Even from Germany I have joined in with the rest of the British population by following, with a good dose of enthusiasm, the latest round of the “Great British Bake Off” (GBBO). After every show I am inspired to bake something new and to try and recreate some of the unique recipes that these talented homebakers bring to the show. I especially enjoy seeing some interesting flavour combinations used by the contestants in their quest to stand out, wow the judges, and gain the coveted title of “Star baker” for that week.
So thanks to a variety of life’s obstacles (meetings, exams, a broken oven..arghhh!) I am not quite up-to-date-blogging here, I am in fact here referring back to week 2 of the GBBO, which was “Biscuit week”.
I was thrilled, when the chosen “signature bake” was revealed to be Biscotti. Biscotti are one of my favourite things to bake, such a lovely crunchy Italian biscuit, traditionally made with almonds, sometimes with chocolate or cranberries.
The contestants in the GBBO showcased interesting and sometimes quite daring flavour combinations in their signature biscotti bakes. Here, I have recreated the Orange, Rosemary and Almond Biscotti made by Ian in the show. Ian did win star baker for his efforts in biscuit week, and having made his recipe for Orange, Rosemary and Almond biscotti, I can see why. What is truelly exceptional about these biscotti is the flavour. The orange is beautifully strong, dominant and consistent through the biscotti. Thanks to the unique process of creating an orange sugar from orange zest (see recipe below) and using this to bake the biscotti rather than including pieces of orange zest, or worse still candied orange peel in the biscuit dough, which to my mind would spoil the crunchy eating of a biscotti. The rosemary is subtle but a very nice compliment to the orange and the tart cranberries bring a perfect touch of contrast to the final biscotti.
Recipe for Orange, Rosemary and Almond Biscotti. By Ian of the GBBO 2015
Preparation time; 30 minutes
Baking time; 1 hour
Makes 32 quite large biscotti
The only adaptation I made from Ians wonderful original recipe is that I streamlined the procedure for making the orange sugar.
400g fine sugar
350g all purpose flour (550 in Germany)
3 tsp bakiing powder
3 large eggs
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
100g dried cranberries.
- Pre-heat your oven to 189Deg C. Roast the almonds on a baking tray for a few minutes until fragrant.
- Using a vegetable peeler cut strips of orange peel from the oranges. Blanche the orange peel strips for 2 minutes in a pan of nboiling water, drain and repeat.
- Roughly chop the blanched orange peel , and cook in a pan with 300g of the sugar until dark brown and caramelised.
- Pour (very carefully!) the hot orange peel caramel onto a greased baking try or piece of foil and allow to cool.
- Once cooled the orange caramel will be very hard, break it up and then grind in food processor until you have a fine, sugar-like, powder.
- In a large bowl, mix together your orange sugar, flour, baking powder and remaining sugar. Add the eggs, almonds and dried cranberries and a pinch of salt and bring together into a stiff dough.
- Split the dough into 2 pieces. Using your hands roll each piece into a thick, approx. 5cm, sausage shape. Place each dough sausage onto a lined baking tray and flatten them slightly.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the biscotti pieces from the oven and allow to cool very slightly for a couple of minutes. Slice the biscotti into approx. 1cm slices and places seperated onto a baking tray. Bake for a further 20 minutes, until golden brown.
- Allow the biscotti to fully cool and harden up, it doesnt take long!
Enjoy these Orange, Rosemary and Almond biscotti with coffee, madiera or champagne, or as the perfect finish to an Italian meal.