Friday, August 15, 2008

Food Friday: Dark-Chocolate-Ginger-Biscotti

Yesterday the Mathematician inquired as to the difference between a bog post and a blog post. Tuesday was a long day. I was tired. I was stressed out. Did I mention it was a long day? She also asked about this dark-chocolate-ginger-biscotti I keep on mentioning in my blog.

Of late, baking biscotti seems to have become my I've had a bad practice / day at work or I'm stressed out quick comfort remedy. Instead of just sitting in stewing in my day, I've found it's great to turn that energy into something positive. Baking anything that involves the use of my hands, ginger, and chocolate and some level of messiness - is pretty much guaranteed to lighten my mood. How can you not laugh at yourself when you go to get ready for bed and notice a large smear of chocolate on your forehead?

Besides being lots of fun to make, the smell of the dark chocolate and ginger permeate every corner of my apartment for at least two days. Waking up to the smell of dark chocolate and ginger is absolutely amazing. Almost as good as a hot and spicy rooibos chai latte. I've found these biscotti are great enjoyed with any black tea, CoffeeShop girl with her coffee, and actually they are quite good when soaked in (rice) milk.

Dark-Chocolate-Ginger Biscotti

  • 1/2-2/3 cup crystallized ginger coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup coco powder
  • 1 1/2 cup bread machine flour
  • 2/3 cup evaporated cane sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking power
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 cup safflour oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt until well combined; set aside. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. The volume should about double in size and then beat in vanilla and oil until well combined.

Slowly add dry ingredient mixture. It will become really thick, sticky and goopy. I'll scrape down the sides of the bowl and the mixer attachment with a rubber spatula multiple times. Then with the mixer on the lowest setting I'll add the ginger allow that to fully incorporate and then fully incorporate the chopped dark chocolate chips.

Once incorporated remove bowl from mixer, set next to baking sheet. Moisten hands under faucet with lukewarm water
and scoop out half of the mixture with your hands.* Form dough into 2 logs about 9' long by 2 - 2.5 inches wide and lightly smooth out top surface with water.**

Move to oven and bake until set on top, about 20-25 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and move logs to cooling rack for 10 minutes. (Here I switch out the parchment paper for my sili-mat which really helps crisp up the cookies in the final bakings). Once 10 minutes have passed, move logs to cutting board and cut them on a diagonal with a serrated knife (those electric knives are great for this providing quick clean cuts) about 1/2 - 3/4 inch thick.

Place cookies back on baking sheet and return to oven for 8 - 10 minutes. Open oven and flip cookies over. Continue baking for 8 minutes. I've found that the cookies don't need to be cooked as long on the second side and are more likely to be bunt, so keeping an eye on them at this point is a good idea.

Remove from oven, move to wire rack and allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

According to most recipes, they will last up to a week in an airtight container. In my experience they've been consumed within 4 I cannot report on shelf life.

* I
n my first biscotti baking attempt, I didn't take the recipes I looked at seriously about dampening your hand with water. But no - it is actually quite helpful when forming the dough. Unless you want to be licking biscotti dough off of you hands for the rest of the evening - this is very useful.

** I prefer making two logs instead of one. You can also make one log, about 3 1/2 inches wide, but in the later baking steps, it's easier for me to manage the two small logs and results in crisper biscotti. Also, because there is more surface area they cool / can be enjoyed sooner.

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