Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Homemade Walnut Cranberries Biscotti

Remember this?
Almond Cranberries the first time
Light biscotti perfect to go with a cup of coffee in the afternoon and as a light snack. What you will typically get out there are laden with sugar and not so much cranberries or nuts. Indeed making them at home is easy and takes at most an hour including baking time. The challenge here is to prevent the freshly baked biscotti from finishing in less time that it takes to prepare.
What You Need
Brown Sugar - 60-80grams (roughly about 4 tablespoon to 6 tablespoon)
One large egg
140grams flour
1/2tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder or nutmeg powder or allspice powder (we used both cinnamon and nutmeg)
Handful of cranberries or raisins or dates. If you want to use dates, make sure you slice them and remove the seeds
Handful of nuts - we tried with walnut this time, crushed into smaller bits.
Grease paper and a baking pan
How To Do It
First, preheat your oven to 180deg C before starting.
Next, you crack the egg into the sugar and use a hand blender to mix it at medium to high speed. This is just to dissolve the sugar with the egg.
Don't worry, it won't foam up like cream
You whisk it until the content is thick and form a trail aka when you stop the hand mixer and hold it up, a trail of the mixture will flow down as opposed to drops of the mixture
Trail of the mixture. This is good enough. Roughly about 2mins on med and high speed
Take the measured flour and sieve it into this liquid mixture. Sieving ensure smoother consistency and the mixture do not form clumps or lumps. We use organic all purpose flour for this preparation.
Shake it all out
Then you take a handful of cranberries and nuts (in this case, walnut) and throw it into the mixture. A handful is roughly about 50 to 60grams. Resist to put more as what it will do is make the later stage difficult. Moderation please.
A handful of cranberries
Likewise with the walnut. Shown below were crushed with (clean) hand.
Smaller would be good too
You then fold the mixture in and make it into a smooth dough. Use your hand or a spoon.
Mixing them all in
Then you lightly flour your hands and the working surface and shape the dough/mixture into a foot long squarish shape. Flatten it slightly.
Massage it with love
Once it is done, place the dough onto a piece of grease paper. You can use a lightly grease pan with butter. We decided against it as to minimise washing. :D
Biscotti 50% done
Place the dough into the oven and bake for 18-20minutes, or until golden yellow. Re-check the oven temperature setting as you do not want to over bake this cookie.  After 20minutes, remove the biscotti from the oven and let it cool for 2 to 3 minutes.
Slightly over baked due to my mistake
Slice the biscotti to the thickness you desire. To maximise the amount (for a small party we organised), we sliced it to about 1cm thick. The semi-baked biscotti will hold pretty well at this stage to be cut. We use a bread knife to slice it.
Then you place the sliced biscotti back onto the tray and put it back into the oven for the final baking of about 10minutes.
Good to eat at this point too
Once the 10minutes is up, the edges of the sliced biscotti will be lightly toasted. Take them out and place it on a wife tray to cool. This will prevent moisture from the heat to soften the bottom side. What we did was stacking the biscotti on each other for airflow.
Once it is cooled, you can serve to your guest. :) Enjoy!

Good with coffee or just by itself.
 What can be done better.
1. sticking to almond bits or sliced almond. This is because walnut bits, even when crushed is harder to slice through
2. monitor the bake timing - i left this a 5minutes longer and it became a bit too dry and crumble as I cut it.
3. Reduce amount of sugar by 1 or 2 tablespoon.

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