Thursday, February 25, 2010

Chocolate Biscotti

I suspect that, like tomatoes grown to be shipped, commercial biscotti are baked for travel rather than for taste. Even so, the ones I’ve tried have been so brick-hard they could probably scratch glass. They’re also expensive, which is another reason to make them yourself. Depending on your mood, you can bake either these chocolate biscotti or my gingery biscotti rustica (recipe posted separately).

(makes 24 biscotti)

2 large eggs at room temperature
4 Tbs unsalted butter, melted but not hot
1 tsp vanilla extract
1½ c flour
¾ c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
½ c cocoa powder
1 Tbs instant espresso powder
¾ c semisweet chocolate chips
¾ c pine nuts (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with a silicon mat or parchment paper.

2. Using a fork, beat together the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine at a low speed the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, and espresso powder. With the paddle still turning, add the chocolate chips and pine nuts (if using), then drizzle in the egg mixture. Continue mixing until a dough ball forms.

4. On a lightly floured countertop, shape the dough into two eight-inch logs. Flatten each slightly so that its cross-section is an oval rather than a circle.

5. Place the logs on the baking sheet and bake until firm, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Once the logs have cooled, gently slice them crosswise to create biscotti about ¾-inch thick. Return the biscotti to the baking sheet cut-side down and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake until done, another 5-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container.

• The eggs should be at room temperature so that they don’t cause the melted butter to congeal. (A quick way to warm eggs is to place them in a bowl of warm water.) Similarly, the melted butter should be cool so that it doesn’t cook the eggs.

• If you don’t have a stand mixer, use a whisk to combine the dry ingredients, then form a well in the center of the mixing bowl. Pour in the egg mixture and use your fingers to knead the dough as you would when making fresh pasta. Form the logs and continue as above.

• Handle the once-cooked biscotti logs delicately while slicing them because the dough will still be crumbly.

• Experiment with different nuts. Pecans also work well, but I recommend toasting them first.

No comments:

Post a Comment