One bake, two bake, chocolate and cranberry biscotti

(Chocolate and Cranberry Biscotti)

I don’t know about you, but I don’t make biscotti often. Something about that double baking requirement, often leaves me a bit too impatient. If I crave chocolate, I want it now, not two bakes later.

There are several exceptions to the rule, and Claudia Fleming’s recipe for chocolate biscotti is one of them. The pictures probably don’t do the recipe much justice. So perhaps I could offer a few words of advice instead.

1. I’ve actually made this recipe repeatedly, but I don’t think many (or any) of my friends are aware of it. It’s so good, it’s like a reclusive celebrity that rarely leaves the house.
2. It’s like a crispy brownie.
3. It’s the only version of hard tack that I’d ever want to take into a battle field. A baking battle field, that is.
4. If you can’t be bothered to bake it the second time, it actually tastes pretty darn awesome already, after the first bake.

And with that, cue recipe.

Chocolate and cranberry biscotti :
(based on a recipe from The Last Course by Claudia Fleming)

130g dried cranberries
290g whole unblanched almonds
325g plain flour
360g dark brown sugar
100g caster sugar
100g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs
60g unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons coffee extract
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
210g 70% chocolate chips

Place the cranberries in a bowl. Pour enough boiling water over to cover. Allow to cool then drain.

Preheat oven to 160’C.

Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and set on low speed, mix together the flour, sugars, cocoa, salt and baking soda. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the butter and extracts, mixing to combine. Stir in the almonds, chocolate and cranberries. Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes.

With wet hands, divide the dough into 2 logs, each 2 inches in diameter. Place them on lined baking trays and bake until firm. 30-35 minutes. Cool completely on rack. At this point, I prefer to chill the logs in the fridge for a few hours to make it easier to slice.

Using a serrated knife, slice each log on the diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange on lined baking sheets and dry in a 95’C oven for 1 to 1/2 hours until firm and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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