an italian summer: cantuccini


having indulged myself with panpepato and ricciarelli i decided it was time to return to the first type of italian biscotti that i made – cantuccini!

the lavender and orange cantuccini i made last year were beautiful, especially with dessert wine but i wanted to try a different set of flavours. i remembered seeing johanna’s almond and pink peppercorn cantucci and decided to try them for myself.

the ginger and pink peppercorn flavouring is a great combination (good work johanna!) but didn’t work particularly well with sweet wine – i think these will need to be savoured with my morning coffee.

ginger and pink peppercorn cantuccini* (makes 30-40 biscuits)

250g flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

150g caster sugar

50g ground almonds

2 eggs

1 heaped tablespoon grated ginger

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons pink peppercorns

100g whole almonds

preheat the oven to 200c.

combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and ground almonds in a mixing bowl. beat the eggs with the ginger and honey and add this to the flour mix. using your fingers, stir the mixture so that the flour and eggs start to combine and form a dough. if it is too sticky add a little more ground almonds and/or flour.

transfer the mixture to a floured surface and knead the mixture until you have a smooth, non-sticky dough then work in the whole almonds and the pink peppercorns.

split the mixture into 3 and form into logs c3cm wide. place these on a baking tray lined with non-stick paper. they will spread out as they cook so you need to leave space between them. bake for 20 minutes at 200c. take out and leave to cool, then cut into 2cm thick slices.

spread the slices on the baking tray, standing up if possible so both cut sides are exposed. bake for another 15 minutes until they are dry and slightly browned on the edges.

leave to cool on a wire rack. serve with something to dunk them in.

* flavourings from a recipe at the passionate cook