There are many ways to thank your sweetheart in the morning for a wonder last night, but a easy to impress way that only requires a little preplanning is to make biscotti on the morning of date night and serve it the next sunrise with either a steaming café au lait or a stiff espresso.
This recipe calls for Amaretto but you can substitute almond extract is you want a non-alcohol version; just realize it won’t be as good because the alcohol is doing it’s job in the chemical process and beside who doesn’t like baking with Amaretto (i.e., almond liquor)
- 290 g flour – 2 cups
- 209 g sugar – 1 cup
- 3.2 g baking powder – 1 tsp
- 8 g salt – 1⁄8 tsp
- 3 eggs
- 15 g Amaretto – 2 TBL, or 1 tsp almond extract
- 3.5 g vanilla powder – 1 tsp, or 1 tsp extract
- 95g almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped – 1 cup
- 4 oz. dark chocolate – optional
- Mise en Place -measure and prepare your ingredients prior to starting
- Preheat oven to 300°F or 270°F fan.
- Line 2 baking sheets with silplat or parchment paper.
- If you start with raw almonds, you have to toast them
- Chop almonds coarsely and place in sauté pan already warm on Med heat.
- Stir almonds as they toast. You want to make sure the nut oil gets hot, but you don’t want to over cook so once they start to brown remove from heat. Place on a paper towel to cool.
- Combine all the dry ingredients and set aside.
- Whisk the eggs, amaretto (or almond extract) and vanilla extract if not using vanilla powder in a mixer using the blade attachment. Mix until well blended.
- Add the dry ingredients to mixer and mix until combined.
- Dough will be thick and moist but DO NOT add more flour, it’s supposed to be this way
- Scrape the dough out onto lined sheet pan.
- Flour your hands or put on a pair of disposable gloves and shape dough into a long flat loaf ~10″ x 5″. It’s not important you get this just right.
- Bake until firm and dry, ~50 mins or 40 min on fan.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a rack ~10 mins.
- Use bread knife (or other long serrated knife) slice into 1/2″ wide slices.
- Lay the slices on their side on the baking sheet and bake ~20 mins (10 mins Fan).
- Turn the slices over and bake ~20 mins more, or until the biscotti are light golden brown.
- Cool the biscotti on a rack; cool completely before storing or dipping in dark chocolate.
- If you are dipping in chocolate, here’s the process
- If you want to coat the part of the biscotti you dip with nuts, chop some almonds to a medium grain and toast.
- Melt and temper the chocolate. If you don’t know how to do this see my recipe for tempering chocolate*.
- Once chocolate is ready, dip on half of the biscotti in the liquid chocolate and hold over bowl until to let excess drain. Place on a parchment paper and sprinkle with chopped nuts.
- repeat for remainder of biscotti
*Tempering chocolate is a very involved process that requires you to have thermometer and a lot patience. If you don’t temper the chocolate after melting it, when it cools it will be dull and powdery, which will diminish the appearance of your biscotti. However, when you temper properly, the dipped biscotti will be glossy and without blemishes.
I always use dark chocolate, white chocolate is too sweet and has an unpleasant texture and I generally don’t like the taste of milk chocolate. Also, of the three, only dark chocolate has positive health benefits.