop the chocolate and nuts, then use your hands to push and squash them into the mixture, distributing them as evenly as you can. Shape the dough into an A4-sized rectangle, wrap it in clingfilm, and pop in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4 and line two large baking trays with greaseproof paper. Unwrap the dough and cut it in half lengthways, reshaping each piece into a long rectangle. Place one in the centre of each tray and bake for about 35 minutes, or until just starting to brown.
3. Let the biscotti logs cool for 5 minutes, then use a serrated knife to cut each one into slices just under 2cm thick. Lay the slices on their sides on the trays and return to the oven for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until they look gorgeous and lightly golden. You can either eat them straight away, or, if you want them to last, leave them in the oven when you turn it off until the oven is cold, so that they dry out and get really crunchy. Store in an airtight container, where they’ll keep happily for a good couple of weeks, packaging up at the last minute for gifting.
To prepare for unexpected teatime guests, wrap and freeze the trays of sliced biscotti before the second bake so you’ve got them ready and raring to go. Bake for 10 minutes from frozen.
NUTRITION PER SERVING
172 kcal; 9.7g fat (4.6g saturated); 3.6g protein; 17.8g carbs; 7.7g sugars; 0.1g salt; 0.9g fibre
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