Archive for August 21st, 2007

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Chocolate Biscotti

August 21, 2007

Biscotti (with coffee!)

Continuing the Peabody’s blog theme from Katie’s earlier post today, I made her chocolate biscotti from the same site. Here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Biscotti
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 TBSP instant espresso powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

White Chocolate for dipping

Preheat oven to 350F.

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

Working together with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until pale, about 2 minutes; the mixture may be crumbly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl , add the eggs and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes; don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing only until dough forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the chopped nuts and chocolate, then turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead un any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough into a 12 inch long logs. Flatten both logs with the palm of your hand, so that they are 1/2 to 1 inch high, about 2 inches across and sort of rectangular, then carefully lift the logs onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle each log with a little sugar.

Bake the logs for about 25 minutes, or until they are just slightly firm. The logs will spread and crack-and that’s fine.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven, put it on a cooling rack and cool the logs for about 20 minutes.(Leave oven on)
Working with one log at a time, using a long serrated knife, cut each log into slices between 1/2 and 3/4 inch thick. Stand the slices up on the baking sheet-you’ll have an army of biscotti-and bake the cookies again, this time for just 10 minutes.

Transfer the biscotti to a rack to cool.

If you want you can melt some white chocolate in a double boiler. Pour it into a shallow baking dish. Take the biscotti and dip which ever part you would like to be covered in chocolate. Set on a rack to harden.

Source: Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, Houghton Mifflin Company, Nov 2006

The biscotti came out pretty well, although not as dry and crunchy as the ones from the store. Which was fine with me, as the ones from the store hurt my poor gums. I’m sure I just need to bake them longer or something, but I kinda like the way they came out.

Biscotti

They tasted mighty fine with my coffee this morning! The only change I made was to use pecans for the nut, as I am a lover of pecans and Katie apparently prefers them as well. I also, fairly obviously, used a darker chocolate for the dipping portion. Bittersweet, to be exact. It was highly recommended to eat them topped with the whipped cream from the spray bottle – I am not a fan of the whipped cream from a bottle, but it wasn’t half bad.

And, of course, we didn’t let any of the left-over melted chocolate go to waste:

Chocolate-covered strawberries

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Blackberry Jam Cakes!

August 21, 2007

Blackberry Jam Cake

I tried to make Blackberry Jam cakes the other day. I used a recipe I found at Culinary Concoctions by Peabody (http://www.culinaryconcoctionsbypeabody.com/) The recipe was really easy! I don’t make too many cakes from scratch but these are pretty tasty! You don’t taste the jam much in the cake but the icing is very flavorful.

Here is her recipe:

Blackberry Jam Cake

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¾ cup sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups cake flour
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
½ tsp fresh nutmeg
¾ cup sour cream
1 cup blackberry preserves

Preheat oven to 300F˚.
Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and scrape down the bowl after each egg. Add the vanilla a beat for another 30 seconds.
Sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking soda.
Add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beating after each addition. Fold in the blackberry preserves.
Pour into a buttered and floured 10-inch Bundt or tube pan (I used mini). Bake at 300F˚ for 15 minutes. Increase heat to 350F˚ and bake until done (40-50) minutes. If making the mini, bake about 10 minutes less. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire rack to finish cooling.

If you want to make the glaze (no real recipe) simply heat up some jam. Remove the jam from the heat when it has melted and sprinkle in some powdered sugar until you reach a consistency you are happy with.

I used regular all-purpose flour in mine, as my local Meijer didn’t have cake flour. The cakes were a bit dense for my taste, but that may be because of the flour difference. They are excellent with coffee as well as served warm with vanilla ice cream. Yum!