Sunday, February 20, 2011

A sweet treat at the end of a long week

It's been a long week of work and obligations and I'm savouring my Sunday of relaxation. Today is one of those days where I am not going to feel at all guilty for doing absolutely nothing. Reading the papers, eating and maybe watching a movie later; that's going to be the sum total of my activity today. It helps that it looks like this outside:
Otherwise, I might feel the pressure to bring the dog for a walk. I know, the pressure, right?
This was my thought process up to an hour ago when I suddenly felt a craving for something sweet. Usually when this happens, I might make a cake or even cupcakes but today I don't have the energy for the effort involved in either.

So, what to do? Instead of reconciling myself to the idea of a sugar-free afternoon (heaven forbid!), I remembered the biscotti we had made in last week's cookery class. I've been attending a weekly class with local chef Mark Murphy and last week one of the things we made was lemon posset served with hazelnut biscotti.

Since then, I've been wondering about how the recipe could be adapted and that's what I tried doing this afternoon. I followed Mark's basic recipe and divided it in two. To one half, I added flaked almonds and lemon and to the other, I added chocolate chips, orange zest and some freshly-squeezed orange juice. 30 mins and a freshly-brewed pot of tea later, I sat down to this:

Here's how I made them (and a huge thanks to Mark for the original recipe)

60g unsalted butter at room temperature
250g golden caster sugar (use ordinary if that's all you've got but the golden variety has more depth of flavour)
2 eggs
400g flour
50g flaked almonds
1 lemon - I used the zest of the entire thing and the juice of half
1 medium sized orange - the zest of the entire thing and the juice of half
75g chocolate chips

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees F/Gas mark 4.

  • Weigh out all of your ingredients.

  • Mix the sugar and butter until fully combined.

  • Add the eggs and beat well. This should take a minute or so.

  • Mix in the flour.

  • Divide the mixture in two and to one half add the flaked almonds, lemon zest and juice.

  • To the other, add the chocolate chips and the orange zest and juice.

  • Using floured hands, shape each half into a sausage-type roll and place on a floured tray. They should look something like this:

  • Cook the rolls for 20 minutes.

  • Take them out of the oven and cut them into slices approximately 1cm wide.

  • Put them back in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes (checking after 10 to see if they're done).

  • Place them on a wire tray to cool (and don't worry if they seem a little bit soft; they will firm up on cooling).

    • These biscuits would be delicious served with lemon posset (as Mark had us do in class), with chocolate mousse or chocolate pots or even dipped into a glass of dessert wine or liqueur after dinner.
      Alternatively, you could play it simple as I did and have it with a cup of tea as you read the Sunday papers. Bliss!


      1. What a lovely treat on a cold miserable Sunday afternoon!

      2. Brownieville Girl,
        I'm still nibbling on them! Perfect for a Sunday like today.

      3. These sound simple and look delicious. I'll have to make them!

      4. Go for it, Melissa! Try your own adaptations too.