As South Africans we are rather partial to a twice baked biscuit, otherwise known as a rusk. But, we are not alone in our passion for dry, hard, crunchy double cooked crackers.
The Italians have a similar, but more sophisticated version: the biscotti. The word biscotti comes from the Latin biscoctus which actually means twice baked or cooked! The Italians tend to enjoy their crunchy biscuit with a mulled wine whereas we have a preference towards a steaming cup of coffee.
Other than the accompanying drink and perhaps the shape, rusks look more log-like while biscotti are thinner and more oval, they are really very similar. Both equally delicious and can be enjoyed any way you like!
- 125 g butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
- 5 ml vanilla essence
- 2 cups flaked almonds
- 1 cup caramel chocolate chips
- 2 cups cake flour
- 10 ml baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 180ᵒC.
- In a stand mixer, combine the butter and the sugar.
- Using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar at high speed until pale yellow in colour.
- Add the eggs and mix again at high speed for another 1 minute.
- Add the vanilla essence and coffee powder and mix until well combined.
- Add the flaked almonds and mix.
- Add the caramel chocolate and mix.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl.
- Add the sifted flour and baking powder to the butter mixture.
- Gently mix on low speed until the mixture forms a soft, sticky dough.
- Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface dusted with flour.
- Gently knead the dough, dusting with extra flour, until it forms a smooth ball.
- Divide the ball in half an roll each half into a sausage.
- Lay the sausages out on a greased baking tray and flatten the tops.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the top of the biscotti feels springy to the touch.
- Once baked, remove from the oven and allow the biscotti to cool.
- Once cold, carefully cut the biscotti into fingers and layout on a baking tray.
- Dry the biscotti in the oven at 120ᵒC for about 2 hours or until dry to the touch.
- Once the biscotti has dried and cooled, store in an airtight container.