Hot drinks all day and constantly preheating the oven – that’s how I would describe the last week or so. I feel like I should maybe pay for more of our household’s electricity bill than the other housemates? So much baking and boiling of the kettle…
I made these pistachio orange biscotti for the sole purpose of Maths dude and me having something to dip into our morning coffee. Mornings are a time Maths dude and I get to spend together in the house (our housemate leaves for work super early) but often we’ll get up, make coffee and just launch straight into things. Maths dude will wake up and start coding almost straightaway sometimes, and I’ll start on the day’s typing work. Or I’ll get lost looking at blogs and pretty things on the internet. Before I know it, it’s time for him to go to work and we’ve barely said two words to each other. So we’re trying to do more *together* things in the morning. Even if it’s just reading side by side, or checking out the garden together. Computers not allowed. Biscotti mandatory.
These biscotti are based on an older recipe I blogged around this time last year. I love the hard crunch of biscotti, especially when it is scented with some lemon, mandarin or orange. And I seem to be in the habit of baking them in winter. Alone, they’re just a tooth-shatteringly crunchy biscuit, but dipped in hot coffee, tea or chocolate they become something much more extraordinary!
These vanilla hot chocolates are a bit of an indulgence but they’re delicious! I will never make a hot chocolate another way ever again. They are very, very rich though. The amount shown in one mug in the photos is probably enough to divide between three people to have in smaller cups with a couple of biscotti alongside. So I’ve adjusted the serving size in the recipe. Drinking this reminded me of getting super thick Italian hot chocolates (well, that’s what they called them) from the pizza place at uni on cold mornings before class!
- just over ¾ cup / 150g caster sugar
- 2 extra large eggs
- grated zest of 1 medium orange
- 2 cups / 300g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 110g raw, shelled pistachios
- Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan-forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Place the eggs, sugar and zest in a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, and beat with electric beaters until pale and creamy.
- Fold in the flour, baking powder and pistachios. It should be quite a wet and sticky dough at this point.
- Tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead for one minute to bring it together. If it's too wet to knead, dust it with more flour. It should end up being a smooth, delicate dough.
- Split the dough into two separate pieces and shape into logs.
- Place on the baking tray and bake for around 20 minutes. The key point here is to make sure the dough is fully cooked all the way through before removing the logs from the oven. Use a toothpick or skewer to check.
- Turn oven down to 140C.
- Once slighly cooled, slice into 0.5 cm thin slices. A sharp bread knife is the best knife to use here!
- Bake in batches until just beginning to brown at the edges, around 10 minutes. They continue to crisp up as they cool down, so don't leave them in the oven any longer. Overcooking them will result in biscotti that are seriously hard / way too crunchy!
- 100g dark chocolate
- 1 tsp raw sugar
- 2 tsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1½ cups / 375ml milk
- Place a medium saucepan over the lowest heat possible, and add the dark chocolate. Stir continuously using a spatula until melted.
- Add the raw sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla essence, and stir to combine.
- Add the milk, and whisk to combine. Turn the heat to medium, and whisk the mixture often, until it is frothy and steaming hot (but not boiling).
- Divide into mugs and serve alongside biscotti.