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A trip to Italy, Part 1: Cranberry & Macadamia Biscotti

September 2, 2011

My namesake and friend, Gill, kindly invited a bunch of us over for dinner recently. Her invite said we’d be having Italian (Gnocchi*) and since I was kicking my heels in anticipation of a night-shift,  I thought that baking something on an Italian theme to take with me was a better idea than sleeping. Obviously.

So, what to make?

1. I had a packet of macadamia and cranberry mix that needed using – Biscotti seemed the obvious answer there.

2. Having  had Paul Holywood’s recipe arrive in my BBC Good Food Magazine, watched the Great British Bake Off  Focaccia challenge the previous day on iPlayer and also been asked by Mr B “so is the bread episode going to inspire you to bake nice bread?  Because it’s making me hungry” I could hardly ignore the signs. The post for this will follow later in the week.

Rosemary / Tomato & Basil Focaccia
Cranberry and Macadamia Biscotti

Macadamia and Cranberry Biscotti

(adapted from a BBC Good Food recipe)

2 medium eggs
100g caster sugar
250g plain flour , plus extra for dusting
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
25g lightly toasted macadamia nuts
25g dried cranberries

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a large baking sheet with baking paper.
Whisk together the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.
Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into another bowl, then add the nuts and cranberries. 
Fold the dry mixture into the egg mix to make a soft dough.
Tip onto a lightly floured surface, shape into a 25cm sausage shape with lightly floured hands, then transfer to baking sheet.
The recipe said to “flatten to a 3cm thickness” but I would go for thinner than this next time, maybe 2cm (or maybe I had too much bicarb in there)
Bake for about 30-40 mins until lightly browned on top. 
Remove and slide onto a chopping board, then reduce the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.
Cut the log into 1cm thick slices and return to the baking sheet, cut-sides up. Bake for 10-15 mins until crisp. You may want to turn them over hafl way through to get both sides crispy. But don’t let some bits  overcook as I did!
Cool on a wire rack.
They’ll  keep in a tin for 3 weeks.

Or, make a pot of very good coffee and dunk away.

*For the record, gnocchi is one of my favourite things. It’s like a savoury marshmallow.

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