Chocolate hazelnut bread (biscotti)

When I made the chocolate fondants I had some left over egg whites and seeing as I had already made two loaves of almond bread and used up the remainder of my almonds and I had some chocolate left over from the fondants and hazelnuts from the chocolate hazelnut meringue cakes that this would be a perfect time to try out a different flavour of ‘almond bread’ biscotti besides the more traditional almond and pistachio.

I was so happy with how these turned out and will definitely do them again, they are very addictive and how can you go wrong with chocolate and hazelnuts, it’s the perfect combination! They’ve been given the tick of approval from my family and friends :)

Ingredients:

4 egg whites

2/3 cup caster sugar

1 1/4 cup plain flour

125 g raw hazelnuts

50 g good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast for 10-15 mins, or until the skins are able to be removed. Allow to cool and remove the skins, with a tea towel is easiest.

Chop the chocolate roughly with a knife, ensuring that the pieces aren’t too large as I have done here. You don’t want large chunks because they won’t cook well when you do the second baking.

Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Add the caster sugar gradually, while beating, until the sugar is dissolved.

Fold in sifted flour, hazelnuts and chocolate. The mixture will deflate quite a bit but that’s normal, just ensure the flour is incorporated well.

Spread the mixture into a loaf tin greased with extra light olive oil and bake for 30 mins at 180 degrees.

When the loaf is cold wrap it well in foil and store in a cupboard for 2 days. After this time cut the loaf into thin slices with a very sharp knife or an electric knife.

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. Place the slices in a single layer on lined trays, as below, and bake for 15 mins or until dry and crisp. Do not allow them to brown and get any colour, they should still be quite blonde but just dried out. Overcooking them will burn the chocolate and it will become very bitter.

Remove the biscuits from the hot tray and place them on a cooling rack, or on a clean cloth, such as a tea towel.

These biscuits will store in an airtight container for at least a month. They are great to share over a cup of coffee or as a gift to give friends as they look impressive, as do the almond bread which I made in an earlier post. I’m glad that this experiment was a success, it’s a great balance of flavours and not to mention very moreish.

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