Meal Type: Dessert
Cook time: 30 Minutes
Servings: Makes approximately 30 biscotti
These classic, crisp Italian biscuits are usually served alongside coffee or a glass of sweet Vin Santo for dipping – a real treat. I love to serve them at the end of a meal with coffee or an after-dinner drink: ‘dunking’ is most definitely recommended!
‘Biscotti’ means ‘twice cooked’ and these biscuits are cooked first in the roasting oven and then finished in the simmering oven where they dry out and become perfectly crisp and crunchy. Flavour combinations are endless – do experiment with different nuts, fruits and flavourings, or try my chocolate orange variation. Omit the almonds and figs and add 100g dark chocolate chips to the dough!
First, toast the almonds – this helps to concentrate their flavour. Spread them out on a baking tray or in an ovenproof frying pan and sit on the floor of the roasting oven. After a minute or two, turn them. Watch closely – they will burn quickly! Remove from oven when golden brown and set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Mix in the orange zest and then pour in the beaten eggs. Starting with a spoon and then using your hands, bring the dough together. It will seem at first that the mixture is too dry and won’t come together but be patient – with a little work, it will form a sticky, pliable dough.
Chop the almonds and figs into pea-sized pieces. Work these into the biscotti dough until they are evenly distributed.
Divide the dough into four and, on a floured surface, roll into four sausage-shaped logs (approximately 5cm wide). Place onto a baking sheet lined with silicone baking paper – the dough with spread a little as it bakes so leave a little space between each one. Place the baking sheet on a grid shelf on the floor of the roasting oven, with the cold plain shelf on the second runners. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the logs are golden and firm.
Remove from the oven and cool for a couple of minutes before transferring to a chopping board. Whilst still warm, slice the logs into 3cm slices, on the diagonal. Return the sliced biscotti to the baking sheet and place in the centre of the simmering oven for 30 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool and serve, dusted with a little icing sugar if wished.
Aga range cooker tips:
- if you have a baking oven, you could do the second bake here – just shorten the time to 10 minutes.
- Remember to store your cold shelf somewhere cool – not next to the Aga! It must be cold when it goes into the roasting oven so that it protects the biscotti dough from the high heat at the top of the oven.
This fun family recipe has been scribed and tested by community member Antonia, who is a hard working mum with two boys. Her recipes are trialed in her much loved Aga range cooker and devoured by her family, allowing Antonia to provide accurate tips and advice on how to make the dishes a success! Go check her work out! She is a country girl, happily surrounded by an excitable Lab, her dear husband, two boys and the Cotswolds.