Wednesday, 5 October 2011


Looking to expand my biscuit repertoire I wanted to try out some biscotti recipes. I haven't much of a sweet tooth but it is really nice to have something to hand in the press for visitors and these keep for a couple of weeks in an airtight container so I thought they'd be ideal. I'm also keen to develop more after dinner treats for my supper club evenings and this is just the thing.

I turned to my Poppina book of baking for their fig, apricot and nut biscotti. As this was only an experiment I just used what nuts I had to hand and left the fruit out. I'm in two minds about the result and will have to wait for a second opinion. I'll let you know what the verdict is.

They came out looking good, although not excatly like the picture in the book! I perhaps did not cook them enough on the first bake and they didn't rise a great amount. I used self raising instead of plain flour and left out the baking powder. Maybe I should have added a little baking powder to help it on its way.

fig and grape fragipane tart
So here's the recipe. I'm still not convinced by this book. Beautiful ideas but the two recipes I've tried have not left me feeling super confident. The other was a frangipane tart which turned out very dense and heavy. And their sweet pastry recipe is way too sweet for me. Anyway try the biscotti and if it works for you we'll know the problem is me!

Fig, apricot and nut biscotti

200g plain flour
1 1/2  teaspoons baking powder
100g caster sugar
30g pistachios 
30g hazelnuts
this is how it looked before baking
30g sultanas
40g dried apricots
40g dried figs
zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs - beaten

  1. preheat oven to gas mark 2
  2. sift flour and baking powder
  3. add sugar, fruit, nuts, lemon zest and stir
  4. add eggs and mix until you get a dough like mixture
  5. flour your hands and bring mixture together into a ball
  6. roll out on a floured surface (it will be quite sticky so work quickly and keep your hands floured, it doesn't need much rolling)
  7. transfer to lined baking sheet and flatten slightly so it's about 8cm in width
  8. bake for 30 mins - should spring back when pressed
  9. take out and leave for 10 mins
  10. using a serrated knife cut the biscotti into 5 mm slices (mine were a bit thicker)
  11. return to the oven and bake for 10mins, turning half way (The recipe is ambiguous here, it says 'return to the hot oven'. I don't consider gas 2 to be a hot oven. I turned it up to 5 to give the biscotti a golden colour)
  12. take out and leave to cool 
  13. can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks
....and after

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