Chocolate and cranberry biscotti from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz
I’ve been sick for days. It’s all Stormie’s fault for bringing home a cold. In my pregnant state the realisation that I can’t take any drugs to relieve the symptoms is a blow that means rest, fluids, and more rest are the only solution. After two and a half days at home, I’m starting to feel better. So much better that I feel the urge to bake!
Empty cupboards, however, mean extremely limited choice. One of the changes in lifestyle we’ve experienced since we’ve moved is not having access to well stocked supermarkets in handy locations close to home, so we’ve come to rely on online shopping. This has two advantages: someone else has to carry the groceries up our five flights of stairs, and we actually save money cause I don’t pick up random stuff..but it also means I don’t restock my cupboards as often.
I’m pretty sure I’ve blogged biscotti (actually it appears I haven’t?) before, and raved about how much I love them, but just to remind you; I LOVE BISCOTTI. They’re easy, customisable and low fat to boot!
This recipe comes from the legend that is David Lebovitz. If you’ve not come across The esteemed Mr. Lebovitz before, he is a legendary baker, dessert maker and author, from the U.S. living in Paris. He is expert in all things dessert like, including ice cream and cookies. I bought his recent book “Ready for Dessert” as it’s a round up of his best and favorite recipes as well as giving a run down on some dessert basics. If you’re into baking and desserts it’s definitely a book you must get.
So I looked in the cupboard and saw that I had flour, some brown sugar, chocolate chips, eggs and cocoa, and a few dried cranberries…so I adapted the following recipe:
Peppery Chocolate- Cranberry (originally Cherry) Biscotti
- 3/4 cup dried cherries (I used dried cranberries)
- 2 tablespoons kirsch,grappa or rum ( I used brandy)
- 2 cups plain flour
- 3/4 cups good quality cocoa
- 1 teaspoon bicarb soda/baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 large eggs (it adds 1 egg for glaze but I left this out)
- 1 cup sugar ( is used a combo of caster and brown sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon almond essence ( I used vanilla)
- 1 cup almonds, toasted and chopped (I had no nuts)
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips ( I use dark choc chips)
- 2 tablespoons coarse crystal sugar for sprinkling (I left this out)
Pre heat the oven to 175° and line a baking tray with baking paper
In a small saucepan combine your dried fruit and chosen alcohol. Bring to boil, remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature
In a medium bowl sift together flour, cocoa, bicarb, salt and pepper
In a stand mixer, whisk together your eggs and sugar and vanilla/almond extract
Gradually add the flour, then add dried fruit and their soaking liquid, nuts and chocolate chips and mix just until dough comes together
On a lightly floured surface divide the dough in half. Using damp hands (I always have trouble with this step), shape each half into a log about 8cm in diameter. Pop the logs lengthwise on the baking tray. Use damp hands to flatten the tops of the logs.
Whisk remaining egg and generously brush the logs with the egg wash then give a second coat. Sprinkle each log with 1 tablespoon of the crystalised sugar.
Bake, rotating baking sheet half way through cooking, until logs feel firm, about 25 minutes (I forgot to rotate them). Remove from oven and leave to cool for about 15 minutes and reduce heat of oven to 150°
Transfer logs to chopping board, and using sharp serrated bread knife (this really does help) cut into 1.5cm slices (or do the best you can as the slices can crumble)
Spread the slices cut side up back on baking tray and pop back in oven for up to 30 minutes (closer to 30 if the slices are thicker), flip them mid way through baking (Now this one is important). Remove and cool. They’ll continue to firm up as they cool.
Try not to gobble too many before they cool completely
Note: You don’t have to add the pepper.
Also, I just realised that this is my 200th post!