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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pistachio White Chocolate Biscotti

These are the biscotti I baked for the co-workers for their Tuesday treat. The recipe is Dorie Greenspan's, adapted to include pistachio nuts and anise essence and dipped with tempered white chocolate.

They were delicious and got a thumbs up at work. I had a bit of a hard time doing the baking in the heat - yesterday was quite wicked and my kitchen gets very hot, so the dough was difficult to handle and had to be put in the fridge before shaping into the logs.

I have tempered white chocolate successfully before but that was in May; this time it didn't temper properly and remained a bit sticky. The temperature on the chocolate thermometer was supposed to go no higher than 110 degrees F, then down to 84 degrees and finally up to 87 (according to the instructions I used). But it shot up to well over 110 degrees, which, I think, is white chocolate tempering doom. For my next effort I'm going to heat the chocolate as the water in the double boiler base is heating, not wait until it's simmering. That way I should have more control.

Dorie's recipe is here: (I've just realized I have made this four times and posted about it three times - oh well, it must mean I really like it.
Pistachio White Chocolate Biscotti
adapted from Baking From my Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of yellow cornmeal
8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons of anise
3/4 cup of pistachios, medium-size chopped.
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and cornmeal together. (If you are adding ground spices, add them to this mixture before combining.)3. Beat the butter and sugar together at medium speed for 3 minutes, until very smooth. Add the eggs and continue to beat, scraping down the bowl as needed, for another 2 minutes, or until the mixture is light, smooth and creamy. Beat in the almond extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. You'll have a soft, stick-to-your-fingers dough that will ball up around the paddle or beaters. Scrape down the paddle and bowl, toss in the pistachios and mix just to blend.4. Scrape half the dough onto one side of the baking sheet. Using your fingers and a rubber spatula or scraper, work the dough into a log about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. The log will be more rectangular than domed, and bumpy, rough and uneven. Form a second log with the remaining dough on the other side of the baking sheet.5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the logs are lightly golden but still soft and springy to the touch. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and cool the logs on the baking sheet for 30 minutes.6. Using a wide metal spatula, transfer the logs to a cutting board and, with a long serrated knife, trim the ends and cut the logs into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Return the slices to the baking sheet, setting them again on the same sides as before and slide the sheet back into the oven.7. Bake the biscotti at 350F for another 15 minutes, or until they are golden and firm. Transfer them to racks and cool to room temperature. These are very nice indeed. (The baking time might need to be a little longer but the biscotti must not get too brown on the underside.)
White Chocolate: Temper one pound of good quality white chocolate (I used Callebaut) and let cool before dipping biscotti.