We all love Biscotti.
Those oblong-shaped biscuits are made dry and crunchy through cutting the loaf of dough while still hot and fresh from baking in the oven and then baking it for a second time.
I have blogged about two wonderful Biscotti recipes in the past, once about delicious Almond Biscotti (Mandel Biscotti) and then about the wonderful Gingerbread Biscotti (Lebkuchen Biscotti) that contain a whole range of fantastic warm spices.
These crunchy Chocolate Almond Biscotti contain whole as well as ground almonds and cocoa powder as well as chopped chocolate. They are just the thing to accompany a silky dessert or a strong espresso. As fancy coffee shops become more and more popular across the world, to enjoy Biscottis with a cup of coffee has also become very fashionable.
The name "biscotti" is Italian and literally means "twice baked". Biscotti can be found in all sorts of flavors, but the most common contain anise, hazelnuts, and almonds. In this recipe you will enjoy the delicious flavors of almonds and dark, good quality chocolate. Make sure to use dark cocoa powder as well as your favorite dark chocolate when baking these.
Chocolate Almond Biscotti
(Schokoladen Mandel Biscotti)
Ingredients for the Biscotti
- 1 1/2 cups (8 ounces/200 grams) whole unblanched almonds – if you like, substitute hazelnuts or even pistachios for almonds
- 3 cups (13.2 ounces/375 grams) AP (plain) flour
- 2/3 cup (3.5 ounces/100 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (I used “Sarotti” cocoa powder)
- 1 tsp (0.2 ounces/6 grams) baking soda
- 1 tsp (0.2 ounces/6 grams) baking powder
- a pinch of fine salt (I used French sea salt)
- 2 sticks (1 cup/226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups (14 ounces/400 grams) superfine white sugar
- 3 eggs (L), organic or free range whenever possible
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla sugar (I used homemade)
- 1 cup (4.6 ounces/130 grams) dark chocolate, chopped (I used Lindt Excellence 70% - try to use a chocolate with 70 % or above cacao solids, then you get more chocolate and less sugar)
Preparation of the Biscotti
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius).
- Line heavy large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
- Grind 1/2 cup almonds in the food processor and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- With your electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar to blend.
- To the butter mixture, add the eggs and vanilla sugar and beat until well blended.
- Beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture.
- Mix in 1 cup whole almonds, chopped chocolate and 1/2 cup ground almonds.
- Divide the dough into two equal pieces.
- Shape each piece on baking sheet into 2 1/2 inch (6.3 cm) - wide by 14 inch (35.5 cm) - long log. NOTE: At this stage, you can wrap the dough well in plastic wrap and freeze for up to two weeks. Bring it back to room temperature before baking.
- Place logs on prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 1/2 inches (6.3 cm) apart (logs will spread during baking).
- Bake until logs feel firm when tops are gently pressed, about 35 minutes.
- Cool logs on baking sheet about 10 to 15 minutes and maintain oven temperature in the meantime.
- Carefully transfer the baked logs to a large cutting board.
- Using serrated knife, cut warm logs crosswise into 1/2-inch (1 cm) -thick slices. NOTE: If you do this while the biscotti are still a bit warm, they will not crumble.
- Arrange slices, cut side down, on the two baking sheets. NOTE: You can either place each Biscotti slice directly on the parchment onto the baking sheet OR onto cooling racks that you place onto the baking sheets thereby allowing for the hot air to circulate around each Biscotti cookie slice.
- Return the baking sheets to the oven for a further 10 to 15 minutes, or until crisp, golden-brown and cooked through.
- Transfer to racks and cool completely.
The Chocolate Almond Biscotti are not only wonderful with coffee or espresso but also with a cup of tea or a small glass of sweet dessert wine at the end of a meal – or anytime, really. They do keep very well in an airtight cookie tin/container at room temperature for two to three weeks.
Biscottis make formidable gifts – pack them in pretty cellophane bags and add a nice ribbon or bow to the package, with a tag indicating what kind of Biscottis you baked. Or collect coffee cans and once you have enjoyed the coffee, keep the can as "gift boxes" and "stand" the cooled Biscotti in the cans - ecco - a perfect gift!