Chocolate: 70 of the best recipes, 128pp.
compilation from Hamlyn cookbooks
Octopus Publishing Group, London, 2007
Cooking on page 32
What a great little cookbook that I was given for free.
Canberra is part of Australia’s freecycle network that allows people to post online about the items they want to acquire or get rid of. A while back, Eileen posted that she had a bundle of small cookbooks she no longer needed. Lucky me, I was the first to reply that I’d take them. Yippee!
This is one of the 16 gems I picked up from her. I was especially pleased to come upon the biscotti recipe in this book. It’s something I’ve never made before, so let’s find out how it went.
White chocolate biscotti
300 g (10 oz) white chocolate
25 g (1 oz) unsalted butter, softened
225 g (7 1/2 oz) self-raising flour
50 g (2oz) light muscovado sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100 g (3 1/2 oz) pecan nuts, roughly chopped
icing sugar, for dusting
Chop 100 g (3 1/2 oz) of the chocolate into small piece and set aside. Break up the remainder and melt it in a small bowl with the butter. Leave to cool. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and stir in the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, nuts and melted chocolate mixture.
Add the reserved pieces of chocolate and mix to a dough. Tip on to a lightly floured surface and halve.
Shape each half into a log about 25 cm (10 inches) long and 2 cm (3/4 inch) high. Space well apart on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven, 190°C (375°F), Gas Mark 5, for 18–20 minutes or until risen, golden and firm. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 160°C (325°F), Gas Mark 3.
Cool the logs for 20 minutes, then cut into 2 cm (3/4 inch) slices. Bake for a further 15 minutes. Dust with icing sugar and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
How it played out
My only change was to use dark muscovado sugar because that was all I could find in the supermarket. Can’t imagine that made much difference.
Other than putting the logs too close together on the baking tray, I made this without a hitch. Too easy. The logs took 20 minutes to become firm-ish.
After the 20-minute rest for the once-baked logs, I wondered if the crust might be too hard to cut slices, but it was perfect. The second bake gave a nice crunchy finish.
Served these to book club when the gals met at my house recently. Everyone loved them, and there’s already been a big call for the recipe.
Depending on your food preferences or what you have on hand, I’m sure you could substitute milk or dark chocolate for the white, and walnuts or almonds for the pecans. But seriously, this is perfect just the way it is. Just the right level of sweetness and crunch.
And in case you’re interested, our book was The invention of wings by Sue Monk Kidd—a moving and excellent read.
If you have a moment, please check out my travel blog. I’ve been traipsing around France.