Biscotti. Traditional Italian biscuits. Perfect for dunking. Into a piping hot coffee or sticky sweet wine. Twice baked. Incredibly crisp and crunchy. I’ve been meaning to make a batch for a blog post for ages. Not so long ago, food channel surfing late at night while editing my blog, I happened upon Armando Percuocco’s wonderful biscotti recipe. Courtesy of SBS Italian Food Safari. How perfectly serendipitous. Armando is owner and chef of one of my favourite Italian restaurants Buon Ricordo. I have enjoyed his biscotti with a glass of Vin Santo on many occasions.
So here it is. My biscotti post. Two ways. The first, Armando’s original version studded with almonds and pistachio and flavoured with the finely grated zest of lemon, lime and orange. The second, a spur of the moment double chocolate variation. Studded with hazelnuts and white chocolate chunks. Flavoured with orange zest, cocoa and frangelico. Moreish. Delicious. Ready for dunking.
Almond and Pistachio Biscotti With Three Citrus Zest
Adapted from a recipe by Armando Percuocco, SBS Italian Safari Episode 8
4 cups (600 g) plain flour
2 2/3 cups (600 g) caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
100 g flaked almonds
100 g pistachios
grated zest of 2 oranges
grated zest of 2 lemons
grated zest of 2 limes
4 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons brandy
LINE two oven trays with baking paper.
PLACE the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nuts and citrus zest in a large bowl and stir together.
WHISK together the eggs, egg yolks, pure vanilla extract and brandy. Add to the flour mixture and stir until well combined.
TURN dough out on to a lightly floured surface and knead lightly. The dough will be slightly sticky, it helps to use damp hands.
DIVIDE the dough into four equal portions. Shape each portion into a 4 cm wide log. Flatten slightly and place on baking paper lined oven trays. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
PREHEAT the oven to 180°C.
PLACE the logs in the oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until golden brown.
REMOVE the logs from the oven trays and let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack.
REDUCE oven temperature to 160°C.
USE a serrated knife to thinly slice the logs on the diagonal into 1cm slices.
LAY the slices cut side down on the oven trays and bake for a further 10 minutes until just coloured. Be careful not to over bake the biscotti as they can become too hard.
REMOVE from the oven trays and cool completely on wire rack before storing for up to two weeks in an airtight container.
For the Double Chocolate Hazelnut Variation
Add 1/2 cup Dutch Process Cocoa to the flour mixture
Replace the three citrus zest with the finely grated zest of 1 orange
Replace the almonds and pistachio with 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chunks and 1 1/2 cups (150 g) blanched hazelnuts
Add 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice to the egg mixture
Substitute 3 tablespoons Frangelico for the brandy.