One of my favourite ways to pass time is going into the nearest book shop and browsing all their cook books, although yes, mainly I flick through the baking books (occasionally I do branch out). I want to buy them all but a) they are cheaper on amazon and b) I don’t have a ‘b’ but I just can’t seem to justify it. The other day however, I splashed out and bought ‘Tea With Bea’ (all recipes from Bea’s of Bloomsbury). It’s glossy and pretty and easy to read (or at least the pictures are easy on the eye), not to mention the huge array of exciting cakes filling every page.
Obviously most recipes use dairy (this can be changed), though I did find a couple of completely dairy free recipe inside (result!), one of which included Biscotti.
Biscotti is something I never think of eating; is it too dry, too boring? Actually though, it can be a lovely accompaniment to a cup of coffee, something small and not too sweet or filling. Also, this was Chocolate and Peanut Butter Biscotti, so could you really go wrong?
Here is the recipe taken from the book…
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Biscotti:
300g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
100g light brown sugar
40g cocoa powder
40g (or 2 tablespoons) golden syrup
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
80g peanuts (I used pecans because I was too lazy to go and buy any peanuts, they were still tasty!)
80g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
caster sugar for sprinkling
70g peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl.
Put the golden syrup, oil, eggs, water and vanilla extract in a separate bowl and whisk together. Add this to the dry mixture and mix until just combined (no traces of flour remaining).
Add in your peanuts (pecans) and chocolate chip pieces and mix in.
Bring this dough together into a ball, wrap in cling-film and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
In the meantime, preheat your oven to 145C.
Sprinkle your work surface with the caster sugar and transfer your dough onto this surface. Flatten it roughly with your hands.
Spoon small heaps of the peanut butter all over the dough then lightly roll the dough into a log shape about 2 1/2 inches wide and 1 inch high.
Make sure you try to enclose the peanut butter inside the log as it can burn easily in the oven.
Place the log onto a tray with a baking sheet on and bake in the preheated oven for 25-40 minutes. You’re looking for the top to be completely hardened, and when tapped, feels sturdy and not squishy inside.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 30 minutes.
Now turn your oven down to 135C.
Slice the cooled log diagonally into 1cm/1/2 inch wide batons.
Lay them out on the baking tray and bake for another 10-15 minutes until they are nice and dry (take them out too soon and they won’t have that nice crunch), then flip them over and bake again for 10-15 minutes.
Remove them from the oven and leave them to cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute. Then transfer them to a wire rack to let cool completely.
These can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month (if they’ve not already been eaten before then!).
n.b. These make really lovely gifts too, wrapped in a little baking paper maybe, with some raffia tried round? Yes please.