I shared pictures of these on instagram (@coconutandberries), google+ and facebook on Saturday and feel a little mean for not having shared the recipe until now… but hopefully you’ll forgive me when you make them!
I didn’t actually bake a lot with my Mum growing up, I think our repertoire was limited to fairy cakes and rice krispie squares…but when my brothers and I went to stay with our grandparents, it was a different story. Rainy days were instantly designated as “Baking Days,” something my brothers and I all enjoyed.
After a long spell of sunshine the rain finally came at the weekend and I thought of Granny and our baking . One of my lovely readers had put in a special request for biscotti so the timing seemed even more perfect.
If you’ve never had biscotti before you’re truly missing out. They are hard and crunchy because they are twice-cooked (‘bis’ is Italian for twice and ‘cotti’ means cooked) and perfect for dipping in a cup of tea or coffee (although apparently true Italians only dip them in Vin Santo, a sweet dessert wine, not coffee). In any case, when I was 19 I spent 6 weeks studying art history in the magical city of Florence, and, although I didn’t pick up the Italian espresso habit, I definitely got into biscotti!
The original recipe is made with almonds and is NOT vegan as it contains eggs (but no butter interestingly). I have made more traditional biscotti in the past but decided to try something different this time, opting for chocolate and sesame. I love the richness that tahini brings here, a perfect pairing with chocolate. I also added sesame seeds to amp up the sesame flavour and for texture, and a few chocolate chips for a little fun too.
Biscotti-making is not a complicated process and the only real difference to making other cookies is the shaping of the dough into a log and the twice baking.
I made a small batch as I wasn’t sure how popular these would be at home, but perhaps I should have doubled it as they were gone in a flash!
(Adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar)
3/4C Light spelt flour (or other flour of your choice)
3/4t Baking powder
1/2C Coconut sugar ( I like to use coconut sugar in my baking as it’s less processed than other sweeteners, it’s also less sweet than refined sugar so these are more chocolatey than super sweet, perfect for this chocolate lover)
2T Oil (I used rapeseed, but any neutral oil is fine)
1T Ground flaxseed
1/4C Non-dairy milk (You might need 1 or 2 extra tablespoons of milk if your tahini is very thick. Mine is very runny)
2T Sesame Seeds
2T Chocolate Chips (or more! That’s all I had left!)
Preheat oven to 180C/350F
Sift together flour through to baking powder in a large bowl and stir in the coconut sugar. Whisk oil, tahini, ground flax and milk together in a small bowl. Combine wet with dry ingredients and combine with your hands to form a thick dough. Stir through sesame seeds and chocolate chips and shape dough into a ball, pressing chocolate chips back in if they pop out.
On a baking tray lined with parchment paper shape the dough into a rectangular log approximately 4” by 6”. Flatten and square off edges as best as you can. Bake for 25-30 minutes until log is puffed and firm. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and leave to cool for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat oven (again) to a slightly cooler 160C/325F.
Carefully slide the log off the baking tray onto a chopping board. With a sharp, heavy knife, cut the log width-wise into slices, on a diagonal if you like (I forgot!). Carefully return the slices to the baking tray, standing them on their sides (see wire rack picture below). Bake slices again 10-15 minutes on one side, then flip gently and bake a further 10-15 minutes on the reverse side. 15 minutes will give you a slightly crunchier, more authentic biscotti texture, 10 minutes will leave them a little softer. Allow the biscotti to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet and then carefully remove to wire racks to complete the cooling. Warm biscotti can be fragile! They should store well in a covered container, if you don’t eat them all!
Enjoy dunked in a cup of tea ( herbal if you’re me!) or coffee, or if you want to be authentic, after a meal with vin santo!
Have you tried or made biscotti? What flavour would you like to see?