Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chocolate biscotti

On days like this, when the clouds are thick, dark and saturated with rain, when the plants look droopy and the streets are almost empty and silent, I forget that it's sunny somewhere else in the world. I forget that soon, the seasons will change again and I won't need that extra shot of espresso to feel good because the air will carry the smells of spring. On days like this, I embrace my mood and I bake chocolate biscotti.

Since I've previously had success with Dorie Greenspan's almond cornmeal biscotti, I decided to give her chocolate biscotti recipe a try. The flavor was great - dark, dense, chocolaty with smoky notes of espresso and a crunch of almonds (although I think hazelnuts would have worked better, but I didn't have them around). Alas, they were crumbly - very very crumbly. What did I do wrong? The recipe said that the tops will crack a bit, and not only did the tops crack quite a lot, but I had such trouble slicing them after the first bake AND after the second bake, that at least a few had to be sent to that great biscotti gig in the sky (aka, A.'s afternoon tea). Also, and this is a minor complaint since they did taste great, these biscotti weren't very pretty. Does anyone have a chocolate biscotti recipe that works better than this one? Help!

Chocolate Biscotti
(Dorie Greenspan, Baking)


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp instant coffee or instant espresso powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar (I always use a bit less, more like 3/4)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped almonds (or hazelnuts - next time)
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, coffee powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

With a mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 2 minutes until light. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs and vanilla; beat for another 2 minutes. Decrease the speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing only until a dough forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix in the chopped nuts and chocolate.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead a few times just to incorporate any dry ingredients that didn't get mixed in before. Divide into two portions; on the baking sheet, shape each portion into a 12 x 2 inch log. Dust the tops with a little sugar (to make them look pretty, I'm assuming). Bake for 25 minutes.

Remove the sheet from the oven and let it cool on a rack for 20 minutes. Then, with a very sharp, serrated knife, slice the logs into about 3/4 - 1 inch slices and leave the slices standing up on the baking sheet (some people lay them down, but I like both sides to get crispy). Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes of baking.

Transfer biscotti to a rack to cool.


Ash said...

This looks fab! I love biscotti! I was actually thinking of making some the other day. I may have to try this chocolate delight!

Elra said...

I never seen biscotti this look so appetizing like this.

Elyse said...

I was just thinking that I needed to make biscotti! How appropriate that I get to see this post this morning! Now I KNOW I have to make these. They look so delicious!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Your Biscotti looks rich and delish! All it needs is a latte to go with it!

kickpleat said...

the biscotti looks great...too bad it was so crumbly. i have tried a chocolate biscotti on epicurious that was wonderful though i can't remember which recipe it was!

Olga said...

Those look so good! I think it's funny how people don't realize how easy biscotti is to make :)

I'm actually eating a double chocolate nut cookie as I type this: we must be on the same wavelength.

Gretchen Noelle said...

I really like your photos of this, it makes me want some biscotti - right now!

matt wright said...

I have never made biscotti, but always wanted to - this inspires me. Love the photos.

Anonymous said...

You say to add the sugar witht he dry ongredients, but then again to mix the sugar with the butter. Which is it? Thanks!

Irene said...

Gosh, I never noticed that! Thank you for pointing it out! Mix it in with the butter (I corrected the recipe). Thanks!