For this week’s Breakfast I decided to change things a bit and try to do Biscotti. Almond biscotti is a classic but I quite liked the touch of cardamom on this recipe, one of my favourite spices. The vanilla pod also gave it a special flavour. The vanilla pods I bought in the birthplace of vanilla here in Mexico, Papantla, have an incredible scent and special aroma. I didn’t have yellow sugar so I used Demerara and loved the taste, as did my family. The biscotti came out perfectly. They were crunchy with a nice almond and cardamom taste. I decided to cut them in long, narrow slices but you can cut them in wider slices.
I had bought fresh, sweet strawberries and thought that a Strawberry Mint Smoothie might be a nice accompaniment for the biscotti. I think it was a nice choice, the strawberries and mint were fresh and the honey sweetened all the ingredients naturally. I used low fat plain yogurt to make it even healthier. Both recipes were adapted from the Portuguese Mafalda Pinto Leite.
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 1 vanilla bean
- 100 g/3.5 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 90 g/3 oz fine sugar
- 40 g/1.4 oz yellow or demerara sugar
- 2 eggs
- 60 g/2 oz. almonds, chopped
- 1 tsp almond essence (optional)
- 300 g/10.5 oz all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 170ºC/338ºF. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- In an electric mixer, mix the butter and the sugars for 4 minutes until creamy and smooth.
- Cut the vanilla pod in half, lengthwise. Carefully remove the seeds and add them to the butter and sugar mixture. Add the cardamom and the almond essence if used. Mix for one minute. Add the eggs one at a time, always beating after each addition.
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and chopped almonds. Add this to the wet batter and fold in with care.
- Work the dough with your hands until you are able to form two logs (approximately 18 cm/7 in each). Place the two logs on the baking tray and bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove the tray and lower the oven to 120ºC/248ºF. Cut each log in 1 cm/o.4 in slices. Place the slices in the baking tray again. Bake for 20 minutes or until the biscotti are golden and dry. Remove and let them cool down. As usual, due to the high altitude, it took me at least 40 minutes until there were just right. Enjoy!
Strawberry Mint Smoothie
- 600 g/21 oz strawberries
- 8 tbsp low fat plain yogurt
- 2 tbsp mint, chopped
- 4 tsp honey or to taste
In an electric blender add all the ingredients and blend until smooth. You are going to love the freshness!