Tuesday, July 3, 2012

TWD: Hazelnut Biscotti

Baking thru Baking With Julia
by Dorie Greenspan
Recipe contributed by Alice Medrich


            Hazelnut Biscotti and Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti


I know, I know... TWD bakers are thinking what negative comment does she have this week? Well I really, really, wanted to say these were GREAT! Does it count if I really, really, liked the dough?

And to mention the fact that I love Alice Medrich. I have made several of her recipes from my first ever baking cookbook, given to me by my wonderful husband over 20+ years ago, Cocolat, with fabulous results.

I mentioned in my last TWD post that I would give a few more recipes from this book a try. We still have two more to go this month and I have high hopes, for I know I'm going to like the Blueberry Nectarine Pie - how can you not? That's the third and last recipe for this month and three times is a charm, yes?

I would not say that I am a big fan of the biscotto in general, but I will have it on occasion and I have liked it in the past - especially crumbled on top of poached pears - yummm.

I divided the recipe in two to make half as written and the other half chocolate flavored. The one thing with baking, it's a science; a subject I have to admit I was/am not interested in. If I only knew...

To change the recipe to make the chocolate flavor it depends on several factors which you can read about here. The type of cocoa (natural vs Dutch process) you use makes a difference, along with adjusting the amount of flour, sugar, and liquid. Also depending on the type of cocoa as to whether you use baking soda and/or baking powder. Too confusing for me. I just went on the advice of a fellow baker's "guess" and replaced the flour with cocoa 2-1 ratio (2 cocoa/1 flour). I also added some instant espresso (in place of the liqueur) hoping to bring out the chocolate flavor and added extra water, for I read that cocoa powder acts like a sponge.

Did you know that biscotti is the plural form of biscotto? Not I.

Again a BWJ recipe failed to impress. The flavor quotient is just not there in these recipes. Why? The recipes are not all from one pastry chef; recipes are contributed from several bakers. Maybe the reason is what a fellow blogger commented on one of my posts; maybe our tastes have changed over time. This book was written back in 1996 and I have noticed that one of my favorite pastry chefs has updated her recipes on-line from her books to reflect our tastes today.

On to the next recipe! Keeping my fingers crossed.

Success meter (1-3): 1



I skinned my hazelnuts the old fashioned way and saved
time and clean-up in the process. She has you boil them
(which I am reading is quite messy) to remove the skins,
then roast them. May as well just roast them and rub them
in a towel to remove the skins.


I split the recipe in two.
On the left: ingredients for chocolate hazelnut biscotti
On the right: ingredients for hazelnut biscotti




After the first baking.
Biscotti are a twice-baked cookie.

Ready for the second baking.
Ingenious idea to bake them on a rack.
No need to turn them over half-way
thru the baking time.






Our hosts for this week are Jodi of Homemade and Wholesome and Katrina of Baking and Boys, you can find the recipe on their blogs.

To see other Tuesdays with Dorie baker's results and spins on the recipe, you can find their links here.

30 comments:

  1. Black and White: they are sooo cute!

    Julia's biscotti is amazingly delicious... a winner!
    I've tripled the dough at the very beginning to make 3 version and loved them all (too much)!

    Besides I am so glad to have learned the technique of blanching almonds and hazelnuts...it's very handy!

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    1. I think I learn something new each week with this group!

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  2. Kudos on making two versions. They look inviting! I like the addition of some kind of chocolate a lot. You reminded me I own Cocolat, I haven´t looked at it in years. Have a great week!

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    1. I meant to cover the bottom of the hazelnut with chocolate but forgot.. You too have a wonderful week!!

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  3. Cathleen, you take such beautiful pictures and your Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti as well as the Hazelnut Biscotti look utterly delicious and so nicely presented, just wonderful!

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  4. I found that the flavor needed a little boost as well... Now I know for next time! The chocolate ones look delicious!! Good idea!

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  5. I liked the skinning method, no dry skins in the kitchen ;-) Your biscotti look very delicious!


    Ulrike @Küchenlatein

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    1. Thank you! I don't mind the dry skins. Just toss em into the sink and throw the towel in the wash. Reading comments regarding the messy black water ruining pans turned me off. Though I will give it a try for recipes not calling for roasted nuts. :)

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  6. What a shame you didn't love it, they still look pretty nice!!!

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  7. That's so interesting that perhaps our tastes have changed. I'm thinking that might be true.

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  8. Very pretty! I like that you split the recipe up.

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  9. we are having a bridal shower here this week ....looking at your wrapping wouldn't these make a cute party favor!

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  10. Both versions look delicious…sorry they weren’t a hit with you! I thought they were quite good, but then I love biscotti, especially with my tea!

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  11. Beautiful photos. It was a fun recipe to make.

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  12. Sorry this wasn't a hit for you. There is probably some truth to the fact of changing tastes...
    They look lovely though :-)

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  13. I am still feeling the same way you do about these recipes. I am hopeful that the Nectarine Blueberry Pie will be a winner. I think the breads have been decent. So maybe the Semolina will be a winner too. I was thinking about this today and I wondered what we would think about the Silver Palette cookbook recipes if we made them today. Not sure.

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    1. I have both Silver Palette books! I still (well it has been awhile)enjoy those recipes. Especially the Pasta Sauce Raphael which I posted on back in January.
      http://myculinarymission.blogspot.com/2012/01/book-seventy-three-silver-palate.html

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  14. Great pics! I agree about the recipes, though - some of them are a bit hit & miss...

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  15. I think there's some truth to the idea that tastes have changed since this book was published. My brother is a chef and he said he liked these, but that they were much drier than biscotti "should" be. I replied that these were how I remember biscotti being in the '80s and '90s and then he agreed.

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  16. I'm glad you made a chocolate version. Your photos are very pretty!

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  17. I love your cute parcels! I would totally do that if I were giving them away, but unfortunately they are almost gone. *burp

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  18. Me too, I like the way you wrapped them up with the raffia. I liked these, your chocolate version also looks good, though you are right about how confusing the chemistry of baking can be.

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  19. I love your photos and the advice for making a chocolate variation. I haven't made this recipe yet, because our house is hot enough as it (even with air conditioning) and I couldn't bring myself to turn on the oven. At any rate, I'm sorry these weren't a big hit with you, but I'll try them when the weather cools a bit.

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  20. I love you presentation, absolutely gorgeous! I thought about doing the chocolate too, but with all of the other stuff I was trying to get done, calculating the change to the dough for the cocoa powder (let alone trying to find cocoa powder) was just too much! Here's fingers crossed for the next recipe!! Ah - and yes, Alice Medrich is quite amazing!

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  21. My daughter, Melissa, and I made these together and will post our results this Tuesday. She and I have never successfully baked biscotti and I will say that we kept our record intact. I also found these dry but I thought it was "us". I happen to like biscotti and will try to make some limoncello biscotti this week - hopefully with better luck. I liked that you changed up the recipe and went "chocolate" on us, however.

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  22. Cathleen,

    I like how you wrapped the biscotti...
    It was ok for me as well...I prefer a 'soft chew' cookie.

    ~Carmen
    http://bakingismyzen.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/twd-baking-with-julia-hazelnut-biscottirevamped/

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  23. Beautiful presentation, Cathleen!! Sorry they didn't impress. Have a wonderful weekend~

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