Biscotti

Biscotti are a fashionable semi-sweet accompaniment for coffee, morning tea or afternoon tea.

About Biscotti

Biscotti is actually just the Italian word for biscuits, and comes from the same root phrase meaning "Twice cooked". What we call a biscotti is just one kind of Italian biscuit, and is known in Italy as Biscotti Prado after Prado in Tuscany. Strictly speaking, biscotti is plural with biscotto being singular, but we don't recommend asking for a biscotto as a blank look may offend. Made from two parts flour to one part sugar and a little egg they are less sweet than children's biscuits and very dry.

History

The Italians have made biscotti since Roman days, obviously with the recipe changing as more modern ingredients became available. In New Zealand, biscotti were little known until their recent introduction from America, but have since become a popular accompaniment for coffee and as a sweet treat for the palate. In Italy they are more often dunked in wine than in coffee and dunking them in tea as many kiwis do is practically unknown. Italians do have them with coffee as a common breakfast food.

Basics

Two parts of flour are mixed with one part sugar, baking powder and spices. Dried fruit, nuts, and other chunky ingredients are added and just enough egg to hold the mixture together and finally any wet flavours such as almond essence are added. The wet and dry ingredients are mixed, rolled out and baked. After the first baking it is sliced into the familiar form and baked a second time.

Auckland based gourmet baker, Tessa Clement of Sweet Expectations has kindly given us this Biscotti recipe.

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