Continuing the subject of festive biscotti recipes (you probably noticed that I do like biscotti), I’m gonna share with you another version of them. I found this recipe on the Juls Kitchen blog and wanted to try the authentic Tuscan version. The other thing that intrigued me, was that the recipe had no fat at all and also that you fold the dry ingredients into the heavy whipped egg white. As a result, I guess, the biscotti are quite hard, but they are perfect for dipping in dessert wine or coffee. And as any biscuits, they are perfect as gifts especially as they can be kept for a while.
DRIED APRICOT AND WHITE CHOCOLATE BISCOTTI
(Recipe adapted from Juls Kitchen)
2 eggs, whites and yolks separated
200 g of sugar
225 g of all purpose flour
½ teaspoon of baking powder
125 g of dried apricots
80 g of white chocolate chips
- Heat oven to 180C, fan assisted.
- Whip the egg whites for about 5 minutes until they are firm, then add the sugar and whip until you get a glossy and thick meringue.
- Fold in thoroughly the egg yolks, then fold gently in the flour sifted with the baking powder. Mix in the dried apricots and the white chocolate chips.
- Line with parchment paper a large baking pan and with the help of a spoon form two loaves of dough keeping them well separated, about 5 cm wide and 30 cm long.
- Bake them for about 15 minutes, then remove them from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes and then cut them slantwise into 2 cm thick slices with a sharp knife, then arrange them cut-side-down in the baking tin and put them back in the oven for about 5 – 10 minutes, until toasted.
- You can store them in a tin for several days.
I don’t really like any type of breakfast cereals, maybe because I didn’t grow up with it, we never even heard of cereal when I was young, this came to our country only recently. I never heard of granola either until I moved to the UK. But I always liked oats hence I decided to try granola for breakfast one day. I tried it and I did fall in love with it instantly. I believe it came from US originally but it strongly grows in popularity all over.
I’ve tried all sorts of variations and for a long time my favourite was always plain granola topped with almonds , dried apricots and figs. But recently I saw a recipe by Jack Monroe and had one of those moments when you think, “Why I didn’t think of that myself?’ The recipe is so simple and straightforward with only one twist in it – peanut butter (taking in account you like peanut butter, of course). However, variations are endless. She (Jack) recommends just with strawberry jam on top or banana – classic combinations! My recent addiction is just with lightly sweetened soya milk and fresh blueberries. Anything goes really when you have a good base.
I only twigged the quantity of oats because Jack’s recipe is super budget friendly and I wanted my granola to be a little bit richer and coated more with peanut butter flavour.
PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA
4 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
4 tablespoons honey
200g rolled porridge oats
1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. In a heavy saucepan/ovenproof dish on a low heat melt the butter, peanut butter and honey until incorporated.
3. Add the oats and mix together well until all oats are well coated.
4. Bake for about 15 minutes, stirring once half way through, until it becomes a golden brown but avoid it burning.
4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before transferring into airtight container, where you can keep it for a few weeks. (In our house it doesn’t last longer than a few days 🙂
Rich and buttery, yet light and airy, this wonderful loaf-cake captures the essence of the classic with an added twist. Adding cognac gives a depth of flavour should you feel you particularly adventurous. You can even soak the apricots in it too. Also it is one of those cakes which tastes much better next day after baking.
TEA LOAF WITH APRICOTS
200g plain flour
170l butter room temperature
4 tablespoons cognac
170g dried apricots
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt
1. Place dried apricots in a separate bowl, cover with boiling water and leave for 5 minutes, then tip the apricots into the colander and let them dry. When they are completely dry from water, chop them into cubes and toss in a little amount of flour – it will prevent the fruit from gathering in one area and distribute evenly throughout the cake. Leave aside until later.
2. Preheat the oven to 170C. Butter the loaf tin and line with the parchment paper.
3. Beat the butter for 5-6 minutes until it’s really fluffy, add sugar, beat another 5 minutes. Slightly beat the eggs with the fork and gradually add into the buttery mixture, along with the cognac, continue mixing
another 5 minutes.
4. In a separate bowl mix the flour with the baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture into the buttery one. The mass will increase in volume, becoming very soft and airy. At the end, add the apricots and carefully mix into the batter, pour into the prepared tin.
5. Bake it for about 55 minutes or until golden and skewer comes out clean. After the baking leave the cake to cool in the tin because this cake is very fragile. Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.
P.S: Please do not be confused by my pictures as it looks like the cake has raisins in it, where in my recipe I talk about apricots. The thing is I came across to the DARK variety of dried apricots which I have never tried before and I was keen to try them. They are very dark and look like raisins when chopped but I definitely recommend them if you have never tried/seen dark apricots. Try them next time you see them because they are very soft, juicy and delicious. 🙂