Hazelnut & Sour Cherry Biscotti

Friday 12 April 2013
Have you been watching Mr Hollywood baking Bread of a Monday night? I've been catching up on iPlayer as it clashes with my Rock Choir practice but its essential foodie viewing. Boy loves it too. Downside seems that most of the breads take hours and hours to prove. I opted to give his Biscotti from Episode 3 (Continental Breads) a go as it looked pretty straightforward and its something I love to eat but have never made. Played about with the flavours a bit and opted to make mine Hazelnut and Sour Cherry.
Was a wee bit short on the 200g of nuts needed which may in hindsight have contributed to later problems. To skin them I warmed them gently in a non stick pan and then rolled them in a tea towel. Stubborn skins may need a second go and there will be some bits that just refuse to move.
I had some Sour Cherries in my store cupboard that I'd picked up at Hammerton Store inspired by seeing them in a bake at Red Nose Pinnies and Petticoats. These were chopped along with the nuts and mixed through. The dough was VERY sticky at the point. I though it might be due to my shortage of nuts but I've since gone back and watched the episode again and his initial mix is much more stiff than mine even before the "extras" are added. My eggs weren't particularly large either but next time I wouldn't add them all initially.
At this point I was supposed to knead and roll but this was impossible. After lots of additional flour and very messy fingers I managed to manipulate them into almost the required shape for the oven but almost immediately they began to spread! As I peered anxiously through the oven door I feared they would turn into one great big flat giant biscuit :-/
Thankfully they stayed separate but they were flatter than I think they should have been. Left them to cool for 5 minutes before thickly slicing and putting them back in the oven to bake off for 13 minutes on each side.
The smell when they came out of the oven was awesome. Struggled to wait until they had cooled down on the rack before taste testing them. Despite my misgivings over their shape they taste pretty damn good. The sour cherry and hazelnut is definitely a winning combination. 
This is something I will bake again but would be cautious over the quantity of egg used. The flavour possibilities are endless. I'm thinking on something ginger and spicy for my next attempt although boy is trying to persuade me down the chocolate route.
Last word on Biscotti comes from the mouth of the Silver Fox himself. "Its more than moreish. I think its a must." 


  1. They look pretty authentic to me! I've not watched the tv show, so I don't know how PH's looked, but I've def had biscotti that shape in Italy :-) Glad for another use for sour cherries, they're scrummy!

  2. The end result actually looks not too bad in comparison to PH's but my dough was definitely much more sticky. The sour cherries in them are a big success - thanks for the inspiration!


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