Saturday, 24 December 2011

cantuccini - gluten free

I'm cooking a batch of cantuccini to give as presents, with port. I couldn't decide on a pudding wine, so fell back on port. My memory of dipping these hard biscuits in alcohol is a fond, and slightly bleary one. I've made them wheat free, using Dove's Farm plain gluten free flour. I hope they turn out really hard. There is no fat in this recipe, apart from what is in the nuts.

Tasters trying this recipe part way through are mmm mmm-ing like mad. Cutting the biscuits half way through, I can see that the dough is much more crumbly than its wheat-packed compadre. The smell is great. I’m cooking the sliced dough at a slightly lower temperature. Pics follow

Here's a reminder of the recipe




325g (12oz) plain gluten free flour

300g (11oz) caster sugar

1½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. salt

200g (12oz) whole unpeeled almonds

125g ground almonds

4 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Around 1 coffee cup/1/2 small glass alcohol amaretto or brandy


Set your oven to Gas Mark 4 (180°C/350°F).

Prepare two baking sheets with baking parchment.

Roughly crush about a third of the almonds or chop them a bit

Mix the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and almonds.

Whisk the eggs and vanilla together and stir them into the dry ingredients, working it into a stiff dough (I use a fork). Add the alcohol bit by bit, by the end if it’s not all sticking together add a few drops of water.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board and divide into two.

Roll each half into a sausage and divide again into two, so you have four pieces. I do this because it fits on my baking tray, and makes slightly smaller biscotti.

Put the sausage shaped dough on the lined trays and flatten a little – they will spread a bit, so keep them well spaced.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the logs are well risen and have almost doubled in size.

Leave the oven on.

Cut into slices about 1cm thick. Some people say they should be smaller, but I can’t cut them that small. Don’t worry about leaving space between the slices.

Put the sliced dough back and cook for around 20 minutes more, until they are lightly toasted. Let them cool before storing (or eating).

Makes lots and lots.


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