I had the first of my beautiful friends come and visit me today. To say that it was just lovely to spend the morning together at the beach and back at home making lunch, drinking tea and eating freshly made almond biscotti, is an understatement. With one of them about to have a baby and the other living in Edinburgh, moments together like these are precious as our lives change and develop at an alarmingly rapid rate.
One of the (many) benefits of living in a holiday destination is that people actually want to come and visit you. All you have to do is mention the beach, cafes and shops, and it doesn’t take much convincing for people to travel to you. Unfortunately my sister’s central Queensland home doesn’t exactly have the same draw cards. Although she, unlike me, regularly bakes.
I’m a little obsessed with Silvia Colloca’s cook book and cooking show at the moment. Her appreciation for the beautiful simplicity of Italian food and culture is infectious. As a result, any excuse to make something inspired by her cook book will do. Whilst I am usually a savoury girl, I must say I was quite taken even by the few traditional sweet bites in her book. Feeling inspired by my sister’s baking hospitality more than by my assignment, I decided to spend the morning making almond biscotti. Although it’s a two step process, biscotti is actually quite a simple recipe, and one that I find exceedingly rewarding.
- 150grams caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1tsp vanilla essence
- pinch of salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 cups self-raising flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup almonds
- Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Place the egg, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat until pale and creamy. Add the flour, milk, salt and lemon zest and then the nuts. Shape the dough with floured hands to form two logs (or one big log). Place the logs on the prepared tray, spaced well apart to allow for spreading, and bake for 25–30 minutes or until well risen and pale golden.
- Remove from the oven and cool at room temperature for 3–5 minutes, then cut them on an angle into 1–1.5 cm thick slices. Make sure you use a very sharp serrated knife to ensure neat slices. You will notice than the inside of the biscuits are still a little wet – this is fine.
- Arrange the slices on the lined tray and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Turn them over and toast for a further 5 minutes or until crisp and golden. Cool at room temperature. Any leftover biscotti will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
- Serve with tea or ice-cream.