Friday 27 January 2012

Experiment: Lemon Biscotti (Angel Eyes, and Hell Boy pt II)

This recipe is a great way to introduce kids to cooking and what a result! A fantastic biscuit that looks hard to make but is simplicity itself!

At this point in my culinary career I'd not really made biscotti before, so it was basically a test run. Now I don't know about anyone else, but when I'm doing test runs I like to have tight control over ingredients, quantities, temperatures, times, shelves, pan types, etc. In other words, I want the result, be it a cricket bat, or the lightest crumbliest sublime biscuit, to be reproducible if nothing else!

So off I went to my friends in the country. What better fun than to make some biscotti with the kids? Or so I thought!

I prepped up the ingredients and got in my master sous chefs for a baking bonanza!

I'd forgotten how excitable youngsters can be - before I knew what was going on there were all sorts of things flying into the mixing bowl at completely inappropriate times, mixing spoons, nuts, what this? baking powder? let's have some! bosh!

Once I gave in to the concept that making biscotti with 2 youngsters, was NO place for the ordered kitchen mind of the ferdie, and just went with it, I had a great time and so did they! 

And I found out that this recipe will always give you something resembling a biscotti no matter what you do! It might also resemble a cricket bat, but hey, it'll be an edible cricket bat . . he . . he!

What's all this mess? -  err, uh, oh. . .
Uh ooh!! "Has he seen us?"
Meanwhile . . . back at the lab, a few test runs later . . .

ingredients (Serves 26 - 3 loaves)
150C/40m, slice loaves then 180C/15m turn once

for the lemon biscotti
35g butter
2 lemons (juice and zest)
3 eggs + 2 yolks
300g caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder (15ml)
550g self raising flour
130g pecans
130g almonds

baking tray
wire rack
juicer (manual is fine - or a fork)

lemon biscottis
Preheat oven G2 / 150C / 300F
Melt the butter and add the lemon juice and zest, warm until the butter is completely melted and set aside to infuse.

Mix the baking powder and flour, then add the nuts and mix further. You can use whichever nuts you like best.
In a separate bowl whisk eggs and sugar until lightly aerated, then add them to the flour and nut mixture. Stir in well.

You're now ready to make and bake the loaves - which is how the biscotti start life!
Divide the mix into 3 loaves and place in the oven on a lined baking sheet for 40 minutes.

Once they're golden, remove them from the oven on to a wire rack to cool. Turn the oven up to G4 / 180C / 350F. 
Once cool enough to handle cut the loaves into biscotti (1/2 inch / 1cm thick slices) and return to the oven on a lined baking tray. Bake them for 15 minutes turning once. It'll take less if you have fan assist on!

Happy munching! Don't forget if you put these in an airtight container they'll last for at least a week, and you can freeze the loaves and bake off a batch on the weekend or when guests come to visit; they suffuse the kitchen with an irresistible aroma.

what can go wrong?
I've got a lumpy dough! Grumos! As the spanish would say!! To avoid a lumpy mixture put your powders in the bowl and make a well. Using a wooden fork (better than a spoon since the liquids can flow through it) mix the flour in a circular motion, going around the outside of the liquid, combining it in bit by bit until it's one big, smooth mix.


  1. Mmmm they look absolutely delicious! Never tried lemoney ones before, will give it a go next time I'm in the mood to bake.

  2. They're great with a coffee for that mid afternoon lull pic me up. Or with a limoncello as petit four / digestife.


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