I must’ve been in the UK too long, because supposedly it’s a national pastime here to always talk about the weather! I know so many of my posts mention the weather, but that’s because it is such an important part of my day. I wake up to the news and weather on the radio on weekdays, and that weather report determines if it’s a good start to the day or a bad start. I walk to work everyday, so if it’s pouring with rain, it’s definitely a bad start! Luckily for me, I’m the type of person who brings a packed lunch to work, so once I’m in the office I don’t need to leave until the working day is over at 5:30pm. Then the weather comes into play again when I decide whether to walk home or get the bus. I’m sure you can guess what I choose if it’s raining!
Today I’m mentioning the weather because there’s been what the media is calling a ‘heatwave’ in London this weekend. It’s reached 18°C (64.5°F) this weekend with beautiful blue skies, which is something of a rarity in March I’ve been told. I was super excited about the warm weather until I was chatting to my brother in Australia on Skype this morning and he told me that they’ve had a cold spell there. A cold spell of 20°C (68°F)! We went to the park and enjoyed the warmth and sunshine anyway. It’s all relative, isn’t it?
I love that as soon as the temperature hits about 16°C (61°F) here, Brits go a bit cuckoo! Immediately the thongs (flip flops) and shorts come out, and it’s not rare to see people sunbathing in the parks. They’re in slight denial that it’s still a little bit too cold to be pretending it’s summer, but they see sunlight so infrequently, especially during the winter months, that they don’t care! I do admire their tenacity and steadfastness, even if I don’t feel the need to join in.
While it’s definitely warming up, and the sunshine is a nice change, I’m still in the mood for a nice, hot cup of tea most days. These Chocolate Biscotti are great for dipping in tea, coffee, hot chocolate, hot milk – any hot drink you like really! Remember when I made cookie cups and told you that I wasn’t really a fan of cookies and biscuits? I also told you that I hate hard, crunchy biscuits/cookies. Well, today you’re going to be calling me a hypocrite, because I’ve discovered I love these Chocolate Biscotti! I can’t explain why, but I really enjoy munching on these crunchy Italian delicacies.
The version below has no additions to it. It is literally a recipe for plain chocolate biscotti, but you can feel free to add ½-1 cup of nuts or chocolate chips. Hazelnuts are common in chocolate biscotti, but I’m not a huge fan, so next time I’m going to try it with pistachios. Yum!
Makes about 24 biscotti
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp instant coffee granules
1½ cups plain flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
- Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- In a large bowl, mix vegetable oil, eggs, caster sugar and coffee granules. In a separate medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and mix well. Add flour mixture to oil mixture, and use your (clean) hands to combine well, until mixture is like a sticky, dense cookie dough.
- Divide dough into two even balls, and form into two logs on the baking tray, about 30cm long, 10cm wide and 2cm high. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Cut logs into 2cm wide pieces and lay flat on baking tray, cut side down. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip biscotti over and bake for a further 5-6 minutes. Allow to cool fully. Store in an airtight container.
Recipe adapted from Kitchen Cici.