Chocolate, Pistachio and Almond Biscotti

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (June 2014) and taken from Fresh and Light by Donna Hay.

These cheerful biscotti make a deliciously light treat at the end of a meal. Traditionally taken with coffee, Donna Hay has the idea of serving them with gently steamed milk infused with mood-lifting spices like cinnamon and star anise.

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Makes : 50

Ingredients:
300g plain wholewheat flour, sifted
35g cocoa, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
175g brown sugar
80g blanched almonds
45g unsalted shelled pistachios
2 eggs, lightly beaten
60ml milk

Step One : Preheat the oven to 160oC / 325oF. Place the wholewheat flour, cocoa and baking powder in a bowl. Add the brown sugar, blanched almonds and shelled pistachios and mix well. Add the eggs and milk then mix until a firm dough forms (this may take some time).

Step Two : Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide the mixture in half and shape into two logs. Place on two baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 35-40 minutes or until firm. Allow to cool.

Step Three : Reduce the oven to 140oC / 275oF. Using a serrated knife, cut each log into thin slices and place on baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Almond and Cherry Florentines

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living

Makes about 30

Ingredients:
450g (14oz) cherries, stoned
1 tsp caster sugar; 220g (7oz) almonds
100g (3 ½ oz) unsalted butter, cubed
150g (5oz) brown sugar
175g (6oz) golden syrup
1 tsp Amaretto (optional)
100g (3 ½ oz) plain flour, sifted
2 tsp ground ginger
300g (10oz) good-quality dark chocolate, broken into small pieces

Step One: Heat the oven to 180oC (Gas Mark 6). Place the cherries on a lined baking tray and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake in the oven for 50-60 mins, until the cherries are shrivelled and caramelised. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile scatter the almonds on a baking tray and roast for 7-10 mins. Coarsely chop half the almonds, saving the remainder.

Step Two: Melt the butter, brown sugar, golden syrup and Amaretto (if using) in a saucepan over a medium heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour and ground ginger. Line two large baking trays with baking paper. Pour half the mixture into the middle of one of the trays and, using a spatula, very gently spread the mixture out to form a rough rectangle about 2-3 mm thick, leaving a 5cm (2 in) border all around. Repeat with the second baking tray, then transfer both to the oven and cook for 5 mins.

Step Three: Remove and scatter over the cherries and all the almonds, then return to the oven and cook for 12-15 mins or until the mixture is bubbling and golden. Set aside to cool for 4-5 mins. Starting from the outside and working inwards use a cookie cutter to cut out rounds. Place the Florentines on a lined baking tray and chill in the fridge for 10 mins.

Step Four: Cover your work surface with foil (this makes cleaning up easier) and place two or three wire racks on top. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove the Florentines from the fridge and dip each one halfway into the melted chocolate, then place on a rack and leave for 15 mins. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour, or until the chocolate has set.

For other biscuit recipes:-