Cranberry and almond biscotti

    (2)
    1 hour 10 min

    Biscotti means twice baked, a reference to the technique that gives these Italian biscuits their characteristically hard texture. Traditionally they are served after dinner, with a glass of Vin Santo for dipping, but they are also delicious with fresh fruit salad or a cup of coffee or tea at any time of day.


    4 people made this

    Ingredients
    Serves: 20 

    • 50 g (1¾ oz) blanched almonds
    • 1 large egg
    • 85 g (3 oz) caster sugar
    • 140 g (5 oz) plain flour
    • ½ tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 55 g (2 oz) dried cranberries

    Method
    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:1hr10min 

    1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF, gas mark 4). Spread the almonds in a baking tin and toast them in the oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
    2. Put the egg and sugar in a bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until very thick and pale; the mixture should be thick enough to leave a trail on the surface when you lift out the beaters. (If using a hand whisk or rotary beater, set the bowl over a pan of almost boiling water, making sure the water is not touching the base of the bowl.)
    3. Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon onto a sheet of greaseproof paper, then sift the mixture again onto the whisked egg mixture. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold the sifted mixture into the egg mixture, then stir in the toasted almonds and cranberries to make a stiff dough.
    4. Spoon the dough onto a greased baking tray and, with floured hands, form it into a neat brick shape about 25 x 6 x 2 cm (10 x 2½ x ¾ in). Bake for 20–25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to a board.
    5. Using a serrated bread knife, cut the brick across, slightly on the diagonal, into 20 slices. Arrange the slices flat on the baking tray and return to the oven. Bake for 10–15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on the baking tray for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. The biscotti can be kept in an airtight tin for up to 2 weeks.

    Some more ideas

    Substitute dried cherries or sultanas for the cranberries. * To make chocolate biscotti, replace the cranberries with 55 g (2 oz) coarsely chopped good dark chocolate (at least 70 per cent cocoa solids). Add 1 tsp pure vanilla extract when you whisk the egg and sugar.

    Plus points

    Almonds provide a good source of protein and also contain several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, several of the B-group vitamins, magnesium, copper, zinc, iron and phosphorus. They are a particularly useful source of calcium for people on dairy-free diets, and have been shown to be useful in diabetes as part of a healthy diet. * Both fresh and dried cranberries are a good source of vitamin C.

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