You might not believe this but up to now, I’ve never made biscotti.
Funnily enough, I did make kammerjunker when I was working in Madsen last year. Kammerjunker are the Danish version of biscotti but I will tell you more about them in another post.
So for my first time I chose a recipe that piqued my curiosity: chocolate and olive biscotti. I found it in Leila Lindholm’s new book: A Piece of Cake which has been recently translated into English.
I was a little disappointed at first because I thought this was a Swedish baking book and not many of the recipes in there are Swedish although she includes a few. That said, it is a nice book and it does have the odd unusual recipe, like this one.
In her defense, I have to say this book is probably targeted at the Swedish market and not the English one. She may well have written a baking book about the things Swedes like to eat. I may be wrong but in Argentina people are not eating traditional dishes all the time. And if you have a look at the Swedish website links in this blog you’ll see what I mean.
The biscotti turned out fine although I had to turn the recipe upside down.
While I’m not crazy about the olive-chocolate combination, it works, sort of. I think these biscotti might go really well with some sharp cheese.
Some helpful hints should you want to try them yourself:
If you, like me, have a severe lack of space in your kitchen, instead of chopping the chocolate on a chopping board leave it in the metal paper and bash it with all your might with a rolling pin or even the pestle!
I found it easier to shape the mixture when it was already in the baking tray. I had enough mixture for two rolls but I baked them separately because they do grow. They have baking powder in after all. You need to grease and flour the tray when you bake the rolls but you can dry the biscotti on clean trays.
These biscotti are very fragile. I cut them in the same tray where I baked them and then carefully transferred them to another tray. It is very important to cut them as soon as they come out of the oven, otherwise they will go hard and you won’t be able to.
When you cut them, resist the temptation to serrate them, make a clean, sharp cut otherwise they will fall apart.
They are really good because they keep forever.
Chocolate biscotti with olives – adapted from A Piece of Cake by Leila Lindholm
Makes about 25 biscotti
1 organic eggs
135g caster sugar
210g plain flour
25g good-quality cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. flaked salt
65g pitted black olives
50g pine nuts (optional)
100g good-quality dark chocolate 70% (I used milk chocolate)
50ml olive oil
2 tbsp. cold water
1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/gas 2.
2. Sieve together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. Chop the olives, pine nuts and chocolate coarsely. Set aside (you can put them all in the same bowl).
4. Beat together the egg and sugar until pale and fluffy.
5. Add the flour and cocoa mixture to the egg and sugar mixture. Fold in with a spatula until well mixed.
6. Add the olive oil and water and work into a sticky dough.
7. Add the chocolate, olives and pine nuts to the mixture and shape into long rolls. If the mixture is too sticky (been there, done that), add a little more flour.
8. Put them on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper and bake them in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes (mine needed slightly less time). Take the rolls out of the oven and reduce the temperature to the lowest setting. You want to dry them, not burn them.
9. Cut the rolls into 1cm (1/2 in) slices. Transfer to a clean baking tray and leave to dry in the centre of the oven for another 20 minutes (do 10 minutes on each side).