Monday, March 7, 2011

Coffee And Roasted Almond Biscotti

Of course I have been baking! I mean I know bakes have been conspicuous by their absence on the blog for some time…Wait let me check the date… gosh! Has it been only a week since I put some muffins here? I was pretty sure it had been ages! Whew! Tell you what, I feel like baking every single day and I am sometimes very sure I must be crazy to feel this way. And it really does come as a relief to know that there are more folks like me out there. Thank God! But then I am definitely not thanking God for making too much carbs not good for health, for making me crave for dessert after every meal, for not making cakes, ice-creams and cookies health food. Aaaw God, be fair!! Am not thanking you for making me gain pounds by just looking at cakes, for making butter and oil very much part of baking, baking for the sweet tooth to be precise. Admit it !- You can almost picture me kicking my legs and going on like a brat, but then some things in a baking-obsessed foodie’s life are just not fair!!

But then like all things in life that must go on, I must bake everyday (well, almost!). Even if it means eating just a piece of the tray of decadent brownies and sending it off for others.(Hubby and kids sometimes don't even realize that the tray was full just before they came home;-) Even if it means finding low-fat, no butter treats which can satiate the sweet tooth and help me scratch the itch to bake. Half a recipe of Coffee and Roasted Almond Biscotti did just that to me. Crunchy, rich with the aroma of coffee and just about sweet – a perfect low fat treat!

Biscotti lirerally translates to 'Baked or cooked twice'. The goods thus baked are supposedly designed to be dunked in wine or coffee. The goods being baked twice resulted in very dry and hard baked products, which would be ideal for long storage periods for journeys and in times of war. Over a period of time, various versions evolved in different regions and countries. The other common names of similar bakes are rusk, hardtacks, biscuit, biscotti etc

And let me tell you, I baked Biscotti for the first time. As along with my criteria of meeting no butter and low fat, I also wanted to bake something I have never baked before. And zeroing on a recipe doesn’t usually happen till I stop by Passionate About Baking. Biscottis caught my eye and these particularly as they have little oil and my favorite flavor, coffee in it. Am I glad I baked them!

Recipe adapted from Deeba's Passionate About Baking from here. I have halved the original recipe to give me about 12 biscottis.

Granulated sugar – 1/3 cup
Sunflower Oil – 2 tablespoons (or canola or olive oil)
Egg – 1
Vanilla extract or essence – 1 tsp
Baking powder – 1/2 tsp
All Purpose Flour – ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons ( Deeba has used part APF plus part Whole Wheat flour)
Instant Coffee Powder – 1 tbsp
Almonds– 1 /2 cup roasted and roughly chopped into not-very small pieces.
A pinch of salt (which I did not use)

Procedure as described by Deeba:
  • Preheat oven to 150 degrees C.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat sheets.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder.
  • Beat the oil with the sugar. I used my wire whisk for this. As the oil is less, I could just whisk vigourously for a few seconds.
  • Add the vanilla extract, the egg, coffee & beat well. I again did this for about a minute.
  • Stir in the flour mix, gently fold the almonds into the dough.
  • Transfer the dough to an oiled surface and form a log, about 12” X 3 ½”. The dough is sticky, so you may have to dampen your hands to form the log.  Do not add more flour. Hummmphh.. the dough was really sticky, but I manged to shape it into a rough log, transferred to the tray and patted it into size . That is why if you notice, my biscotti is not very pretty to look at. Yes!! I just need more practise!:-)
  • Bake for 35 minutes, or until firm to the touch & light golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the log gently to a cutting board and cut diagonally into 2 cm slices with a long sharp serrated knife. Position the blade over the log, press the knife with your other hand to make one sharp cut. I did not do a very pretty job again, nuts coming in between!!
  • Reduce oven temperature to 135 degrees
    C. Place the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes, turn slices over, and bake for another 8 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container.
Thanks Deeba for the recipe, am surely going to be trying more of these!

The biscotti goes to Champa's Bake-Off as always!


divya said...

Beautiful clicks..looks so perfect n yumm!!

CurryLeaf said...

Looks GREAT Suma. Mouthwatering. I too had bookmarked Deeba's thgh yet to try it.

Simplyfood said...

Delicious biscotti. perfect for thta coffee break.

Priya Suresh said...

Fabulous biscottis, coffe and almond both together thats truly interesting..

Divya Kudua said...

Lovely yet to try Biscotti! Btw,which is the book which you have placed in the all curious!!

Unknown said...

Wow, they have come out so well dear, love them.

Shubha said...

looks mouth watering, love the colour....

Suma Rowjee said...

@ Divya - The book is Tarla Dalal's 'Entertaining'

Srivalli said...

Looks awesome..

Musica said...

Hi suma,
made them just now. It turned out very well. But my biscotti aren't that goodloking. So making again to get a better looking yield.

Vimitha Durai said...

I made biscotti once and they did not turn as good as this... Lovely baking blog... Happy to follow you...

Nachiketa said...

ure so good with bakes even once... how good would you be at 'Baked or cooked twice'.... ;)
want this biscotti in my coffee break... u know exactly what gets me kicked... last time was also coffee... remember the cookies :)

The Variable, Crazy Over Desserts - Nachiketa
Catch me on facebook @ Crazy Over Desserts