I’m sorry blog that I have been neglecting you! Sadly a seven day working week does not a good blogger make. I'm so lucky though to be helping at the lovely House and Garden magazine - lots of inspiration and an endless supply of fabric samples! Finally I have a chance to post my picture of some biscotti that I made a week ago from the Ottolenghi cookbook. They are slightly softer than the authentic biscuit due to the crystallised ginger chunks but the pistachio gives is a crunch and the pale emerald and yellow colours of each look so pretty. N.B Although it may look like the silver Italianate bowl is sitting on some road kill, it is actually a rather exotic guinea foul feathered place mat.
On another, loosely linked by way of country, note, recently I had supper at Polpo, a Venetian style restaurant in Soho (41 Beak St – appropriately Canaletto once lived there). It was all rich; gnocci with kale pesto and parmesan, pork belly with radiccio and hazelnuts, chicken liver crostino but in small tapas style portions so you had room for a delicious ‘marscapone crumble’ which was like a very moist, crumbly cake (if that makes any sense!). Everything was cooked perfectly and full of flavour although the pork needed to be cooked a little longer as it was slightly tough. We were accidently given the restaurant's namesake – octopus - which looked fabulously tentacle-y, but one squeal from my companion had it swiftly on its way again. I shall definitely be returning…
Pistachio and Ginger Biscotti
Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
Using a electric mixer (or good spatula and both your hands) cream 80g Unsalted Butter and 110g Sugar, together untill they lighten in colour and texture. Gradually add 2 Eggs, beating well after each addition, stir in 1 tsp Brandy and Grated Zest of 1 ½ Oranges, followed by the 150g Flour, ½ Tsp Ground Ginger and ¼ Tsp Salt.
Lastly fold in 80g Shelled Pistachios and 60g Stem Ginger in syrup, drained and roughly chopped.
Lightly dust the lined baking tray with flour and spoon the mixture on to the tray. Leave to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes so it firms up a little.
Preheat the oven to 170˚C. Take the dough out of the fridge and using your hands and a bit of extra flour, form a log shape about 25 cm long. It does not need to be perfect, as the mix will spread during baking.
Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Adjust the oven temperature to 130˚C. Once the log has cooled down, use a serrated knife to cut it across into slices 1 cm thick.
Lay them flat on the baking tray and return to the oven for about 40 minutes, until crisp.