The first time I tasted a biscotti I thought it was a really stale biscuit. I kept going with it though, gnawing at the hard little morsel like a terrier with a bone until it was all gone. I was a guest and would never say no to anything I was given to eat in someone elses house. Looking around me, while gently massaging my poor gums, and discretely dusting all the crumbs that lay on my chest I realised that everyone else was dunking their biscuits in to either a coffee or little glass of sweet wine.
Ah… I tried again, reaching for another hard biscotti. If nothing else, my back teeth would a get a good work out. Dunk, dunk, dunk…a tentative nibble. Ohhh, now that’s the ticket!
Why didn’t some one tell me before?
Now for these little biscotti, there has been a varied trail of evolution behind them. The first batch tasted too plain, it lacked depth of flavours. The consistency was fine but the taste wasn’t grabbing me. Next batch, added green ginger wine and changed the sugar to a darker one. Much better in flavour, but did I need the chocolate? Third batch, chocolate gets ditched, green ginger wine and dark sugar stay. I think the winning combination. However if you do want to give them a try, tweak them to your own taste buds.
The great thing about biscotti is that they are really versatile with their flavour combinations.
Ginger Chocolate Biscotti
3/4 cup brown sugar (if you can get a dark unrefined one, it gives more depth to the flavour. eg. Muscavado or dark molasses sugar)
1 tps vanilla essence
2 tbls green ginger wine
1/3 cup chopped uncrystallized dried ginger
1/3 dark chocolate chips (optional)
1 1 /3 cup plain flour
1/3 cup s/r flour
Mix all the ingredients together, and give a quick knead on lightly floured surface. Divide mixture in to two and roll out, approximately 1.5 inches wide. Pop in the oven at 180C for about 30 minutes. Take out and carefully slice on the diagonal with a serrated knife (bread knife). Lay biscotti down and back in to the oven for a further 10-15minutes at 160C either sides.
These little biscotti are good dunked into an espresso or a little dessert wine, (and if not, then prepare your back teeth).
Also an easy Christmas gift.
(top picture without chocolate, bottom with.)