We have been back from our wonderful Italian holiday a while now, but on wet days like today in the UK, it’s lovely to think back to the warm evenings in Tuscany, eating and drinking under the stars. Biscotti with Vin Santo was served in many of the Tuscan restaurants we visited and it was a delicious combination. Just dip your biscotti into the syrupy sweet wine and dream of summer. I figure it works pretty well as a sweet canapé too, or a coffee time treat. What’s more, it’s incredibly easy to make and keeps for ages, although not in this house.
My biscotti recipe is one I have slightly adapted over the years from a Delia original. I add more almonds (because we love them) and cook the dough in two logs to speed things up.
Ingredients - makes 30 approximately
110g plain flour
1 flat teaspoon baking powder
75g caster sugar
25g ground almonds
75g whole blanched almonds
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
To serve: Vin Santo or dessert wine.
Heat oven to 175°
Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly together.
Add the vanilla essence to the lightly beaten egg and pour into the dry ingredients.
Using a spatula or spoon, mix everything together until it starts to clump. Then use your hands to bring it all together into a dough.
Divide the dough into 2 and make 2 flattened logs, about 16-18 cms x 6-7 cms x 2 cms (very approximately).
Place the two logs on a lined baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes in the middle of the oven, until golden brown.
Cool a little and then, using a serrated knife, carefully cut slices 1.5 cm thick . Put them back on the baking sheet and cook for another 10 minutes or so, until they are very slightly golden.
Cool on a cake rack and then store in an airtight tin (a silica gel sachet helps them keep even longer - see ‘tips’ page)
Serve the biscotti with a small glass of Vin Santo or dessert wine either as a delicious end to a meal or the end of a canapé and drinks party.