I don’t ever want to be in a position where I have to choose my favourite cake… But if push came to shove and like, world peace was riding on it or something, I’d probably say carrot cake. For me, it’s such a beautiful marriage of flavours: the natural sweetness of carrots with sugar and spice. But it’s quite an undertaking to make a cake all the time. Instead, I want half the work and all flavour.
Enter, Carrot Cake Biscotti.
This type of biscuit is traditionally not particularly sweet. In Italy, a jar of biscotti will be brought out at the very end of a meal, usually when you are supping on a small glass of Vin Santo, which is a very sweet dessert wine. Twice-baking gives it a firm texture, so the Italians like to dip it in the wine so that the biscuit sponges up all the heady sweetness. I’m not sure that carrot cake biscotti would work as well for dipping and it’s rare that I’ll indulge in a dessert wine, so these biscuits are dipped in white chocolate instead, which is not a bad compromise if I do say so myself.
RECIPE: Carrot Cake Biscotti dipped in White Chocolate
FLAVOUR PROFILE: All the flavours from a carrot cake, subtly spiced, with a hit of sweetness from the white chocolate.
GOES GREAT WITH: The perfect way to end a meal, especially around Easter.
NOTES: With the cooking times, 30 minutes plus 10 + 10, will result in a traditional biscotti that is very crunchy. However, if you wanted a softer more cookie-style texture, bake for 30 minutes and then after cutting, do only 5 minutes on each side.
MAKES: 15 biscuits
- 115g CARROTS, grated using the smallest side of the grater
- 15g GROUND HAZELNUTS
- 55g BUTTER, softened
- 50g WHITE GRANULATED SUGAR
- 50g BROWN SUGAR
- 1 EGG
- 225g FLOUR
- 1 tsp. BAKING POWDER
- 1/2 tsp. GROUND CINNAMON
- 1/2 tsp. GROUND CARDAMOM
- 1/4 tsp. GROUND NUTMEG
- 1/8 tsp. GROUND CLOVES
- 1/4 tsp. SALT
- 1/2 tsp. VANILLA ESSENCE
- 100g WHITE CHOCOLATE, melted (for coating)
- Preheat the oven to 180c and line a baking sheet with baking paper. In a large mixing bowl, cream the BUTTER, WHITE SUGAR and BROWN SUGAR.
- In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients – FLOUR, BAKING POWDER, GROUND HAZELNUTS, CINNAMON, NUTMEG, CLOVES, CARDAMOM and SALT. Lightly squeeze the GRATED CARROTS to get rid of half the juice and then stir into the flour-mix.
- Add the EGG and VANILLA ESSENCE to the butter-mix and whisk.
- With the whisk running on low, add the dry ingredients. When the mixture starts to clump together, remove the whisk and get your hands in. Gather the mixture together into a dough.
- Shape the dough into a log, roughly 30cm long and 3cm high. Flatten the top so that it is even. Then, bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove the log and reduce the oven temperature to 160c. Let the log cool for a couple of minutes just to make it easier to handle and cut into even slices approximately 2cm thick.
- Arrange the slices back on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Then flip them over and bake for a further 10 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack. Dip the ends in the melted WHITE CHOCOLATE and leave to set.