22.6.14

Honey-Lavender Biscotti

Lavender, honey and oranges - three wonderful ingredients in this recipe that you can find in abundance during summer. This is precisely why they are so appropriate for Litha! :D And each gives their own special note. The orange zest gives freshness, the honey gives sweetness and the lavender gives that special something that you just can't find in every cake. :)

These biscotti actually remind me a lot of pandoletti. These pandoletti are a traditional recipe in Croatia and most mothers and grandmothers know how to prepare them. They are essentially a dry cake, just like these biscotti, because their main ingredient is flour. Another similarity they have to biscotti is that they also have orange/lemon zest as an important ingredient, except they have almonds in stead of lavender. They are even prepared similarly! In any case, feel free to contact me if you have any problems with the recipe; it can be tricky if you're trying it for the first time. 


You Will Need:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender blossoms

How To Prepare:

  1. Heat up your oven to 175°C (a little bit less if your oven is strong).
  2. Cover one baking pan with baking paper.
  3. In a smaller bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, mix sugar and eggs with an electric mixer then add honey, vanilla extract, orange zest and lavender. 
  5. Pour the dry ingredients into the egg mix and mix together with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes compact. Add a bit more flour if the mixture is still too sticky (although it should be slightly sticky).
  6. Flour your working area and shape the dough into a log (the length and width depend on the size of your baking pan and your oven, but mostly on how big you want your biscotti to be).
  7. Put the log(s) onto your baking pan and into your oven.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes and then take out the baking pan, turn it around for 180° and put it back in. Leave to bake for another 10 minutes (that makes 20 minutes of baking altogether).
Note: the dough should not change color while baking! It may become golden-brown on the bottom if your oven is a bit stronger like mine, but the color should remain almost unchanged on the top. After about 15 minutes of baking, start checking the dough with a toothpick (if its still sticky, then it's not done yet), but it should be ideal after 20 minutes.
  1. Set the cake aside to cool a few minutes.
  2. Lower the oven temperature to a little above 125°C.
  3. While the cake is still warm, cut it into slices about 2-2.5cm in thickness.
  4. Place the slices on the baking sheet lying flat but take care to leave enough room between them for the hot air to circulate.
  5. Bake on the lowered temperature for about another 10 minutes (it may take 7, or even 15 minutes depending on the strength of your oven and how well heated up it is but do check the biscotti often enough so they don't get too crisp).
  6. Take the biscotti out of the oven, set them aside to cool down completely and store them in an airtight container. This way they will be good for a few weeks.

If this is your first time baking a cake such as this one, you have to remember that the biscotti harden once they have cooled down. This is why you should not let them get too crisp and golden-brown while baking. If you see that they are still too light or soft after you have cut the log into slices, then steps 12 and 13 will be necessary (only the "fattest" pieces of my log needed extra baking). But you will see in the picture what their texture should be like, what color they should be and so on. Oh, and notice how my biscotti are a bit more brownish on the bottom than on the top; that's normal if you have a stronger oven.

In any case, I hope these tips helped. :) This really is a simple cake, but you need a bit of practice or experience to get the timing just right. Be sure to tell me how your biscotti turned out! 

Until next time. Yours,
Witch's Cat

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