Biscotti are these dry twice-baked Italian biscuits, in fact the name itself originates from a word meaning “twice cooked/baked”. You’ll often see biscotti in coffee shops alongside an espresso or even as a dessert with vin santo, a Tuscan fortified wine.
Some recipes for biscotti will make a very firm dough but this recipe is a very wet dough and this, personally, allows the dough to hold more filling without losing the texture; a biscotti should be baked with its filling, whether that be the obligatory nuts, dried fruit or chocolate.
Having seen the previews for the challenge already, I’m sure that the judges are going to be looking for a biscotti that is packed with filling and these ones are completely full. I think with something like this, you’ve got to have interest in every bite, the plain biscuit is very boring.
These make a huge batch so this recipe is great for making edible gifts. This is also a double quantity and is easily reduced down.
275g nuts – any variety will do, you can use hazelnuts, walnuts or even salted peanuts
100g dark chocolate – value chocolate is fine (you won’t notice a difference)
6 egg whites
250g granulated sugar
200g plain flour
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line one baking sheet with some lightly greased baking parchment. Alternatively you can use a 1lb loaf tin as I did in the featured pictures.
Roughly chop some of the nuts and leave the rest whole. Set aside in a bowl. Chop the chocolate into pieces (large and small) and add into the nuts.
Whisk the egg whites until frothy. Then gradually whisk in the sugar until they form stiff peaks.
Sift in the flour and incorporate fully, making sure that you have scraped down to the bottom so all the flour is incorporated. Then add the nuts and chocolate. Fold until they are combined.
Spread the mixture onto the tray. Use a spoon to smooth the surface. It should be a large rectangle of dough. If you are using a loaf tin, it should only come up halfway in the tin.
Bake for 25 minutes – it should be lightly golden and set. Touch the top and it shouldn’t give way too easily. Allow to cool fully.
Heat the oven to 160°C. Using a serrated knife, slice the baked loaf in half (to form 2 long logs) and cut 5mm slices of the dough. Any edges of the loaf which have caught in the oven can be simply cut off. If you are using a loaf tin, simply cut 5mm slices in the same way; making them too thin will make the inside of the biscuit very soft.
Place on the tray with the exposed side upwards and bake for 15 minutes, remembering to turn halfway through baking. They should be light golden on each side and crisp.
Allow them to cool completely before eating. They keep for a week in an airtight container.
I entered these into Perfecting Patisserie August 2015 and you can find out more here.