When my dear friends gifted me Nigella Lawson’s Italian cookbook ‘Nigellissma’, I knew it then that they really loved me. I love Nigella, and her recipes, and contrary to popular belief her recipes are not all about butter and cream. Predictably, I ended up spending a good part of the day flipping through it and salivating about what to cook next.
I spotted the recipe for Cranberry Biscotti and knew that I had to try them. I love a good biscotti, and, whenever I go to my favourite Italian Deli, I always order it with my coffee and get some to go as well. And then that week’s morning or afternoon coffee is always accompanied by a biscotti. I like the crunchy, dry texture of the biscotti and the slight note of sweetness. The Italians dip their’s into sweet dessert wine, but, I like it with coffee or hot chocolate, you could do either.
Chilli Chocolate is my new favourite flavour of the year after salted caramel last year. I stumbled upon this recipe for a Chilli Hot Chocolate which I absolutely loved, and am sharing that here as well. It’s super simple and delicious, and definitely an adult taste.
Chilli Hot Chocolate
- 1 cup milk (skim or whole based on your preference)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 fresh red chilli sliced into two halves
- 40gm dark semisweet chocolate or 2tbsp dark drinking chocolate powder
- Gently heat milk, chilli, and cinnamon in saucepan over low heat till it starts bubbling on sides but not boiling.
- Remove from heat and strain the milk discarding the cinnamon and chilli.
- Put it back on low flame and add the dark chocolate and stir it through until it melts and mixes.
- Pour it in mug. Add a dollop of whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon sugar if you feel like indulging and enjoy!
Cranberry & Pistachio Biscotti
- 1 egg
- 75gm caster sugar
- 2 tsp finely grated orange zest
- 125gm plain flour, plus more for rolling
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Fresh nutmeg
- 75gm pistachios
- 50gm dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Whisk the egg and sugar until pale and leaves ribbon trail when you lift the beater. Be careful to not beat too much else it will become stiff like a meringue. Add the orange zest and slowly fold in the flour, baking powder, and a good grating of nutmeg.
- Fold in the whole pistachios and dried cranberries. Flour your work surface well and dust some on your hands too as the dough will be quiet sticky.
- Form the dough into a flattish, oval half moon shape log approx 25x5cm tapering the ends slightly. The shape will be similar to ciabatta loaf with a flattish bottom and curved top.
- Lay the dough onto a piece of baking parchment paper on a baking sheet and cook for 25-30mins, until the log is pale brown in colour. It might help to rotate the baking sheet halfway through to distribute the heat evenly.
- Transfer to a wire rack and let it cool for 5mins until it hardens slightly. Using a bread knife or a serrated edged knife, cut the baked loaf into 1cm thick pieces.
- Put these back onto the parchment paper baking tray and bake for another 10 minutes, then turn the biscotti over and cook for final 5 minutes more. The colour should be golden brown.
- Let the biscotti cool on wire rack completely before storing them in an airtight jar. They stay fresh for 3-4 weeks but mine never lasted that long.