Friday, 25 November 2011

Sour Cherry Stollen Biscotti

Stollen, a fruit loaf similar to the Italian Panettone, is a real festive favourite and a treat as it is. However I think this spin on it is a really nice option if you just fancied a snack with a hot drink. A few points of note though. I've included the seeds of six cardamon pods, which won't look like much but you need to be a bit careful with a spice like cardamon, as go too far and it takes over. I've also stated in the recipe to chop the marzipan into small cubes. This is really important, as large lumps of marzipan really compromise the structural integrity of the biscotti themselves. You might find it easier to chill the marzipan before you chop it up, as it'll firm up and make it easier to work with.

Prep time: 20 Mins
Baking time: 60 Mins (ish)
250g Caster Sugar
250g Plain Flour
1/2Tbsp Baking Powder
Seeds from 6 good sized Cardamon pods, crushed to a fine powder)
1Tsp Mixed Spice
1Tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Large Eggs
Zest of 1 Orange
200g Dried Sour Cherries (Roughly Chopped)
150g Marzipan (Chopped into small cubes)

Right, start off by preheating the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line 2 large trays with baking paper. In a large bowl combine the sugar, flour, baking powder, cardamon, mixed spice and orange zest. In a separate small bowl beat the egg with the vanilla extract. Add the sour cherries and marzipan to the dry ingredients, give them a mix round then make a well in the middle. Pour in the beaten egg, mix for a bit with a wooden spoon until it starts to come together, then get your hands in there and work until it forms a dough. Drizzle a little water on your hands, then split the dough and form into two long sausages, about 5cm in diameter. Lay each sausage in the middle of a tray and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until they've spread and the top is a nice even golden colour.

Remove and turn the oven down to 140C/2755/Gas 1. After 15 minutes, peel the cooked dough off of the baking paper and on a large chopping board slice the biscotti at an angle, about 1cm thick (Or you can go a bit thicker if you like them chunky!). Place the sliced biscotti back on the tray and put back in the oven. After about 14 minutes remove, carefully turn each biscotti over, then put back into the oven for a further 14 minutes. When done remove and place on a wire rack to cool. Done done done!

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