Every week, in the ‘Entropy Kitchen” series, you get a recipe for something related to this week’s kitchen science post. So you can enjoy how TASTY science can be.
This week’s Kitchen Science was on caffeine, and how it wakes you up. The obvious choice for a caffeine-themed recipe is coffee-based but unfortunately, I don’t like coffee, and I don’t like to share recipes that I haven’t tried and tested and caused kitchen chaos with myself. So, instead of giving you a recipe including coffee, I’m giving you one to eat with your coffee (or your tea, or your diet coke, or anything else, actually), because while we know coffee wakes your brain up, it sometimes help to have a little sugar boost along the way!
Fruit and nut biscotti
350g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ginger
1 tsp ground mixed spice
250g golden caster sugar
3 beaten eggs
Zest of one orange
Zest of one lemon
85g dried cranberries
85g roughly chopped blanched almonds
85g roughly chopped shelled pistachios
This recipe originally came from the BBC Good Food 101 Delicious Gifts book, but after making it once I made some teeny adjustments to the spices, fruits and nuts in it, just because I prefer it that way. I also add the ingredients in a slightly different order, because it made loads more sense to me that way, and it seemed easier. I prefer things to be straightforward in the kitchen, saves on time spent panicking with flour in my hair.
So, you want to pre-heat your oven to 180oC or equivalent, and line two large baking trays with baking parchment. Then, mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, and add the fruit and chopped nuts. Next add the beaten eggs and orange and lemon zest, wash your hands, take off your rings and get your hands in there. Keep kneading and squishing the mixture until all the flour is mixed in. It’s going to feel like this moment will never come, but I promise it will. Just keep kneading.
Once you’ve finally got your dough together, tip it onto a floured surface and split it into four pieces. Roll each piece into a long sausage, the original recipe recommends 30cm each but my baking sheets were shorter than that so I went with rolling them to the length of my baking sheets. Pop two dough sausages on each sheet and bake in the oven for 25-30 mins until the dough feels form but hasn’t gone properly brown yet.
Turn the oven down to 140oC or equivalent, and move the part-baked sausages to a cooling rack for 20 mins. Then slice them diagonally into biscotti-sized bits, lay them back on the baking sheets and bake for a further 15 mins, turning them over halfway.
As the original book suggests, these do make a lovely present all wrapped up. Equally, they make a lovely coffee break snack for you to eat while caffeine gets busy waking your brain up, depends how generous you’re feeling.