It’s been a year since I graduated and started working and I find myself taking notes and studying from my Cafe Fernando cookbook! I have my favorites marked and any chance I get I plan on executing them.
One of my favorites and something I haven’t attempted before was biscotti. I must say I liked it very much and will be trying different variations in the future.
Ingredients for Cafe Fernando’s Biscotti:
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/3 cups water + 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
Before getting to the biscotti dough, prepare the walnuts.
In a preheated oven at 180°C, pour the walnuts in an oven tray. Let them bake for 10 minutes until the outside of the walnuts look like they will peal at any touch. Take off the oven and let them cool. Lay a new baking sheet on the tray and keep it close.
In a sauce pan put all the sugar and shake the pan to make sure the sugar is spread evenly to the bottom of the pan. Add the water slowly around the pan and put on the stove. Don’t touch the mix and let the water reach every part of the sugar by itself. Leave on the stove until the sugar bubbles and the color is semi-dark amber. Add the walnuts and make sure every walnut is covered with caramel. You can do the mixing process over the stove if you like but make sure the sugar is not burnt too much.
Transfer the walnut praline on the baking sheet you prepared before and let it cool to room temperature.
- 2 big eggs
- ¾ cups sugar
- Vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
Beat the eggs, sugar and the vanilla extract together until the eggs are lighter color. Add the flour and the baking powder. If your eggs are on the smaller side, add a third one or put only 1+3/4 cups of the flour. Stir with a spatula, as the mixture takes up the flour it will be very hard to mix. Mixing by taking from the bottom and adding to the top with the spatula is a good technique here. After mixing everything you should have a very sticky and soft dough.
Spare a golf ball sized dough aside to use a little later and add the walnuts to the larger dough in normal half walnut sized portions. I find half or quarter sized walnut pieces are ideal, whole walnut sized pieces will make your shaping harder.
After adding the walnuts and making sure there are evenly mixed with a spatula, take the dough and put on a tray with a baking sheet. By wetting your hands shape the dough in a rectangular shape that is almost 2-3 centimeters in height. When you finish shaping take the small bit you separated before and use it to cover all the walnuts peaking from the dough. Cover them and by wetting your hands again, shape the dough again.
Bake at 180°C for 35 minutes.
After the first bake, take off the over, by using a bread knife cut up pieces however thick you would like. I cut up 1,5 cm wide slices to make sure the shape is saved.
Put the slices back in the oven on a grill tray to make sure both sides of the biscotti pieces are toasted. Bake at 150°C for 25 more minutes. This time choice is up to you to choose how crunchy you want your biscotti. I found the 25 minutes make the biscotti pretty crunchy.
These were pretty tasty biscotti to go with 5 o’clock tea! I highly recommend you try it, they kinda look like too much work but it is totally worth the trouble! And they can be very good gifts to take to your friends and family. Enjoy!