Biscotti with almonds and allspice

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Biscotti means “twice baked” in Italian and this is exactly how they are made. In all biscotti recipes they are rolled into a log shape and baked, then removed from the oven, cut into slices, returned to the oven and baked again. It is this double-baking which gives them their crunchy texture, their long lasting quality and durability. Being easily transportable makes them ideal as gifts. There are endless varieties of biscotti recipes with numerous ways of adding flavour and texture. The combinations are almost endless. Simply by adding different spices, nuts and dried fruit, new and interesting taste sensations can be created.

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups all-purpose / plain flour

½ teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 large egg whites

¼ cup sugar

1 tablespoon honey

½ cup blanched almonds, halved

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Chop the almonds and set aside.

Place the egg whites, sugar and honey in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until frothy.

Sift together the flour, allspice and salt and mix into the egg white mixture. Fold through the almonds.

Turn out onto a floured board and, using floured hands, gently shape the dough into a 9 inch log.

Transfer to the baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 25 – 30 minutes, or until lightly browned and firm to the touch.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Wrap in tin foil and leave overnight.

Reheat the oven to 150°F / 300°F. Unwrap your log and, using a sharp knife, cut into ½ inch slices on the diagonal.

Arrange the slices, cut side down, on a baking tray and bake for a further 15 – 20 minutes or until dry and crisp.

Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container to keep crisp.