Ok, so the effort: joy ratio on this one is astronomical. Sure, it takes a bit of time, but not much effort. The smells, textures and the cheeky tastes in making this recipe will lift your mood, which is welcome as it won’t do the same to your waistline. The result is far better than those crappy imitations you get a coffee shops trying to go up in the world. The recipe comes from Biscotti (surprising to find good european recipes from an American), but I’ve pimped it up a bit. They also recommend a version with rosemary and pine nut, which I imagine would be equally good. If you work out how not to eat half of the batter before it goes in the oven, let me know.
You will need:
- 110g whole almonds
- 175g plain flour
- 2 tbsp cornmeal
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 60g butter
- 135g demerara sugar
- 1 large egg
Spread the almonds on a baking tray, and put into a 150°C oven for 12 minutes. Take them out and leave to cool.
Meanwhile, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and spices in a bowl. Not much volume here,but the almonds will bulk it up later.
Whisk the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg, and combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix well. It is at this stage that my fingers roam into the bowl and illegally transport the dough to my mouth.
Chop the cooled almonds roughly, and use that new energy to energetically combine them into the dough. Cover in cling and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Half the dough and from into 2 logs, each 1 inch in diameter. Try and press them into a slight oval shape- the heat will do the rest. Transfer to a lines baking sheet and bake in a 180°C oven for 20 minutes, then leave to cool completely.
Now for the final stage. With a serrated knife, cut the logs into 1cm slices, and put back on a baking tray, lying flat, and put the 180 oven for 6-8 minutes, until golden.
Enjoy as you like, but especially great with strong coffee.