Friday 4 January 2008

Date & Banana Biscotti

I was in the mood for a crisp, crunchy biscuit to munch on and I soon realised that the obvious choice was biscotti. I hunted in my cupboards searching for flavour inspiration and found a bag of dried banana chips that I bought a few weeks back. I decided they would be perfect, as not only would they add a nice banana flavour but were also already dried meaning they would keep indefinitely. Hmmm what goes well with banana?.... ah yes of course, dates! And so my biscotti was made.

The shards of banana chips added a great crunch to the biscotti and a nice subtle banana flavour, while the dates resulted in little pockets of chewy treacleyness which I loved. The dough is quite soft and sticky to work with but results in a light and crunchy biscotti yet are still soft enough to eat on their own without fear of breaking your teeth. I found they were also delicious dipped into hot custard, what can I say, I wanted something to eat with my custard.

The nature of biscotti means they keep very well, making them ideal treats to send through the post to friends and relatives. I also love how adaptable they are, meaning you can make them to what you have on hand or to what suits the recipients taste. Be warned through, they can be quite addictive…munch munch.

Date & Banana Biscotti

50g butter
120g caster sugar
2 eggs
100g dates
50g dried banana chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g plain flour
1½ baking powder

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper and set to one side.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.
Chop the dates into small pieces and roughly brake up the banana chips using your fingers. Mix into the butter mixture along with the vanilla.
Sift over the flour and baking powder and work together until well incorporated.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface (it will be quite soft and sticky). Dust your hands with flour and divide the dough in half and shape each half into a log shape.
Place onto the baking tray and bake for 25 minutes, until lightly golden brown and slightly puffed.
Remove the logs from the oven and reduce the temperature to 150C.
Spray the tops of the logs with a thin shower of water and allow them to cool for 10 minutes. (Spraying them with water helps keep the tops soft and gives a cleaner cut).
Cut the logs into 1cm slices, on a slight diagonal. Lay the slices onto the baking tray and return to the oven for 10 minutes.
Then flip the slices over and bake for a further 10 minutes.
Once lightly golden and crisp, transfer the biscotti to a wire wrack to cool. Repeat the process with any left over biscotti slices.
They will keep for several weeks if stored in an airtight container.
Makes around 40 biscotti.


Johanna GGG said...

I like the idea of biscotti dipped in custard - might even bring me around to loving biscotti!

Anonymous said...

Wow that does look beautiful...I think I will start cooking this now.

Gigi said...

Katie, thanks for sharing this recipe. I was really intrigued on how you got banana into the biscotti batter, and now I know. I can't wait to make them!

Anna said...

Mmm, these look gorgeous, and I'm not even a banana fan! (Definitely a biscotti fan, though) ^__^

Anonymous said...

Like Gigi, I was a bit taken aback at the banana mention in the biscotti, I couldn't figure out how banana would work in something like biscotti which is crunchy and dry ;) Of course, then I read the rest of the post and the lightbulbs flashed like crazy around my head! I've got some dates stored in my pantry, once its cool enough to bake I may have to try these :)

Ellie @ Kitchen Wench

Cheryl said...

I have no tried biscotti yet. I love the flavor combinations in yours.

Katy said...

oh yum -- homemade biscotti is so good, and yours looks wonderful!