While they may not necessarily appear to be the most typical bake for a celebration, to me, my cranberry, pistachio and whiskey biscotti are somewhat of a mile stone and, more importantly, mark the end of my attempts to bake with no sugar.
Consequentially I breathe a sigh of relief, not only because my often fruitless struggle to find recipe inspiration without adopting a method of simply chucking in a load of stevia (I have decided it is definitely cheating) is over, but also because the dreaded Tough Mudder is no longer looming over my head like some dark cloud of mud and electroshock related doom. Yes it was muddy, yes it was hot and yes it was hilly, but it was also a lot of fun and I would strongly recommend it to anyone who fancies throwing themselves into a pool of ice water for a laugh. And this is the last you have to hear of it so there really is cause for celebration all around! But, of course, as a form of smug proof, I had to include a picture of how much the mud enhanced my outstanding natural beauty so brace yourselves for, what could be, the epitome of attractiveness and sex appeal.
Anyway back to the biscotti. I adapted the recipe from the same book I used for my honey and saffron ladies’ kisses and even my apple, pecan and dark chocolate biscotti back in October of last year. The book, called Coffee Time Treats, is really useful: it simultaneously suggests many different flavour combinations while demonstrating other methods of making the same product. Therefore it naturally guides you towards a more informed decision when trying to make your own additions. Each ingredient you add has a different quality so it’s all about compensating for differences in the method as well as the texture and overall taste. I personally felt this recipe was a little more successful than my last purely because it dried out a lot more. My other attempt was a little more moist and cakey than normal, meaning I was really being a little cheeky naming them as I did. But the flavours of both were lovely so don’t, by any means, let this put you off trying the other if it sounds more to your liking.
On the whole, however, these biscotti were still lovely. They were really crisp and the flavours complimented each other well. I personally think I could have put a little more whiskey in or steeped the cranberries in it for a little longer because it was not the most prominent flavour. When the biscotti was still warm it was definitely more noticeable in the smell, but by the time they had cooled and hardened a lot of the flavour was lost. My mum wasn’t exactly disappointed about this as whiskey isn’t her exactly her tipple of choicr but, in my opinion, a little kick can’t hurt. By all means feel free to play around by adding a little more as the flavour combinations are pretty foolproof, but this is entirely up to you. Either way I hope you enjoy!
Cranberry, Pistachio and Whiskey Biscotti (makes approx. 12)
- 50g dried cranberries
- 1 tbsp whiskey
- 125g self raising flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 75g golden caster sugar
- 1 egg
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 50g pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped
- Preheat your oven to 180C/ 160C Fan.
- Put the cranberries and whiskey in a bowl and leave to steep for at least 15 minutes.
- Put the flour, baking powder, sugar and egg in a mixer and mix until a breadcrumb like texture is formed.
- Add the lemon zest and pistachios and combine.
- Add the cranberries and the liquid to the rest of the ingredients and continue to mix until they form a dough like consistency. Tip this out onto a lightly floured surface and knead to bring it together.
- Shape into a log and place it on a lined baking tray. Bake for 35 minutes and, once removed from the oven, reduce the temperature to 150C/ 130C Fan.
- Leave the log for 15 minutes before cutting diagonally into slices. Put each slice back on the baking tray and bake for another 20 minutes to make sure they are fully dried out.