Wanting to eat all the food right now? Me too. The kitchen has never been in such close proximity – technically not true because I’ve worked freelance at home for over a year – but frankly, right now it feels more enticing and grounding than ever. My bake of choice – alright, one of my bakes of choice this week – was biscotti, of the almond, hazelnut and pistachio chocolate variety. Classic, twice-baked Italian biscuits, they’re crunchy, sweet and perfectly dunkable.
With social distancing in place, I’ve been trying to make and post recipes with ingredients you might already have in your cupboards at home, and if not, that are highly adaptable. These biscotti are just that. They’re also gluten free, easily made low FODMAP by removing the nuts (or including a smaller amount) and can be made vegan. Although I call for eggs, I’m aware they’re like gold dust (at least in the UK) right now, so know flax eggs work too. You can use any sugar you have, any citrus, and nuts or seeds. Switch up the recipe to what you have on hand and make it work for you. It’s no time to worry about perfection, instead finding comfort in cooking and having fun in the kitchen.
The recipe below is adapted from one by Doves Farm. FREEE (Doves Farm’s gluten free flour range) kindly gifted me one of their new gluten free food boxes in exchange for me running an Instagram Live – and I liked the resulting recipe so much I though I’d shoot it and put it up here! The boxes have been created for those who have been diagnosed with coeliac disease or gluten intolerance and are struggling to find gluten free foods in their normal supermarket. My favourite brand of gluten free flour mixes, their flours and more are in the box, so definitely check them out.
These biscotti last for a long time, which is great if, like me, you only have two people in your household and you bake quite a lot. Dip em in coffee or tea, crush them over ice-cream, or enjoy them as they are.
A follower made these vegan – flax eggs in replace of the chicken eggs work.
A follower also tried coconut sugar and it worked a treat.
Use any kind of citrus fruit for the zest. Likewise, mix it up with the extract if something else tickles your fancy.
To make these totally low FODMAP, you can remove the nuts altogether. Alternatively, think about which nuts you’d like to include and their portion sizes. Pistachios are higher in FODMAPs, but almonds are low FODMAP at 12g, or 10 nuts and hazelnuts low FODMAP at 15g, or 10 nuts. Walnuts would also work, low FODMAP at 30g.
200g FREEE gluten free plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch xanthan gum (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1/2 a lemon
100g nuts of your choice, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, whatever you’ve got in the cupboard
100g dark chocolate
Preheat your oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6 and line a baking tray with parchment. Put your nuts on to the tray and roast for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Roughly chop and keep to one side – reserving a few for decoration at the end.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and add the sugar, salt, xanthan gum (if using) and cooled nuts. Stir to combine. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and give them a good whisk – until they start to get frothy. Add in the vanilla extract and grated lemon zest, stir, then add the liquid in to the dry ingredients. Bring everything together into a soft ball of dough – you might need to get in there with your hands towards the end. A wetter dough, rather than a dryer dough, is good.
Roughly shape the dough into a sausage shape and place it on to your lined baking tray. Flatten the dough slightly with your hands (get your hands wet if the dough is starting to stick). Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the dough turns a light golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Cut the dough into ½” slices and then lay the slices back on the baking tray. Bake the biscotti for a further 5-10 minutes, or until dried out and crisp. Cool fully on a wire rack.
For the chocolate, place a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the base doesn’t touch the water. Break your dark chocolate into the bowl and allow it to melt, stirring every so often. Remove the bowl from the pan and set aside to cool slightly. Dip your biscotti in the chocolate, allowing any excess to drip off, sprinkle over the reserved chopped nuts and place to one side to set. Repeat, decorating how you wish.
Store the biscotti in an airtight container and they should last for a good week. To re-crisp, warm (any undecorated) biscotti back up in the oven for a few minutes.