It’s hard to grasp the concept of Christmas in summer until you’ve been to the Southern Hemisphere. And even then it might still take a good few years before you have grasped the enormity of the concept. Nah, having a Christmas picnic on the beach can’t possibly be that hard to get used to, you might say. True, but only after you’ve accepted the fact that all things white and cool will have to come from the fridge or esky, and your most cherished weather-related hope for the day is anything below 40 degrees Celsius and not involving too much humidity.
Wardrobe choices aren’t easy to make either. With the long hot summer ahead and rather unforgiving fashion trends, a lot of people we know are currently on a diet. Which they have been strictly following for at least 6-8 weeks, so all of a sudden having to cater for the weekly morning tea at work seems rather daunting.
Definitely not ones to shy away from the challenge, Chef Gerald and his Mummy have been brainstorming ideas for some treats suitable for Mummy’s calorie-conscious colleagues. Biscotti were at the top of our list, due to their reduced fat and sugar content. Ideally, you should bake these a few days prior to serving. They can actually last for ages (read a couple of weeks) if stored in an airtight container and, just like many other culinary delights, their flavour and texture seems to get better with age. Which also makes them an excellent idea as a Christmas gift.
Biscotti are beautifully crunchy by definition, but here we also wanted to experiment with some tropical flavours, while the coconut and corn flour also added interesting layers of texture. Chef Gerald was satisfied with the final outcome, and so too were Mummy’s colleagues, who found these to be the perfect accompaniment to their morning cup of tea/coffee.
Macadamia, Coconut and Lime Biscotti
180 g all-purpose flour
170 g yellow corn flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
90 g salted butter, at room temperature
150 g caster sugar
zest from 1 organic lime
125 g macadamias, roughly chopped
1 cup desiccated coconut
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
Sift flour, corn flour and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
Mix butter, sugar and lime zest with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing until well combined. Reduce speed to low. Add chopped macadamias and coconut and mix until just combined.
With the mixer motor still running on minimum speed, incorporate the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
Line a baking sheet with non stick baking paper, then transfer the dough onto the paper. Using your hands (and some extra flour if the dough is too sticky), shape the dough into a log, approximately 25 cm long by 6.5-7 cm wide. Bear in mind that this will expand a little during baking, so it’s better to have a longer and narrower log (if it’s too wide, it will be too difficult to slice at the next stage).
Place the log in the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes, until lightly browned all over. Some cracks will develop on the surface, but do not worry – this is normal and it will enhance the “rustic” look of the biscotti.
Remove from the oven and let it cool for about 15 minutes.
Lifting carefully, transfer the log to a cutting board and, using a serrated knife, cut into 1 cm thick slices. You may need to run the knife under cold water after each cut to ensure the blade does not become sticky.
Lay slices flat on two baking sheets lined with baking paper, then bake at 160 for approximately 15 minutes, swapping the sheets half way through. Makes about 25 biscotti, which are best served when they are a couple of days old.