These almond biscotti are perfect for dunking in coffee, tea or (why not) molten chocolate. The term ‘biscotti’ refers to the fact that this type of biscuit or cookie is cooked twice. It does not contain butter or oil and so is crunchy and crispy. Having said that, I’ve found some recipes from food bloggers whom I follow and admire which did contain butter and the recipe seems to work that way too. Whatever rocks your taste buds, I guess; I won’t judge.

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Also, have you always assumed that making biscotti would be difficult? Nope!

I decided to try these out using barley flour instead of plain flour. Just for fun. I substituted with the same quantity and the biscuits turned out fine.

You will need:

250g barley flour and some for dusting (you may use plain flour if you prefer)

2 whole eggs, whisked lightly

150g caster sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

200g blanched almonds either in slivers or whole, lightly toasted

zest and juice of one lemon

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Lightly toast the almonds in a dry pan, tossing frequently until they just start to brown.

In a large bowl, sift the flour then add baking powder, caster sugar, baking powder and salt.

Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl, then add to your mixture together with lemon zest and juice. Mix everything together until you get a dough. Add the almonds and continue to blend in. It may be necessary to add a teaspoon of water to make the mixture come together. However, make sure to mix thoroughly before doing this as this depends on the size of your eggs and how much lemon juice your lemon had i.e. you might make the dough too ‘wet’ if you add the water when you don’t need to.

Place parchment paper/ a baking sheet on your tray and dust this with a small amount of flour. Wash your hands well and form 2 logs with your dough, they will be about 4cm in diameter. These will expand as they cook so leave some space in between.

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Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes until it starts to very slightly brown. Leave to cool for 5 minutes. Do not switch off the oven.

Using a serrated knife, cut the baked dough into 1/2 inch diagonal slices. Arrange the slices on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 15-25 minutes or until golden.

Transfer to wire rack to cool and then store in an airtight container until ready to consume.
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The next time, I want to try these cappuccino biscotti, mmm!


Today I have a little something special for Halloween – a guest post about a delicious carrot cake a friend of mine made, which I was lucky enough to taste (twice:))

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Can you bake a spooky cake?

As anyone who follows my food blog Marie’s Cuisine would know, I do not provide recipes, but I do provide an outlook on how food makes me feel. A Halloween themed carrot cake I made for a friend caught our dear fellow blogger Miriam’s eye and therefore this guest post has come about.
I love Halloween. I loved it as a kid in Canada that is. When I came to Malta and was presented the alternative in the form of Carnival, I must say I was not amused. The two do not compare I’m afraid. Knocking on people’s doors demanding candy totally trumps a vulgar neon float.
However, Halloween seems to be creeping in slowly on our little island with a few parties here and there and that’s how I conjured this cake.
I used buttercream icing which I coloured orange, which turned out to be disaster number one. I miscalculated the yellow and ended up with a more coral kind of icing rather than orange. I also got yellow colouring everywhere and I ended up looking jaundiced for a couple of days…hepatitis anyone? Now that’s scary.
Disaster number two was the fact that I’m awful with a piping bag. Seriously. Some time ago I tried to make light blue swirls on cupcakes for a friend’s baby shower and it looked as if Papa Smurf took a dump all over my confections. So this time I went uber simple: I used white ready-made frosting already in a tube, ready for the piping. I made a little spider web and it turned out pretty decent. By then I felt as if my cake decorating talents were spent and I bought a Cadbury special Halloween spider. I’m not proud, but I was sick of the smell of sugar. My nose is sensitive.
And there you have it folks, another messy but delicious misadventure from my kitchen. Now you can go back to scrolling through Miriam’s lovely and well put-together meals.

Happy Halloween all
🙂

And finally, a pic of Marie-Claire in her Halloween get up. Visit her website for more!

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I rarely have time or the appetite for a proper breakfast during the week. I dream of being organized like that one day, of being a morning person and waking up with enthusiasm, but in the mean time I will stick to treating myself to breakfast (or more realistically brunch) in the weekends or on days off from work.

And finally.. I did it ! I finally made Gordon Ramsay’s eggs… sublimely scrambled and as divine as they look in the video. I absolutely recommend trying this at home.

If you’re making scrambled eggs the first rule to keep in mind is that you need to keep the time in between cooking and consuming to a minimum, so you will want to prepare the rest of your plate (if any) beforehand. Scrambling the eggs will only take a few minutes and your toast / fried tomatoes / sausages / coffee etc need to be ready for the eggs at the point when they are ready. Also, whilst making the eggs (as you can witness in the video below) you will not want to give something else attention.

You might be thinking: why all this fuss just for making scrambled eggs? Make them. You’ll see.

You will need (per person):

2 or 3 eggs

a tablespoon of butter

a tablespoon of crème fraiche (or cream cheese)

Do not whisk the eggs beforehand (now this is a step I wouldn’t have thought of…)

Place the eggs and butter in a small deep pan and place on the heat, start to stir with a wooden spoon and break up the eggs whilst the butter melts. Now you’re going to perform a little on-heat off-heat dance, the main aim being to use up the pan’s heat without letting it overheat and thus overcook the eggs. And you’re going to need to use your eyes to judge when it’s the right moment to do this. The comparison to cooking a risotto is right – aside from the continuous attention, just like you need to know when and how much fluid to add, you need to know when to decrease the heat from your eggs. The trick is to cook them to a 85-90% ‘doneness’ and let the residual heat cook them to perfection in the last minute whilst continuing to stir. When you think they’re about to solidify too much, add your crème fraiche to cool the mixture down and (you’re not done yet) keep stirring. When you’re happy with the consistency, add salt and pepper to taste. You may also like to garnish with chives or dill (or as my friend Lara suggested, a drop of truffle oil).

Now…

Watch the video from Gordon Ramsay.