Biscotti, or more accurately, tricotti

I’m supposed to be following a low-GI diet these days, although I must admit my adherence is a bit haphazard. Anyway, something that you can eat if you’re avoiding high-GI foods are biscotti, those slightly domed, crunchy, nut-fillled biscuits you get with your coffee in nice Italian restaurants.

By making homemade biscotti, therefore, I would get to try out a new recipe and also feel saintly as I scoffed them afterwards. Got the recipe from a cheapo book called Biscuits and Slices that I picked up some place along the way.

The recipe was quick and easy to follow, although I forgot to let my little log cool so my first couple of biscuits just crumbled off when I tried to cut it. Gave it a rest for five minutes and had no further slicing problems.

I imagine the biscotti would have turned out perfectly had I not forgotten about them while grappling the ironing board from one room to another so they were a tad charred at the edges and maybe a bit too crunchy. That’s why I should possibly refer to them as Tricotti. They were lovely all the same.

Chocolate Biscotti (from Biscuits and Slices, p21)
Makes 16

butter, for greasing
1 egg
100g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
125g plain flour
0.5tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
50g dark chocolate, chopped roughly (I used Green & Blacks – you gotta be good to yourself)
50g toasted flaked almonds
50g pine kernels

1. Grease a large baking tray lightly with a little butter.
2. Whisk the egg, sugar and vanilla essence in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until thick and pale – the mixture should leave a trail when the whisk is lifted.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a separate bowl, then sift them into the egg mixture and fold in gently. Stir in the chocolate, almonds and pine kernels.
4. Turn on to a lightly floured surface and shape into a flat log, measuring 23cm/9 inches long and 1.5cm/0.75 inch wide. Transfer to the baking tray.
5. Bake in a preheated oven, 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20-25 mins or until golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for five minutes or until firm.
6. Transfer the log to a cutting board. Using a serrated bread knife, cut the log on the diagonal into slices about 1cm/0.5 inch thick and arrange them on the baking tray. Return to the oven for 10-15 mins, turning the biscotti on to the other side halfway through the cooking time to cook evenly.
7. Leave the biscuits to cool for five minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For it to be truly low-GI, I should have used wholewheat flour but didn’t think to. I’ll try that the next time but I’m not sure how well it will work. I’ll also lob in hazelnuts next time, I think, as they always keep such good company with chocolate. That reminds me, I’ve a lovely recipe for Nutella cake that I must dig out and post. It’s delicious although probably as high-GI as could be.


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