Pistachio and chocolate biscotti

pistachio

Really, those two are beyond hope…

Pistachio and chocolate biscotti

pistachio chocolate biscotti

Anyway, enough buffoonery: the star of this recipe is the delicious, sophisticated, vibrant pistachio nut.

If you have access to the best varieties (eg Bronte) you can make a true jade-studded treat for the senses. And if not, you can still make these marvellous cantuccini-style biscotti – guaranteed to wow a crowd.

But enough praise for Trota, let’s get down to business. You will need: 150g dark chocolate (70%), 80g butter, 280g granulated sugar, 3 whole eggs + 1 yolk, pinch of salt, 1tsp baking powder, 350g self-raising flour, 150g cornmeal (polenta), 250g unsalted pistachios (roughly crushed for easy biscotti slicing), the grated zest of an unwaxed lemon. If you like your bakes glazed, you will need an extra egg, lightly beaten.

Start by melting the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a simmering pan of water. Leave to cool a little and get on with the ‘dry’ ingredients: in a separate bowl mix the self-raising flour with the cornmeal, baking powder and salt.

With an electric whisk and – yet another – bowl (this recipe will never make it into Salmon’s one-pot pantheon) combine the 3 whole eggs, the yolk and the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.

You are now ready to assemble your dough. Fold the flours into the egg mixture and then into the chocolate mixture. Sprinkle with the lemon zest and the crushed pistachios. Mix well. It’s a tricky, sticky dough, so be patient.

Split into three and roll a ‘baton’ (18–20cm long) from each. Place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment and brush with lightly beaten egg wash (optional).

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°/gas 4 for 25–30min. Take out and let cool for 20min or so, then cut your biscotti diagonally, 1½cm thick. Put each biscotto flat on the baking sheet and bake again for another 10–15min at 170°/gas 3, turning them about halfway through. You might need to do this in two batches.

Yes, a bit of a faff – but boy, the reward! With a nice cup of coffee (or tea) these biscotti are the real deal. And don’t forget, they make wonderful eat treats too: your friends and family will love you for that.