Chocolate & Orange Biscotti

Chocolate & Orange Biscotti

Ingredients

200 grams of almonds
200 grams of sugar
3 tablespoons of homemade vanilla sugar
3 egg yolks
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
50 grams of dried cranberries
60 millilitres of orange juice
Zest of 1 1/2 orange
400 grams of plain flour
1,5 tea-spoon of baking powder
Dark chocolate

Making Chocolate & Orange Biscotti

Before I begin I have to mention that I was not really sure how the biscotti should look and so they are not exactly the shape they should be, that is, not as high in the middle. Anyways, taste wise they are awesome and I’m thinking of dropping the biscotti look altogether, making round cookies and dipping the bottom in melted dark chocolate. Oh yes…

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Take out your almonds, a good knife and a chopping board and chop, chop away until all your almonds are roughly chopped. Measure up your cranberries and grate orange zest over the lot. Squeeze the oranges and save the freshly made orange juice for later.

Take out two bowls, and crack the eggs, separating the egg yolks and the egg whites into two separate bowls. Leave the bowl with the egg whites for last. Add sugar and vanilla sugar to the egg yolks and beat with a mixer, until it becomes slightly creamy. Beat the egg whites stiff (a clean bowl and clean beaters are essential if you want to get a good result) and fold it gently into the creamy batter. Add the rest ingredients to your dough, chopped almonds, zest and all. Measure up your flour and baking powder and sift it in. The dough should not become too dry, but if it is a bit sticky, as mine were, I suggest you add some more flour to get a more manageable dough. You can also flour your baking surface, to get more control over the dough.

Cut the dough into 3 pieces and roll them out into even sausage shapes the length of your baking tray. Flatten them slightly they should have about 2 centimeter in height and about 6 centimeter in width. (If you even out the surface they might look slightly nicer than mine. My biscotti’s got a slightly rough surface since my dough was so wet. Bake the Biscotti on the middle shelf for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown in colour. Take the Biscotti out and onto a chopping board and use a sharp knife to cut them at an angle. Leave them to cool on a baking rack.

When the biscotti’s have cooled down you can dip them in melted chocolate. I bought dark chocolate chips that melt easily in a thick pan or in the microwave (just don’t let the chocolate burn). Dip the cookies in the chocolate and leave them to dry on a sheet of baking paper. (If you dip the biscotti in chocolate they should be kept in the fridge).

Tip: Replace cranberries and almonds with dried apricots and hazelnuts. The cookies also make for a great present, just add them to a pretty jar with a bow and a nice label.

Enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea …

Mini Macaroon Fruit Pies

Mini Macaroon Fruit Pies

Ingredients

Crunchy Pie Crust
4 apples
ca. 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
ca. 100 grams of almonds
1 handful of gløgg mix (mix of split almonds & raisins)
1 glass of pitted dessert cherries (370 grams )
1 deciliter of sugar
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 teaspoon of Maizenna (corn flour)
4 teaspoons of brown sugar

Making Mini Macaroon Fruit Pies

Ok, so technically this is not a recipe for macaroons, but seeing as we were a bit cheap on the dough, the top did not connect to the bottom, and voila what you get is a macaroon shape, and room for cream or ice cream under the lid I might add.

Before you start on the filling I recommend you have a go at the pie crust, following the instructions on the link above. The pie crust needs to chill for at least one hour in the fridge so having it out-of-the-way and in the fridge before you begin on the filling is a good thing. Right, you need to get your ingredient on your counter. Start with the almonds as they need to be finely ground.

Now move along to the apples, peel them, cut out the stalk and chop them into cubes. Add the cubed apples, the grated almonds, cinnamon, cherries with juice, gløggmix, lime juice and regular sugar to a pot. Let warm up and come to the boil, stirring, to make sure it does not burn. Gløggmix is a mixture of split almonds and raisins, very popular in scandinavia. When the apples are tender, take the pan of the heat and sift the mix through a strainer. Leave the mix in the strainer and put the juices back on the pot with maizenna and some brown sugar (taste the sauce before, if it’s too sweet leave the sugar out). Let the sauce thicken, before taking it back of the pot, add the strained fruit back in the pan, mixing well.

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees celsius. Take out a big muffin tray and one of the pie doughs from the fridge. Put some flour on your baking surface and start rolling out your dough, not too thin, we don’t want it breaking. There should be enough dough to make circles for all 12 macaroon pies. Use a big cup to make the circles, try one out to see if the circle is big enough to cover the bottom and the edges when it is flattened. If you want the macaroon look you use the same size for the lid. Scoop fruit mix into the dough fold and take out the dough for the lid. Same process as before unless you want it to connect all the way. I tidied the edges of the bottom and top lid together, and then I made 4 slits in the lid, as seen on the picture above, of course these slits closed, there of the pressure that separated the lid from the bottom, so alternatively you can also do it the way it is shown in this recipe.

Place the tray in the middle of your preheated oven and turn it down to a 180 degrees celsius. Leave to bake for 20-30 minutes, until the pies turn a golden brown. When the pies are golden take the muffin tray out and put it on a grid. Leave to set until cool. Use a sharp knife to cut along the edges and a fork to tip it out carefully.  As with the apple pie these little pies also keep for three days in room temperature. I kept them in one of my pretty metal boxes to be sure.

Norwegian Apple Cake

Homemade Norwegian Apple Cake

Ingredients

1 egg
2 decilitres of sugar
100 grams of butter
2 decilitres of milk
4 decilitres of plain flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
4-6  good cooking apples (preferably more sour than sweet)
Sugar and cinnamon-mix
(2 handfuls of dried cranberries/raisins, 1 handfuls of almonds/hazelnuts)

Making Homemade Norwegian Apple Cake

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Crack the egg in a bowl and add sugar and whisk with a hand mixer until well combined. Melt the butter and add it to the sugar mix. Add milk, flour and baking powder and beat in with the hand mixer. Pour the dough into a round cake tin, lined with baking paper and butter the sides of the tin. Peel the apples and cut them in half. Take out the apple core and slice the apples into slices. Place the apples into the cake, one outer circle and one inner. Drizzle sugar and cinnamon on top. (I have a shaker where I have sugar and cinnamon mixed already, I like using it for my cappuccinos). For a more “adult cake” you can chop almonds and cranberries and drizzle on top before the sugar-cinnamon mix, but the cake is also great without.

Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minute to an 1 hour. Use a cake pin after 45 minutes to check whether it needs longer. Enjoy with ice cream and coffee.

Pasta gone Nuts

Ingredients

160 grams of spaghetti
40 grams of chopped almonds
1 box of chopped tomatoes
2-3 tablespoons of tomato paste
olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic
3 small shallots
1/2 red chili
1 pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon of chopped basil
Parmesan

Making Nutty Pasta

Skin the onions and remove the seeds from the chili pepper. One tip is to roll the chili pepper between your hands and shake the seeds out into the sink. This way you don’t have the annoying job of wiping up the seeds from the floor.

Now put a casserole on the heat, add  olive oil, I’d say about 2-3 tablespoons. Add chopped shallots, basil, garlic and chili pepper and sweat in the pan until golden. Add the can of chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Let it cook on low heat while you go do something else, put on the tTV or an episode of your favourite TV series. Check occasionally, to make sure it doesn’t burn. Let it have at least 45 min-1 hour, before you start on the pasta. If you have a blender of some sort I recommend  using that on the sauce, it helps release the flavours and also smooths out your sauce. Now, put the saucepan back on the heat and while you boil the pasta let the sauce simmer on low heat with an extra pinch of sugar and some pepper and salt. Taste it and you’ll know the amount needed.

When cooking the pasta, please boil up at least 2 litres of water and add salt. When I say add salt probably more than you think. On the telly they say 1 tsp per 100 grams. That probably also works. Boil the pasta according to the pack and warm a frying pan for your almonds on the side. There are two choices here, to buy already scalded almonds and chop them length wise, or to buy them with skin and then scald them. I bought almonds with skin so I had to scald mine before. Just boil up a pan of water put them in, stir round for 30 seconds or so, take out and remove the skin. Let cool and then chop. Warm a frying pan, add grated sea salt and almonds, shake them or turn them occasionally until they are golden in colour. Drain the pasta when done, add the tomato sauce, stir and put on two plates, this dish serves two so have a friend over or make it for someone you’re fond of. Add some grated parmesan and roasted almonds, and enjoy!