As I mentioned in my previous post, the work/life balance has been eluding me a little of late – too much work, not enough life! What do you do when you’re feeling a little mentally fried? I try to surround myself by my favourite things. I bought myself a big bunch of daisies to brighten up my room, I enjoyed a fabulous dinner with the girls on Friday, bought a rather fabulous red dress and spent Sunday afternoon baking.
I wasn’t in the mood for something fussy or overly complicated. When I saw the little tub of sour cherries I had bought a while back sitting on the shelf, inspiration struck. It had been a long, long time since I had made biscotti (in fact it was one of the very first posts on this blog all those years ago) but it felt right to update the recipe with a few standout flavours.
This time around I stuck with the almonds (you can’t go wrong!) but added the sour cherries, some cocoa nibs and just a touch of coffee liqueur. When they were baked, I dipped the biscotti into some dark chocolate which set off those flavours perfectly. Of course you could get really creative with add ins, using almost any kind of nuts or dried fruit depending on your tastes.
Evidently, I wasn’t the only fan of these biscotti – the huge batch barely lasted a few days in our house! They made the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee, and it was hard to stop at just one. It definitely won’t be long before I make another batch.
Have a great week folks!
Sour Cherry and Cocoa Nib Biscotti
Adapted from Donna Hay
Makes about 40 biscuits
• 2 cups plain flour
• 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
• ¾ cup sugar
• ¾ cup almonds
• ¼ cup sour cherries*
• 2 tablespoons cocoa nibs*
• 3 eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 tablespoon Kahlua or other coffee liqueur
• 120g dark chocolate, melted, for dipping
Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F).
Sift the flour and baking powder together in a bowl. Add sugar, almonds, cherries and cocoa nibs and stir together. Add the eggs, vanilla, and liqueur and mix well to form a dough. Divide the dough in two. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead each piece until smooth. Shape into logs and flatten slightly.
Place the logs on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely. If not completely cool, it will be crumbly when you slice it. Cut the logs into 5mm thick slices with a serrated knife and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the biscotti are crisp. Cool completely.
When biscuits are cooled, dip each about 1/3 into the melted chocolate, drain off the excess and place on a baking paper lined tray until set. If the weather is warm, you may need to refrigerate them briefly. Store in an airtight container and serve with espresso or liqueur.
*You can find sour cherries and cocoa nibs at gourmet stores like Essential Ingredient or the David Jones Food Hall