Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Cinnamon Raisin Biscotti
playing around with a photo taken of my freshly baked cinnamon-raisin biscotti
Did anyone tell you how therapeutic baking can be?
Well I'm telling you now.
Ever since the new semester of school kicked in, I've been so busy that I haven't had time to bake or cook as often. My oven was under-utilised, there wasn't any nice aroma emanating from the oven and absolutely nothing to experiment with.
So yesterday when I had some time to spare in the evening, it's no surprise what I did.
I baked these:
Don't mind the black & white effects. I was bored so tried to play around with Adobe Photoshop.
Anyway I was really craving for some homemade biscotti.
There's something about biscotti that's so simple, yet so elegant.
Whenever I think of biscotti, I think old school - people sitting around in cafes, dipping their biscotti into a cup of cappucino, hot cocoa or latte. It exudes that sense of serenity, where people slowly wait for their crisp biscotti to soften in their hot drink then bite it.
The only other biscotti I've made is the almond biscotti; that's the most common one I guess. Almond biscotti sounds sophisticated and does certainly taste so. To me, it has character. I'm someone who doesn't crave for uber fanciful things so maybe that's why. I guess the recipes I choose reflects me and my preferences.
Going back to basics is so me. Probably that's why I adore anything vintage, rustic, country and raw stuff. I have that vision for my bakery - in the future that is.
Maybe I'll have a shop just like what Samsoon did in My Lovely Samsoon. Hers was an online pastry shop but she also had a physical store where customers can come and collect their orders. Hmmmm... I can't wait till the day that happens. But first, I gotta concentrate on school!
So before I go, here's a normal (yea decided not to play around with this photo) shot of my cinnamon-raisin biscotti with recipe attached, enjoy!:
1 large egg
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup whole almonds, toasted
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease heavy large baking sheet. Using hand-held electric mixer, beat egg and sugar in medium bowl until very thick and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in brandy and vanilla. Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into egg mixture and blend well. Mix in raisins and almonds. Spoon dough onto prepared sheet to form 10- to 11-inch strip. Using moistened fingertips, shape dough into neat 11-inch-long by 2 1/2-inch-wide log.
Bake until log just begins to brown and feels firm to touch, about 20 minutes. Cool cookie log on sheet 15 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.
Transfer cookie log to work surface. Using serrated knife, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-wide slices. Arrange slices on same baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Turn slices over. Bake until beginning to color, about 8 minutes longer. Cool cookies completely on baking sheet (cookies will become very crisp). (Can be prepared 1 week ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)
Makes about 2 dozen.
Tony DiSalvo: Falls Church, Virginia
**the baker's note: i halved the amount of sugar because I don't like my biscotti too sweet. anyway the raisins are sweet already.