These are tasty little biscuits, quite crunchy, not too sweet and awash with spices. They are lovely to eat with a coffee, post dinner or with an afternoon cup of tea.
- 5 egg whites
- 1 tsp salt
- 135 g caster sugar
- 135 g self-raising flour, sifted
- 70 g whole roasted almonds, roughly chopped
- 70 g dried fig, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp fennel seeds, toasted
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 2 hours
Cooling time 20 minutes
In a stand mixer, whisk the whites and salt together, until soft peaks start to form, at which stage slowly start adding the sugar and continue whisking until the whites are glossy and look meringue-like. Turn them out into a mixing bowl.
Gently fold in the sifted flour before slowly incorporating the remaining ingredients.
Spoon the mixture into a lined baking dish 15 cm x 20 cm and use the back of your spoon to smooth the top.
Place in a pre-heated oven at 160°C and bake for 15-20 minutes. You can test whether it is ready with a skewer – it should come out clean when inserted into the centre. Turn your biscuit slab out onto a wire rack and allow it to cool until it reaches room temperature. Once cool, wrap it in plastic wrap and transfer it to the freezer for at least 1 hour, so it becomes very cold and slightly firm. This makes it much easier to cut.
Remove from the freezer, unwrap and, using a serrated knife, carefully cut your biscotti slab into thin slices approximately 5 mm across. Lay them out on a flat tray and return them to the oven at 110°C for 15-20 minutes to allow them to dry out. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Once cooled, biscotti are ready to be eaten immediately, but will store in an airtight container for a good few weeks.
• Once you’ve cooked the biscotti the first time, the slab can be kept frozen, allowing you to pull out and dry some extra biscuits as needed.
Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Suresh Watson.
Teapot in khaki 450 ml and teapot in black 450 ml, both from The Chef and The Cook. Saucers in colour slate from Mud. Knife and fork Studio William from Tomkin.