This weekend has been the perfect bank holiday. For the first time in too long I made it down to my Grannies’ house in Somerset. I spent the weekend enjoying lots of R & R, (rest and relaxation) fresh country air and catching up on good, old, family gossip. I got back to London last night refreshed, planning to spend today preparing for a day of filming with Videojug tomorrow. I have yet to make it out of my pyjamas… typical. Instead I have been spending the morning catching up on Mad Men and planning my pending trip to Paris, at the end of the month.
In the early months of the year, when the rainy day blues hit, the promise of a vitamin-d kiss to my skin is all that keeps me going. So in the last few years a long weekend abroad, spent eating in new restaurants and wondering about the city, has become a bit of a ritual.It started with Florence, then Barcelona and now back to Paris… a lovely late-birthday present surprise from the lovely Fred.
This Biscotti recipe is an ode to the first springtime trip I ever made to Sienna and the Biscotti experience I had there. I can’t remember its name now but there was a charming little coffee shop (I want to say it was called ‘Love Coffee,’ but I may be wrong..) hidden down one of the side streets with the most amazing espressos which you could get served with a variety of syrups and sweet treats in the bottom. I alternated between having a spoonful of Nutella or Dulce de Leche in my coffee, but there were many more to choose from. The best part was the fresh batons of Biscotti they sold. Nutty, crunchy and not too sweet.. We went back a fair few times, needless to say.
This is a classic recipe, which I have redesigned to make completely gluten-free. Not that you would know it, just look at that crunchy crumb…. yumm.
- 1 Egg
- 75g unrefined Caster Sugar
- Zest of 1 Orange
- 125g Plain Gluten Free Flour
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 75g blanched Almonds
- 60g dried Cranberries
Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius/ gas mark 4
Roughly chop the almonds. Heat a frying pan on a high heat, add the almonds to the dry frying pan and toast for a couple of minutes until golden.
Place a piece of greaseproof paper on a baking tray and brush with a little butter to prevent sticking.
Whisk the egg whites and sugar in a bowl until you get soft peaks. Then gently fold in the flour, baking powder and orange zest. Once combined, add the almonds and cranberries. Mix through and then turn out onto a floured surface.
Turn the dough onto the floured surface and shape into a long log, like a loaf of bread. Transfer the dough to the greased baking tray. Put the tray in the oven and cook for 35-40 minutes.
Remove the tray from the oven and leave the biscotti to cool for 15 minutes or until it is easy to cut. Slice the biscotti into pieces, about and 2cm-1 inch thick, slightly at a diagonal. Return the slices of biscotti to the baking tray and pop them back in the oven for 10 minutes to harden slightly.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Enjoy with a fresh Espresso for a little bit of La Dolce Vita.
These are a few shot of Battersea Park in the springtime. A beautiful Magnolia canopy and Battersea Bridge at twilight.. As much as I complain about the British weather, I maintain the belief there there is truly nowhere more beautiful then England in the sunshine.
The biscotti will last for up top a week in a sealed Jar in the Fridge. I often make them at Christmas time and give them as gifts. They look so pretty wrapped up in a ribbon.