CHRISTMASSY CHOCOLATE & ORANGE BISCOTTI F.T GINNI'S
Christmas carols, presents, quality time with your family... yeah, all those things are nice but come on, let's all be honest, we're all much more excited about all the indulgent food and drink we're tucking into. I try and live a balanced lifestyle all year round but around the festive period, that goes out the window. A tray of Ferrero Rocher for breakfast? Why the hell not!
I was sent the most amazing snack boxes by the people at Ginni's filled with a whole array of nuts and dried fruit. The selection they kindly sent me is absolutely nuts - pun intended - with pretty much every single snack option you could ever want / need! Monkey nuts, honey cashews, chilli coated peanuts, prunes, raisins... basically, I'm sorted in the snack department this season. Thank you once again Ginni's. However, fear not, if nuts and dried fruit aren't your thing, they also have two other snack boxes available filled with things like popcorn, sweets and other yummy treats.
Another one of my favourite things to do over the festive period is to bake; there's nothing better than staying indoors on a dreary day and baking something super delicious, especially when the whole smell just radiates through the whole house mmmmmmm drool worthy material. With a whole cupboard full of nuts and dried fruit, I really wanted to integrate some of the Ginni's snacks into some sort of baking, and as soon as I spotted the almonds, I knew they had to play a part because they're one of my very favourite ingredients in baking.
Cue... chocolate & orange biscotti! As many of you know, my Dad lives in Rome and so I've spent many a Christmas there with him and have been lucky enough to indulge in Italian festive treats on a fairly regular basis. Great for me, not so great for my waistline but hey ho... There's something really nostalgic about biscotti for me so as soon as I saw this recipe online, I knew I wanted to recreate it. Plus, chocolate and orange is just one of the very best flavour combinations. Buy me a Terry's chocolate orange and I'll be yours forever.
110g self-raising flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder - I also added in a bit of the Whittards Spiced Flavour Hot Chocolate to give it a bit of extra summin' summin'
60g ground almonds (from the Ginni's snack box)
75g golden caster sugar
50g dark chocolate chips - I just broke up some Waitrose 82% dark chocolate
1 large orange, zested
1 large egg and one egg yolk, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ whole nutmeg, grated
Heat your oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4
Put the flour, cocoa, ground almonds, sugar, chocolate chunks, orange zest and a pinch of salt into a large bowl, and mix well
Make a well in the centre, then add the nutmeg, egg and vanilla extract
Use your hands to bring the mix together, kneading it firmly
Shape the biscotti dough into a log approximately 15cm x 5cm x 2.5cm deep
Transfer to a baking tray lined with baking parchment, then bake for 30 mins until firm to the touch - note that the log will split and crack a little on the top
Remove from the oven and cool for at least 10 mins, then use a sharp knife to cut the log into slices 1-1.5cm thick
Put the biscotti back on the baking tray and reduce oven to 150C/130C fan/ gas 2. Bake for 30 mins or until the biscotti are completely hard to touch
Let them cool completely and then... DIG IN!!! They're so delicious and even better dunked into a coffee / festive hot chocolate!
... if you don't eat them all in one go, store them in an airtight container
I'd love to know if you try and recreate these treats, make sure to tag me in any pictures on Instagram!