As I mentioned in a previous blog post (three kinds of pasta), a couple of months ago one of my friends hosted an Italian murder mystery evening named Pasta, Passion and Pistols. Fully embracing our characters – I was named Tara Misu – we spent the entire night adopting bad Italian accents and accusing each other of brutally killing Pepi Roni. As a tribute to Italian cuisine and a sign of our growing sophistication as a group, I decided to try my hands at biscotti to serve as an after dinner treat.
Specifically named to reflect the method of cooking, ‘bis’ means ‘twice’ and ‘cotto’ means ‘baked’ in Italian. And funnily enough, the key to biscotti is to get a very crisp biscuit perfect for dunking in your coffee. Also, as I had happened to take some photos of my efforts, when The More Than Occasional Baker selected the letter ‘B’ for the Alpha Bakes challenge this month, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to advertise my success. Well it was either that or show off my scrumptious chocolate chip bread and butter pudding, adapted from a Delia recipe. Oh wait – two birds with one stone.
To be honest, everything was a bit of a doddle. Biscotti do seem to be one of those things that you can happily adapt to suit your mood and tastebuds. However, I did notice a massive discrepancy between recipes concerning the eggs. The first wanted one egg plus the white of another, while the second called for one egg yolk. Having added just an egg yolk, I decided that the mix was way too dry still, so in the style of James Martin’s recipe I lobbed in the white as well for good luck. Let this be a lesson that James is a Yorkshireman we can both love and trust. I found that this gave it the right consistency to knead the dough and form it into a log shape ready to bake.
So without further ado, here is the recipe for my chocolate orange biscotti.