When we get asked out or go visiting, I always like to take a homemade gift if possible, usually something from my kitchen. And my gift of choice at the moment are biscotti. They are relatively simple to make, can be flavoured in all sorts of ways and somehow seem more gown up than other biscuits... probably something to do with the fact that they are better dunked in a glass of Vin Santo rather than your afternoon cuppa!
Before heading off to Great Missenden last week we were at a Sunday lunch party and so I took a batch of Fig, Apricot and Nut biscotti as featured in Isidora Popovic's book - The Popina Book of Baking. You can find the recipe here... or if you prefer gram measurements rather than cups... try here (although I converted it to 235g flour and 120g sugar)
They were good - lovely fruit and nut flavours - but I could taste the baking powder slightly, so I resolved to go back to the drawing board when I next tried them.
On returning from Great Missenden yesterday afternoon we got a phone call inviting us to a barbeque this evening so I decided to try a different recipe and adapt it with the fig and apricot flavouring. This was from one of the Great British Bake Off books (it's back this week... very excited!) and unsual for biscotti it contains butter. The Popina recipe claims to be lighter for the absence of butter but really guys, we are talking biscuits here. And from where I'm standing biscuits and cakes do not really fall into the healthy eating category. So as long as they remain an occasional treat they might as well have have butter, sugar and all the other stuff we are routinely told we shouldn't be eating!
It was my plan to share the adapted recipe to with you here... but it wasn't that straightforward. The dough was very sticky... more like a cake batter. There was no way I was going to be able to roll it out into log shapes. So I added more flour until it became a soft but manageable dough.
It was baked for 30 minutes, before removing from the oven, slicing and then going back in for another 10 minutes... hence the name biscotti, meaning twice cooked.
This time there was no baking soda aftertaste, but I fear they are a little on the dry side so I may have added too much extra flour so until I've sorted it out I won't be sharing the recipe!
But when they are dipped in Vin Santo I'm sure no-one will notice!
Now if you excuse me I'm off to put some jumpers in a bag ready for this barbeque... our British summer weather isn't overly warm today. But at least it is dry!