In the meantime, how about a few of these Skinny Nutty Biscotti to go with your morning cuppa on this dreary Monday? I call these "skinny" for no other reason than the fact that it rhymes with "nutty" and "biscotti", and I happen to be teaching poetry analysis to my little protégés at the moment. I have no idea if these are low-calorie or "good for you", but I suppose the use of only egg whites may be a point of attraction for some. I personally find the notion of "healthy" desserts to be absurd. Eat your no-frills meat and vege during the week, and splurge on the good stuff on weekends. Why bother with the fat-free, sugar-free, taste-free substitutions? Honestly!
So that's my little Monday morning rant. Anyway, it just occurred to me that there's actually a better reason to call these "skinny"; look how thin the slices are! I've been on the look-out for the longest time for a biscotti recipe that produces the paper-thin (okay, cardboard-thin) cookies I've seen sold in Italian delicatessens. Prior to these, the biscotti I've made have been the chunky ones (see: these). And whilst they were crunchy and delicious dipped in coffee or tea, I do love how refined and delicate these Skinny Biscotti look:
I've adapted the recipe I found here to include quite a few different nuts. How many can you spot?
Ready for the answers? We've got: macadamias, pistachios, walnuts and cashews, oh my! :D
Worry not about trying to slice through the nuts after the first baking. Learning from my disastrous attempt at slicing bread fresh out of the oven, I left the biscotti loaf to cool overnight before slicing it the next morning. My serrated knife made short work of the loaf, and within minutes I had a pile of beautifully spotted, soft slices of biscotti to return to the oven to crisp up. Do keep an eye on these around the 20 minute mark during the second baking because, as you can see from the picture above, these brown around the edges quite easily. And you wouldn't want to sully that pale, white canvas, studded with flashes of green and cream, would you?
Recipe for Skinny Nutty Biscotti
Adapted from the recipe found here
Makes 25-30 biscotti, depending on how thin you slice it
4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
100g caster sugar
120g all-purpose/plain flour
2 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon almond extract
50g roasted or raw macadamia nuts
50g roasted pistachio kernels
50g roasted cashews
50g roasted or raw walnut kernels
1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius (300 degrees Fahrenheit). Line a loaf tin with non-stick parchment paper.
2. Whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until fluffy, and soft peaks form. Slowly add the caster sugar, tablespoon by tablespoon, and whisk until stiff peaks form.
3. Sift in the flour, and stir gently to combine. Add in the canola oil, and fold gently into the batter. Add all the nuts, and stir in.
4. Pour mixture into the lined loaf tin and bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the surface is light brown.
5. Remove from oven, and allow to cool in tin slightly before placing on cooling rack. Allow to cool overnight, or for 5 hours at least.
6. The next morning (or whenever the loaf has finished cooling), preheat oven to 120 degrees Celsius (250 degrees Fahrenheit). Cut the cooled loaf into thin slices, around 5mm in thickness, with a serrated knife. Place on lined cookie trays and bake in preheated oven for 30-45 minutes, flipping the biscotti over halfway through. The biscotti are done baking when they feel dry and crumbly to the touch, but may be slightly soft and springy. Do not let them brown.
7. Remove from oven and cool completely before serving. Biscotti are great for dunking into a steaming cup of coffee or tea. Store in an airtight container to keep the biscotti crispy.