Sour cherry & hazelnut biscotti

Rezept auf deutsch für Sauerkirsch & Haselnuss Biscotti s. u.

 

Biscotti are twice-baked and the most famous biscotti are the Tuscan cantuccini, hard almond biscotti dipped repeatedly into Vin santo or with a vero espresso in the afternoon. Spring weekends in California saw us many times driving to Half Moon Bay or Montara, wandering the empty beaches accompanied by Sanderlings and cradling a cup of coffee & ever so often dunking one of the giant biscotti picked up from the coffee shop. These sour cherry and hazelnut ones are just equally nice with a steaming cup of tea (mine’s Early Gray with milk).

Just returning from a short stay in the Black Forest region proves again Germany’s fondness for dark-red Morello cherries (Schattenmorellen) as a main ingredient in the well-known Schwarzwälderkirschtorte (Black Forest Gateau). I have a special place in my heart for the less flamboyant light-red Amarelle or glas-cherries like the beautiful Cerise de Montmorency. My grandfather had a tiny tree in his garden studded with cherries shining like small light-red baubles against the dark green leaves – a picture perfect tree akin to those illustrating children’s books. They were extremely sour or so you believe as a child. Taste changes and today I savour the intense tartness & slightly old-fashioned fragrance much more as it reminds me of endless summers spent alone with my grandfather in his garden.

Buying dried sour cherry varieties in Germany is nearly impossible, at least specialist shops or online dealers in dried fruits sell dried & untreated sour cherries. For these biscotti though I have used my last bag of dried Montmorency cherries brought back from the US (Trader Joe’s, Whole Food Market) before I stock up our larder again like a greedy magpie.

 

Sour cherry & hazelnut biscotti
makes about 40 biscotti, adapted from a cutting from Williams-Sonoma Cookies

1 stick of unsalted butter (114g), room temperature
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
a scant ¼ teaspoon salt
zest of 1 orange
1 heaped cup hazelnuts
½ cup of whole dried sour cherries (Cerises de Montmorency, unsweetened & untreated)

 

Preheat the oven to 175°C or 350° F, line one or two baking trays with a sheet of baking parchment.

Roast the hazelnuts in a dry pan or the oven until they small intensely nutty but are not browned too much. Cool briefly, then chop into coarse pieces, leaving a few rather large chunks or give the nuts a quick blitz in the food processor.

Cream butter and sugar until light yellow and fluffy. Add one egg after the other and the vanilla extract. Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon & salt together, slowly stir a small amount into the batter at first before you add the rest. Mix with orange zest, hazelnuts and cherries and spoon the soft dough with a spatula onto the baking tray and form two logs (flouring your hands helps to prevent the dough from sticking) with at least 20 cm space in between. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until lightly golden but not brown. Take them out of the oven and leave to cool on the tray for about 15 minutes, then cut the logs with a serrated knife diagonally into 2cm slices and return those to the baking tray (lying on one side) to be baked for another 10 minutes until the biscotti look lightly toasted. Leave to cool on the trays, keep in airtight containers.

 

 

Sauerkirsch & Haselnuss Biscotti
ergibt ca. 40 Biscotti, ich bleibe hier der Einfachheit halber bei den amerikanischen Tassen

114g ungesalzene weiche Butter
¾ Tasse Zucker
2 Eier
1 TL Vanilleextrakt (ersatzweise Vanillezucker)
1 ¾ Tassen Mehl
½ TL Backpulver
½ TL Zimt
annähernd ¼ TL Salz
Zesten (geriebene Schale) von 1 Orange (Bio)
1 Tasse ganze Haselnüsse
½ Tasse ganze getrocknete Sauerkirschen (Montmorency- oder Glaskirschen, unbehandelt, ungesüßt)

 

Backofen auf 175°C vorheizen und ein Backblech mit Backpapier belegen.

Die Haselnüsse entweder in einer trockenen Pfanne kurz rösten oder im Backofen toasten bis sie intensiv nussig riechen, aber nicht sehr braun geworden sind. Abkühlen lassen und entweder mit dem Messer grob hacken oder in der Küchenmaschine zerkleinern. Es sollten noch ein paar größere Stückchen darunter sein, die man auch noch in den gebackenen Biscotti sehen kann.

Die Butter mit dem Zucker schaumig schlagen und die Eier nach und nach, anschließend den Vanilleextrakt hinzugeben. Das Mehl zusammen mit Backpulver, Zimt und Salz sieben, zuerst einen kleinen Teil langsam unterrühren, schließlich das gesamte Mehl. Zum Schluß die Orangenschale, die grob gehackten Haselnüsse und die Sauerkirschen unterheben.

Die weiche Masse auf das Backblech mit dem Teigschaber geben und mit bemehlten Händen zu zwei langen Rollen formen, etwas plattdrücken. Beide Teigrollen sollten mindestens 20cm Abstand voneinander haben. Für ca. 25-30 Minuten backen bis sie goldfarben (nicht braun) sind, auf dem Blech für 15 Minuten abkühlen lassen. Mit einem Brotmesser diagonal in 2cm breite Scheiben schneiden, diese auf der flachen Seite auf das Backblech legen und wiederum für 10 Minuten backen bis diese goldfarben getoastet sind. Auf dem Blech abkühlen lassen, in luftdichtem Container aufbewahren.

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Sour cherry & hazelnut biscotti

  1. My mom still talks about how she enjoyed a few of your biscotti I slipped her before she got on the plane. Still haven’t tried baking them myself (maybe I am afraid I won’t measure up to the original! You set a high standard!

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