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.

The next time, I want to try these cappuccino biscotti, mmm!

This compote was born out of the need to make my panna cotta fancier, prettier and obviously tastier (not that it needed any of those things, really, because it was amazing). I made this up on the spot and happily it worked!

You will need the following to make 4 portions:

– 2 persimmons, peeled and bone removed

– 1 shot rum

– 1 teaspoon brown sugar

– optional pirate to pour the rum (see below)

Yes I understand… but where’s the rum gone?

Place all ingredients in a pan and cook on medium heat, stirring gently until the mixture starts to bubble. You may want to mash it up slightly against the sides of your pan for a smoother finish. Or skilfully use a handheld blender without turning your kitchen orange and sticky. You only need to cook for a minute or two after the bubbling starts. As it cools down you will find that it will solidify and it will be easy to scoop out and place on your panna cotta.

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Persimmons are high in pectin (a type of soluble fiber found in the cell walls and intracellular tissue of plants), which means that it will form as jelly-like substance when sugar is added.

I reheated it slightly just before adding to the panna cotta and serving and the result was divine.




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Literally “cooked cream” in Italian, this dessert is often described as the ‘perfect’  spoon dessert and though I hesitate to commit myself to this statement as I like to keep my options open – it is stupidly easy to make and tastes divine. Also, you can play around with different toppings for this creamy, delicious thing. If you like creamy desserts, this one’s for you..

Inspired by this recipe and faced with the few ingredients that you’re most likely to have lying around your kitchen (get some glycerin sheets for emergency dessert-making options) you can whip this up in a few minutes, but you’re going to need to wait for it to cool and solidify in the fridge before your sweet concoction magically turns into melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

You will need (this makes approximately 4 medium portions, pictured above I made 2 large portions in coffee cups and one smaller one):

1 1/2 cups milk + 1/3 cup sugar + 2 1/4 teaspoons gelatin + 1 1/2 cups cream

I found gelatin in sheets and after much searching I figured out that I needed to use 2 sheets for the equivalent of 2 1/4 teaspoons powdered gelatin. You will to soak these sheets in water for about 10 minutes before using, squeezing the water out before adding to your recipe. They look a little something like this after soaking:

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In a small skillet add your milk, cream and sugar and stir on medium heat for a few minutes. As soon as you see tiny bubbles start to form (before it boils) take off the heat and add the glycerin. Stir until this dissolves ( a few seconds). That’s it. You’re done. I promised that this would be easy, no? 🙂

Let your mixture cool slightly, then pour into the containers you will be serving your dessert in such as cups, small bowls, shooter glasses if you like..

When they have cooled to room temperature, store in the fridge for at least an hour till the glycerin has done its magic and made your dessert acquire a jelly like consistency. Cover the top with cling film to prevent drying if you are not using them on the same day.

You can serve as is (they are already good enough) but if you think that they look plain, add some fresh fruit or compote or chocolate sauce. As you might already know after this competition, I made a fruit compote for mine and heated it just before serving. .It made the panna cotta start to melt with an ambrosia-like result.

If you haven’t already, join my Facebook page to get to know about future competitions.

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