Not quite there
So since this blog is primarily a record, for me, of my cooking highs and lows, how far I have progressed (or regressed) in terms of cooking and how recipes have turned out (and so which I should return to) I vowed that when I met with both triumph and disaster I would treat those two imposters just the same ie by writing about them both. Thus this post.
The first thing to note is it was not a disaster. Far from it, the recipe was sound, and the end result was good; it tasted good, it did what it said on the tin. Alas, my adaptation of the recipe to gluten free just wasn’t quite there. This may have had something to do with my last-hour preparations, with trying to get these ready at the same time as making dinner for 5 people, entertaining small children with computer games and battling the flu. Whatever, the texture was slightly off. Once baked, these biscotti were lovely, but they were just a little too dry to cut cleanly. We all know gluten-free recipes require more liquid than “normal” recipes, and apparently here I just didn’t add quite enough. The original recipe called for 3 eggs, and on halving the recipe I used 2. However, with eggs there’s always that tricky issue of size. The recipe called for large eggs, whereas mine were just, well, egg-sized. I think next time I would err on the side of caution and use the full 3 for half the other quantities and see how it fared.
1 1/2 cups gf flour blend
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup caster sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
3 medium eggs
3 drops vanilla extract
3 drops orange liqueur
2 teaspoons orange zest
1/2 cup toasted flaked almonds (I used whole almonds and these definitely contributed to the break-up of the dough when I tried to cut it)
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
2. In a medium bowl stir the gf flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt together.
3. In a large bowl stir the melted butter, eggs, vanilla, orange liqueur and zest together. Stir the flour mixture into this mix, until it forms a cohesive mass. Pour in the almonds and stir again.
4. On a lightly floured countertop work the dough for a minute or so until it is a nice supple mass, then shape it into a log a couple of inches in diameter. Put this on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes – it will spread out somewhat while it bakes.
5. When golden on top remove from the oven and leave to cool completely, still on its baking sheet, for an hour. When completely cool transfer to a chopping board and with a sharp, serrated knife cut diagonally into sections 1/2-inch thick.
6. Arrange these flat on the baking sheet and return to the oven (still at 180 C) for 10-12 minutes. Flip them over and cook for another 10 minutes on the other side, until lightly brown and crispy.
7. Leave to cool fully and serve with a cup of coffee.