Chocolate pistachio biscotti

Biscotti are hard, crunchy, nearly rectangular shaped biscuits that originated from Italy. We usually see them in the big glass jar in a cafe or the mini version of them that served together with coffee.

My only twice encounters with biscotti from cafe left a rather negative impression on me. That was hard but not crunchy, more towards the texture of the chewy Malay snack keropok. It is in between a stale bread and a soggy biscuit, neither which is appealing to me. (keropok is nice though)

I later found out I had the “wrong” biscotti at about 2 a.m. of a sleepless night in January. That was another night of insomnia, which sprouted from my early 20s and gotten very frequently at my late 20s. I have tried many ways to overcome this problem (set up a proper go-to-bed routine, Chamomile or warm milk, aromatherapy, yoga etc) but none of them were really effective for me to continue trying. The problem went off after I learnt how to manage my stress and anxiety. However, the causes for insomnia multiplies as I grow old, there are still occasionally few nights in a month that I can’t sleep.

That night was one of those nights, which I now feel more at ease with them. I knew staying on bed only makes thing worse so I went to the living room , turned on the TV and watched cooking shows. This is the most effective method so far that I accidentally found last year. It magically takes only about 30 minutes to make me fall asleep on the couch. The cooking shows varies: Secret Meat Business that cooks only deadly attractive (but not healthy) meat dishes, Nigella Lawson’s casual and relax cooking and more often at late night, the rather formal and detailed baking tutorials by Anna Olson. I never feel hungry while watching those shows, I felt warm and peace instead. Maybe it is because of those food that never meant to only warm up our body.

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The moment I saw the biscotti were baked twice, I knew I would like it because it would be really crunchy! The original recipe incorporated chocolate chips which I omitted in my version as I simply ran out of chocolate chips in my fridge.  I found the cocoa powder did its work nicely but if you prefer a more chocolaty flavour just add a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Oh ya, these biscotti are hard, you better slice it thinner if you think your teeth are not that strong LOL.

Chocolate Pistachio biscotti

Serves 18 pieces of biscotti
By author Anna Olson

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup pistachio (de-shelled)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 180 °C.

Whisk the eggs, yolk, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl using an electric beater. Stop the whisking when the mixture drips in a ribbon texture when the beater hooks are lifted.


Step 2
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Take half of the dry mixture and fold it into the liquid mixture until well mixed. Add in the rest of the dry mixture and continue to fold until the mixture forms a soft and sticky batter. Add in the pistachio and mix well.
Step 3
Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Transfer and batter to the baking tray and roughly shape it into a wide log shape using a spatula. Bake for 35 minutes, or until it is fully cooked.

The biscotti is cooked when you insert a knife or fork into different area of the biscotti and the knife or fork comes out clean.
Step 4
Reduce the oven temperature to 150 °C.

Using a bread knife, slice the biscotti into pieces which are about 1/2-inch in thickness. You can slice it thinner for your own preferences. Place the biscotti pieces on the baking trays and bake again for 12 minutes. After that, flip all the pieces over and bake again for another 12 minutes or until they are crunchy and crispy all the way through.

You can check the by breaking one piece of biscotti, it the center is soft and soggy, bake again for a few more minutes to ensure they are crunchy like crackers.

Store them in an air-tight jar and they are good more than a month.

Note

Variation:
Replace pistachio with semi-sweet chocolate chips or combining pistachio and chocolate chips

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