Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cranberry White Chocolate Soft Biscotti

"No no no mi chiamo Leonardo!!!" said my boy with his loud dramatic voice and exclamation.

My boy loves learning Italian language at school. At times, he likes to speak Italian to me and as usual, the confused me will stare at him blankly without knowing single clue in what he is saying. After acclimatizing to a few of his practice, I have begin to learn something...

"No no no mi chiamo biscotti!!!" I said to these cranberry white chocolate soft biscotti and would say the same to those that I have baked in two years before.

Huh? I just said... no no no I'm biscotti in Italian! Geez! Please pardon my lousy Italian language.

Here, I was referring to this another batch of cranberry white chocolate biscotti that I had baked for our bake-along with Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Lena from Frozen wings.

Unlike most traditional biscotti like these and these that I have baked previously, these biscotti contains added butter. However, unlike the buttery cranberry white chocolate biscotti that I have baked for current bake-along, these softer kind of biscotti with cranberry are not twice baked. Having said that, I like to emphasize that this doesn't mean that these biscotti are not biscotti or don't taste like biscotti. "No no no mi chiamo biscotti!!!"

As I have mentioned before... Please don't be put off by its "soft" description. Although they are slightly softer than most biscotti, they are equally delicious to eat. Plus, due to the fact that these biscotti are not twice baked, they are super easy and never time consuming to bake... You will see what I mean.

cranberry white chocolate soft biscotti
Cranberry white chocolate soft biscotti 
These biscotti are made of melted butter...
... plus dried cranberry and white chocolate.
All I have to do is to combine the ingredients together.
Rest for 10 mins.
Shape, bake...
... and serve!
"No no no mi chiamo biscotti!!!"

Here's the recipe that is mostly adapted from my previous bake at here.

Make about 18 slices or two 20 cm logs
60g unsalted butter, melted, cooled 
1 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla paste or extract
110g all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
50g caster sugar
1/4 cup dried cranberry
2 tbsp white chocolate, finely chopped
icing sugar to dust

Preheat the oven to 180°C or 160°C, fan forced. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, egg, milk and vanilla. Sift flour, baking powder and sugar into the wet ingredient. Add dried cranberry and chocolate and mix until a soft dough forms. 

Cover with a tea towel and rest for 10 mins. 

Divide dough into two and shape into two 20cm logs. Place on trays. Bake for 25 mins, until golden. Cool on tray for 15 mins. Dust with icing sugar. While still warm, cut into 2cm slices. Serve. 

Happy Baking

Here are our friends that have joined us for this bake-along. Please visit their blogs for more of their biscotti baking.

Please submit your details if you wish to link your post with this bake-along. This linking tool is open from 11 to 22 Dec 2014.

For our next bake-along, we are baking Mille Feuille to be posted on 8 Jan 2015
. Please bake-along with us! All you need to do is to bake your favourite Mille Feuille and blog hop with us for the next 10 days.

To blog hop with us, simply copy and paste this linky HTML code into your blog post where you want the blog hop list to appear. Make sure you are in HTML view/mode when you paste in the code. get the InLinkz code

Before using this linky tool, please make sure that: (1) Your post must be a current post. (2) Please mention Bake-Along in your post and link back to any of our hosts' Bake-Along post, (Joyce, Lena or Zoe). (3) Appreciate if you can display the Bake-Along badge in your post when linking up with us. Cheers!

This post is also linked to Cook and Celebrate: Christmas 2014 organised by Yen from Eat your heart out, Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe and me from Bake for Happy Kids.

This post is also also linked to My Treasured Recipes - Ho! Ho! Ho! It's Christmas time organised by Ms B from Everybody Eats Well in Flanders and Charmaine from MiMi Bakery House.

What after Christmas 2014? 2015 is arriving soon!!! Little Thumbs Up will be back with Anne from My Bare Cupboard being the next hostess of January 2015 and her theme is NOODLES and PASTA! starting on the first Tuesday of January 2015.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Summer Fruits Friands (Bill Granger)

Do you believe I took less than 30 minutes to bake these?

Summer fruits nectarine raspberry cherry friands
Summer fruits friands
I'm not lying... With no preheating of oven and photography, I think I can bake these in less than 25 minutes!!! Baking these little friands is super fuss free and easy as all I need is a whisk and a mixing bowl and no fanciful equipment such as electric mixer or processor is required. 

What is friands? These little French cakes are typically made with almond flour and egg whites and are baked in small molds, mostly in oval or barquette shape. They are typically moist, buttery and quite fashionable to eat. Wikipedia is right! ... saying that these French cakes are actually very popular in Australia and New Zealand.

We can bake friands with any fruits, nuts or chocolate but I like to bake mine now with summer fruits for our Christmas... Summer fruits at this time of the year? Unlike everyone in the Northern hemisphere, we are celebrating Christmas with lots of sunshine and summer in Australia. For all these years that I'm living in Melbourne, we often dashed to the market on Christmas eve to buy at least a tray of mangoes and kilograms of fresh cherries for us to "hibernate" at home during our long Christmas break. However, instead of using fresh fruits to bake, I'm using up the last bit of my frozen stash of fruits as I need to clear up space to freeze new batches of summer fruits soon.

My son and I love fruity friands the most especially when I baked them into these tiny bite size as we can pop each in one mouthful. 

How did I bake these in less than 25 minutes? Well, let's see ...

These frozen fruits were semi-thawed in the fridge on the night before the bake. Thus, zero mins required.
All I need is a wooden spoon and a mixing bowl to mix the cake batter. Mixing is about 1-2 mins.
Assembling these cakes takes me about 3 mins and baking is 15 mins.
Do you think I need 5 mins to cool and display these cakes? Less than that!!!
Let me test one first before serving the rest to my family. Yum!

Here's the recipe from the book, Best of Bill by Bill Granger
(with my modification in blue)

Makes 12 large or 40 small
135g ground almonds
220g icing sugar, sifted
(reduced to 50g for half of the recipe)
85g all-purpose flour, sifted
8 egg whites
150g unsalted butter, melted
210g (1 1/2 cup) cherries or 115g (1 cup) raspberries or 3 nectarines, chopped
(You can use fresh or frozen fruits and I like to semi-thaw the frozen ones when I'm using them to bake the small friands) 
icing sugar, extra, for dusting (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) or 160°C fan forced. Grease and flour a non-stick 12-hole friand tin or 20-hole miniature friand tin. Mix together the ground almonds, icing sugar and flour. Stir in the egg whites until just combined. Stir in the melted butter.

Pour the batter into the tins. Pit the cherries and cut in half (I use the cherries as a whole without cutting them). Arrange a few cherry halves or raspberries or nectarine pieces on top of each friand.

Bake for 25-30 mins or until pale and golden (I baked the small ones for 15 mins). The friands should spring back when touched. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 5 mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. Dust with extra icing sugar (I didn't do that) and store in an airtight container.

Note: Using half of the recipe, I have baked 20 small friands. I have used (1) 1/4 cup of pitted cherries (2) 1/4 cup of raspberries (3) 1/4 nectarine, thinly sliced to top my small friands randomly. The frozen fruits were semi-thawed in the fridge on the night before the bake.

Happy Baking

This post is linked to Cook and Celebrate: Christmas 2014 organised by Yen from Eat your heart out, Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe and me from Bake for Happy Kids.
Please link your post with us if you are also cooking something special for your Christmas celebration for the whole of December 2014.

To use this linky tool, please make sure that: (1) Your post must be a current post. (2) Please mention Cook and Celebrate: Christmas 2014 in your post and link back to us, Yen from Eat your heart out, Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.

Here are my blogging friends that have joined me cooking / baking for this event. Please visit their blogs for more of their Christmasy food.