Friday Food: Chocolate and Almond Biscotti

This week’s Friday Food, is one of my own favourites, by Rachel Allen. Recently I’ve had a real sweet tooth and one of my worst habits is that I can’t stop eating at any meal until I have had something sweet. These biscotti are amazingly low fat (I worked them out as 1.5 weight watchers points on the old plan) so make a nice sweet finish without too much damage to the waistline. They’re perfect for dunking in coffee and even better as a gift for the host at a party or Christmas.

Biscotti are baked twice, but don’t let that put you off, it only adds 15 minutes to the recipe and you never turn the oven off.

Ingredients: (Makes 12-20 biscotti)

  • 1 egg
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 125g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 75g roughly chopped dark chocolate
  • 50g whole almonds
  • the finely grated rind of one orange

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Whisk your caster sugar and egg together until pale and mousse-like.

Fold in the dry ingredients gently.

Flour your hands and a surface then scoop out the loose dough mixture and shape it into a flattened log.

Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar before putting in to the oven (you may want to do this bit on the baking tray you intend to cook them on as it is quite soft.)

Bake for 20 minutes then remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.

Take a serrated bread knife and slice the biscotti (at an angle looks nice,) into 2cm wide slices.

Place them back onto the baking tray, on their sides and bake for a further 5 minutes on each side, turning in between.

Cool on a wire rack. (If you’re feeling really fancy, then you can half dip the biscotti in chocolate for a more indulgent treat.)

For this batch, I had some pecans I wanted to use up so threw them in too, and I used milk chocolate as I had it in the house, instead of dark. Mine are also a little under done here, but still tasted fantastic and crisped up nicely. The recipe can take a bit of messing – people will be so impressed when you say these are home made!

Buon Appetito!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

*Recipe taken from Rachel’s Food for Friends – Read more about the book and my other favourite cookery books here.

Festive Friday Food – Rachel’s Plum and Orange cake

In part due to the funeral I’ve been at today, and in part due to lack of a wi-fi password at home(!) today’s Festive frock is somewhat waylaid… Please pardon the interruption to normal service and pop back tomorrow instead for a festive message. Xo

This morning festive Friday Food is brought to you by Rachel. When not found reading, Rachel is often baking and I was delighted to receive her recommendation which thoughtfully noted the contrast between the clean, fresh tastes in this cake and the majority of Christmas foods. It’s a welcome alternative over the Christmas period. I know I’m going to be trying it out. Thanks Rachel!


Image Credit: Let her Bake Cake

Plum and Orange Cake from River Cafe Cookbook Made Easy by Rose Gray & Ruth Rogers.

Plum filling:
500 g ripe plums
50 g caster sugar
juice and zest of one orange
1 vanilla pod

Cake:
150 g unsalted butter
150 g caster sugar
2 eggs
85 g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
100 g almonds, finely ground

Almond topping:
30 g unsalted butter
25 g brown sugar
zest of one orange
50 g flaked almonds

Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas 4

  • Halve and stone the plums and put in an ovenproof dish with the sugar, the orange juice and rind. Add the split vanilla pod and bake for 20 minutes. Cool. Scrape in the vanilla seeds.
  • Grease a 25cm round spring-form tin, lined with parchment paper, with extra butter.
  • Soften the butter and beat with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one by one. Fold in the flour, baking powder and ground almonds.
  • Pour into the tin [it will be a thin layer] and push the plums and their juices into and over the cake. [I put a baking tray underneath in case any juices escaped.] Bake in the oven for half an hour.
  • For the topping, finely grate the orange rind. Melt the butter and stir in the sugar, zest and flaked almonds. Spread this over the half-baked cake, lower the heat to 160C / Gas 3 and bake for a further 20 minutes. Cool the cake in the tin.


Image Credit: Let her Bake Cake

It really is easy. I have a slow gas oven and these timings are good for me so adjust as your oven. Also don’t put the topping in too early as otherwise it will all sink in – it’s still delicious but doesn’t look so lovely. This cake will last for a good few days – so easy to make in advance and then keep nibbling on any leftovers.

Yum!

Just Festive Frock to go before home time readers and the holidays beginning 🙂

Happy Festive Friday,

Rebecca
xo

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