Sunday, 28 October 2012

Pre Bake Off: Hazelnuts and figs biscotti

To begin the day, before anybody was her, I baked a batch of biscotti. I thought that having something to nibble with a cup of tea: this proved to be a great idea.

A linguistic note: in Italian we call these delight Cantucci, which is a plural noun, so for one only you would say Cantuccio, like in: "Do you want a cantuccio with your coffee?"

I followed a recipe of James Martin's recipe which I modified to taste (changed fruit, quantities and amount of sugar). So here you are:


160g plain flour
100g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 medium free-range eggs, lightly beaten
150g dried figs, chopped
80g whole hazelnuts
1 lemon, zest only

Preparation method

  • For the biscotti, preheat the oven to 150C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  • Mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder in a bowl until well combined.
  • Whisk in half of the beaten eggs until well combined. Gradually add the remaining beaten egg, a little at a time, making sure all of the egg has been fully incorporated into the mixture before adding more, until the mixture comes together as a dough. (NB: You may not need to use all of the egg. NBNB: I ignored JM recommendation and I ended up with a very wet dough)
  • Add the cherries, hazelnuts and lemon zest and mix well. 
  • Transfer onto a floured surface and gently coat the mixture with flour.
  • Divide the dough into three equal portions. Roll each portion into a sausage shape about 3cm in diameter, using your hands. Gently flatten each portion of dough with the palm of your hand.
  • Place each dough 'sausage' onto the prepared baking tray, leaving a 6cm gap between each portion of dough to allow for expansion. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until pale golden-brown.
  • Remove the 'sausages' from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes to cool and firm up.
  • Using a serrated knife, cut 1.5 cm thick slices from the dough 'sausages' on the diagonal. Arrange the slices onto the lined baking tray and return them to the oven for a further 6-8 minutes.
  • Turn the biscotti over and continue to bake for 6-8 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.


  1. I have a batch of those in the oven right now, will have them tested by my mother (a great lover of cantuccini)! :)

  2. I used almonds only, and I am glad to tell you that your cantuccini recipe received my Mum's Seal of Approval :) The plate was wiped clean!