I hope you have all had a wonderfully festive Christmas! I refuse to let Christmas end until the full 12 days are up and so I am enjoying a little time off before I'm back to work on the 3rd, ready to start a brand new year of baking!
This gorgeous biscotti recipe is from one of my new cookbooks Tea with Bea - Recipes from Bea's of Bloomsbury. The book itself is beautiful, each recipe is accompanied by a stunning photograph and out of all my new Christmas cookbooks this is one of the best books for home bakers.
There is no shortage of recipes I can't wait to try, Doughnut Muffins, Sea Salt Caramels, Espresso Bourbon Cake and Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cheesecake just to name a few.
This biscotti is gorgeous, so packed full of flavour and although crisp and crumbly as biscotti should be you won't have to worry about breaking your teeth on it!
I didn't have too many issues whilst making my biscotti, although I didn't do the best job of encasing the peanut butter in the biscotti dough and had little bits poking out. Also the biscotti was crumbling and cracking quite a lot as I sliced it, this could be for a number of reasons:
1) The biscotti dough may have been a too dry, not enough liquid added.
2) I may have over baked the biscotti on the first baking. Recipe recommends baking the biscotti log for 25-40 minutes, I baked for around 35 minutes, I may reduce this a little.
3) The cracking problem could also be the length of time the biscotti is left to cool before slicing (after the first bake) the recipe recommends 30 minutes but I think 15 minutes cooling may be sufficient.
I will play around and make some changes next time, a few crumbled biscotti is par for the course but out of 30 around 10 of my biscotti cracked whilst cutting. I was worried the biscotti was over baked but it did not seem to be, I hear this cracking tends happens most often with chocolate biscotti.
Update: The lovely Bea has was kind enough to comment on this post with tips for cutting the Biscotti.
'So glad you liked the book! I realized I forgot to put a step in the book. What I do when cutting is with a serrated knife, you sharply cut downward, with the tip of the knife on the board like a pivot (Imagine a paper cutter that you swing the handle down). Sawing like a serrated knife doesn't work because of the way the biscotti expands with the crack on the top of the log and the texture which you want to keep. Adding more moisture will result in a kind of limp crumb/bready bite to it even after twice baked. So glad you like the book! I will mark this for future reprints! Sincerely Bea'.
Although I did try using a serrated knife, I did not use Bea's technique so I will certainly try this next time. I can't thank Bea enough for taking the time to comment on the post and give us tips on Biscotti cutting! Such a star!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Biscotti
Recipe adapted from - Tea with Bea
Makes around 30
300g / 2 cups plain/all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
40g / 2 tbsp natural cocoa powder
100g / 1/2 cup light brown soft sugar
40g / 2 tbsp golden syrup
- (you can probably substitute this for corn syrup if you're in the U.S.)
3 tbsp sunflower oil
2 medium eggs
2 tsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
80g / 2/3 cup shelled whole peanuts (unsalted or honey roasted)
80g / 3 oz. high quality dark/semi sweet chocolate, chopped into pea-sized pieces
caster/superfine sugar, for sprinkling
70g / 1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
baking sheet lined with parchment paper
Sift together the flour, baking powder salt and cocoa into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and mix until well combined. Set aside.
In a new, medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the golden syrup, oil, eggs, water and vanilla extract until well combined. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture until just combined and no trace of flour remains.
Add the peanuts and chocolate and mix until evenly distributed.
Bring the dough together in a ball, wrap in clingfilm/plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour before proceeding.
Preheat the oven to 145 C (290 C) Gas 3.
Lay a large sheet of parchment paper onto a clear work surface and sprinkle liberally with caster sugar. Transfer the dough to the sugar sprinkled surface and flatten roughly with your hands. Dot spoonfuls of peanut butter all over the dough and lightly roll the dough into a log about 6cm / 2 1/2 inches wide and 2cm / 1 inch high, it will spread whilst baking. Try to encase the peanut butter inside the log, as it can burn if exposed to direct heat in the oven.
Place the log on the prepared baking sheet (you may have to cut it in half) and bake it in the preheated oven for 25-40 minutes until the top is completely hardened, and when tapped, feels sturdy and not squishy inside. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes (I may reduce this to 15 minutes, see my notes above).
Turn the oven temperature down to 135 C (265 F) Gas 2.
Slice the cooled log, diagonally, into 1-cm / 1/2 inch wide batons.
Lay all the batons flat on the same baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until nice and dry, turn all the biscotti over bake for another 10-15 on that side.
Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute.
Transfer the biscotti to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Store in an airtight container.
The biscotti will keep for up to 1 month.
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