Biscotti and Espresso – the perfect pairing

When it comes to savoury vs sweet, I generally tend towards savoury. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy a sweet treat. But I would always prefer to go for something that isn’t overly sweet.

Those who have a fierce sweet tooth are happy with a full on sugar hit. But I prefer dishes and treats that hint at sweetness without making you feel as though you’ve just swallowed several spoonfuls of sugar. And for me texture is crucial.

One of my favourite desserts is panna cotta. I love the smooth silkiness of the set cream with the familiar scent and taste of vanilla running through it. Not too sweet, a gorgeous texture and it looks beautiful. But it has to be served with something that will contrast all that smooth silkiness. Biscotti is just the thing.

But my favourite way to enjoy this gorgeously crunchy biscuit is with coffee – espresso by choice. This is in part because, like Italians, I don’t tend to drink milky coffees in the afternoon. I find that often it is the smallest moments in the day that are to be most treasured. And sitting down to a strong espresso with a piece (or two) of biscotti is a highlight of any afternoon. This famous Italian biscuit ticks all the boxes – not too sweet, great texture and extremely dunkable.

But it’s the texture above all that hits the right spot. I absolutely adore that crunch and it comes as the result of being twice baked. As for the flavourings the sky is the limit – dried fruits, nuts, chocolate.

The recipe below is for orange and almond biscotti – a wonderfully simple yet perfect combination. Ridiculously easy to make and this particular recipe calls for no butter. So you can enjoy this treat without feeling that you’re breaking the calorie bank.

 

Orange & Almond Biscotti

 

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 110g caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of a medium-sized orange
  • 125g plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 75g flaked almonds

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Add the egg and sugar to a bowl and, using an electric mixer, whisk until it thickens. It would be a tough job by hand but I just use my handheld electric mixer. As it thickens it will turn much paler and go from yellow to a rich cream colour.
  3. Add the orange zest to the egg and sugar mixture along with the vanilla. Stir through until well blended.
  4. Combine the flour and baking powder and slowly add to the mixture, folding it through.
  5. Finally, add the flaked almonds and carefully stir through so they are well combined throughout the mixture.
  6. Line a flat oven tray with baking paper and turn out the mixture onto the tray. Now you want to shape the mixture into a log – it should look a bit like a long sausage roll. I usually shape the log until the width is around 5-6cm. If the dough is a little too sticky make sure you flour your hands (or you can add a little more flour to the dough).
  7. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until it is a pale golden colour.
  8. Remove the tray from the oven and leave the biscotti for 10 minutes to cool and harden a little. Transfer the log to a board and carefully slice on the diagonal into slices of around 1cm.
  9. Place the sliced biscotti back onto the oven tray and return to the oven. Bake for eight minutes then turn the slices over and bake for another 7-8 minutes. They should be lovely and golden around the edges by this time.
  10. Transfer the biscotti to a wire rack to cool. As they cool they will become wonderfully crunchy.

This mixture makes around 20 biscotti, but by all means double the recipe. Make two logs and keep your pantry stocked.

And although I love, love, love to have these fabulous biscuits with coffee they would do very nicely on their own, in lunch boxes or to pair with a dessert.

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Enjoy.

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28 Comments

  1. nadishaf says:

    That looks super crunchy Trace and anything with almonds – I can’t resist!! I was feeling like I want them to dunk into the coffee and finish all of them right away! Beautiful combo of almonds and orange!! Surely gonna try 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  2. annika says:

    Lovely recipe Tracey. You don’t use any butter? I am so curious to try this version. I too, prefer them not too sweet and that is why I prefer to make them at home… the only problem is that they don’t last too long!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Annika. I hear you – I baked these because I had a friend coming over. She took a little parcel of them home but her daughter ended up pinching them for her school lunch box. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this recipe with no butter. Would love to know what you think xx

      Like

  3. Rini says:

    Lovely recipe, Tracey! I love biscotti. Unfortuately like most people, I can’t enjoy it with a cup of coffee or espresso because it makes me naseous. However, I’m ok accompanying it with tea. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am the sugary sweet person, however, I enjoy the texture and flavor of biscotti’s as well. I limit these type of treats to no more than one time/week, but enjoy my 20oz morning espresso DAILY. I enjoy coffee (flavorful robust coffee) more than ANY meal. When I was in college, I drank a pot of coffee daily as I studied. I found it relaxing and also enjoyed the increased focus it provided. I am not consciously affected by caffeine (although I know it alters physiologically) so I am more respectful to my body by decreasing my daily consumption to no more than 26 ounces. Coffee has many health benefits as well which people are often unaware of. I agree with you completely when you call biscotti and coffee a perfect pairing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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