Saturday, July 6, 2013

Earl Grey and Almond Biscotti with White Chocolate Amaretto Topping

To download a copy of the recipe for Earl Grey and Almond Biscotti with White Chocolate-Amaretto Topping , click HERE

Long before being popularized by Captain Picard, Earl Grey – black tea scented with Mediterranean bergamot oil - was recognized as a refreshing and flavorful tea with a distinct, wonderful fragrance.

It’s highly versatile too; aside from its primary use for brewing hot or even iced tea drinks, Earl Grey’s lovely flavor and aroma have led to another application among its devotees: as an ingredient in cookies, cakes and other baked goods. In this week’s recipe, Earl Grey lends its special qualities to delicious almond biscotti. (For good measure, we also add a white chocolate-amaretto topping!)

Although, as with most biscotti, Italy’s twice-baked gift to the pastry world, these are very firm textured cookies intended to be dunked in coffee, tea or wine, I’ve been able to enjoy them “undunked” as well.

Some Cook’s Notes before we begin:
  • To toast the slivered almonds, spread them evenly in a shallow baking pan. Bake at 350°F, stirring after two or three minutes, until they're lightly browned. Let them cool completely before adding them to the biscotti batter.
  • If you prefer, you can substitute almond extract for Amaretto.
  • Earl Grey works well because it has both a pleasant taste and a lovely aroma, but feel free to experiment with other types of flavored teas to vary the result.
  • The finished biscotti should be sealed in an air tight container. As with anything topped with chocolate, they should be ok if kept out at room temperature. If the room is warm, however, it’s usually best to refrigerate them to keep the topping from melting.

This recipe makes about 46 3-1/4” biscotti.

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the biscotti dough: 2 cups all-purpose flour; 2 Tbsp Earl Grey tea from tea bags (or 3 Tbsp loose Earl Grey tea leaves); 1 teaspoon baking powder; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 1 cup sugar; 3/8 firm-cup butter substitute; 1 teaspoon Amaretto; 2 egg-substitute eggs; and 3/4 cup chopped slivered almonds, toasted.

For the topping: 5 ounces white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate bar; 2-1/2 Tbsp Amaretto; 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

To make the biscotti dough:

Prepare 2 Tbsp of ground Earl Grey tea, either by cutting open about six teabags or by grinding 3 Tbsp of loose tea leaves in a mini-processor or using a mortar and pestle. (When ground, the volume of the loose tea leaves will be reduced to about 2 Tbsp.)

Chop the toasted slivered almonds into small bits.

Stir together flour, tea, baking powder and salt, and set aside. When properly mixed, the dark flecks of the tea should look evenly distributed throughout the flour mixture.

Combine sugar, butter substitute and Amaretto in large mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (about 2 minutes).

Continue beating, adding the egg-substitute eggs 1 at a time, until the mixture is creamy (about 1 minute).

Stir in the almonds by hand.

Gently add the flour mixture just until a dough forms. Be careful not to overwork the dough.

Wrap the dough and refrigerate for about 1-1/2 hours.

To form and bake the biscotti:

After the dough has finished chilling, begin preheating the oven to 350 degrees.

Divide the dough in half. Shape each half of dough on lightly floured surface into a log about 12” long and about 1- 1/2-inches in diameter.

Place logs about 4 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicon baking pad. Flatten each log to 2-inch width.

Bake until the edges begin to brown, about 25-30 minutes, turning the baking pan half-way for even baking. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes on the baking sheet.

While the logs are resting, reduce oven to 300°F.

Carefully cut the logs diagonally into 1/2-inch slices with sharp knife lightly coated with butter substitute.

Place the slices on the same cookie sheet, cut-side down. Don’t pack the biscotti too tight; there should be enough room for air to circulate. Use two trays if necessary.

Bake for about 9 minutes with the trays staggered to allow for good air and heat circulation.

Turn each biscotto over, turn the trays around and swap the position of the trays for even baking. Bake for another 9 minutes.

When done, the biscotti should be crisp and very light brown on both sides. Place on cooling racks. Cool completely.

To make the topping:

Combine the topping ingredients in the bowl of a double-boiler. (If necessary, you can improvise a double boiler by fitting a boil over the top of a saucepan with some water in it.) Heat over medium heat till melted.

Let stand for about two minutes and stir till smooth.

To add the topping to the biscotti:

After the biscotti have cooled, dip the top (rounded) part of each into the topping to coat.

Let the excess drip from off.

Place the biscotti on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicon pad to cool for about 1 hour to allow the topping to set.

To download a copy of the recipe for Earl Grey and Almond Biscotti with White Chocolate-Amaretto Topping , click HERE.

All that‘s left now is to brew the coffee or tea, or pour the wine, and enjoy a delicious treat! After your first biscotto, you’ll be glad you have so many more!

Please visit again next week for another great-tasting, home-cook friendly recipe! Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)

No comments:

Post a Comment