Week 2 of the GBBO made me nervous as I am not great at making biscuits. I have only had one successful previous attempt at making biscuits as often I make them too thick or thin or I over work the dough. But then when I read that it was biscotti I thought well that's different, it might turn out quite well. I have never made or eaten biscotti before, and honestly I couldn't think what it looked until I went to Costa for lunch and saw they were selling little packets of biscotti.
I chose to use a recipe by GBBO host Paul Hollywood as I thought this would surely mean that my bake would succeed. You can find the recipe here. He has the recipe for three types of biscotti and I chose to make the chocolate, almond and orange flavoured biscotti.
280g Plain flour
250g Caster sugar
1/2tsp baking powder
1/2tsp vanilla extract
50g dark chocolate
50g chocolate chips
100g blanched almonds*
zest of 1 orange
*One difference I made to Paul Hollywood's recipe was the blanched almonds; his recipe states 135g blanched almonds, I only bought one packet of 100g so that it how much I used, which I found was plenty once chopped up.
First off, the usual preparations of oven preheating at 140 degrees Celcius and placing some greaseproof paper on a baking tray - I put a smidge of butter in the corners of the tray to stick the paper down.
Mix the flour, sugar and baking powder in a mixing bowl.
Then in a second bowl, beat three eggs together. The recipe said I won't need all of the egg, but I definitely needed more than two.
This was the easy part, and here endeth the easy part. The mixture then became really difficult to mix and did not look like a dough to me. The recipe said that it should not be sticky at all, and well, it stuck my fingers together and to the mixture and to everything else in the vicinity. Cutlery was lost to it. It was like trying to climb out of quicksand.
Anyway, after a brief cry as I thought my mixture had gone wrong, I decided to just carry on with it. So now it was time for the flavourings. First I added the vanilla essence as this was the ingredient which required the least preparation. I then chopped up the blanched almonds into halves or thirds, melted the dark chocolate over a pan of boiling water, weighed out the chocolate chips and grated the orange as only the zest was needed.
I then added the ingredients to the mixture and mixed it by hand. The mixture was too difficult to use a spoon to mix it and although my hands got very stuck together and I forgot what my hands actually looked like, it actually all looked a lot better when it was mixed together.
I scraped the mixture out of the bowl and onto the sideboard, which I had floured. Then I cut the dough into two (roughly) equal pieces.
The recipe said to roll the dough into 'a long log, about 4cm in diameter'. I do not know how long 4cm is, especially on uneven dough which had already made me cry twice by this point. So I roughly rolled the dough into two long blobs.
And finally into the oven for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, I took the tray out of the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes. Then, I cut the logs into diagonal strips and turned them onto their flat sides. This was when it finally was looking like biscotti - or what I think biscotti looks like.
Then, back into the oven for another 35 minutes.
Ta da! The finished product looks a lot better than I thought it would, and I think it actually looks quite fancy and pretty. And tastes crunchy and chocolatey which is good!