Friday, May 16, 2014

Pine nut and Marsala biscotti and making a very interesting fairy tale

Pine nut and Marsala biscotti / Biscotti de pinoli e Marsala

At the risk of you thinking I have a heart of stone (after I told you I don’t like animated movies) I’ll confess that I’m not into fairy tales, either – I did love Alice in Wonderland as a kid, but then I went to college and learned not so great things about Lewis Carroll, so I never cared for it again the way I used to.

But, same as with biblical stories, attach great people to the project and I’m instantly interested: I learned this morning that Cinderella is directed by Kenneth Branagh – whom I adore both as an actor and as a director – and Cate Blanchett will be the Stepmother – if Charlize Theron kicked ass as the villain in that silly Snow White movie, can you imagine what Cate will do? And directed by Mr. Branagh? There's more: Helena Bonham Carter will be The Fairy Godmother and my bets are that they’re either thinking outside the box here or we’ll see the craziest Fairy Godmother of all time. :D

I’m no stranger to biscotti, as you know, and almond biscotti is something I love – however, when I opened the freezer to get the almonds I noticed I did not have any around. Bummer. But there they were, the two packages of pine nuts I’d brought from NY (because here pine nuts cost a small fortune) just begging to be used. I made the biscotti with the pine nuts instead thinking that they would either be a great idea or a waste of my precious ingredients – luckily, they turned out delicious.

Now what do you think will be the case with Helena? :D

Pine nut and Marsala biscotti
adapted from Dolci: Italy's Sweets

385g all purpose flour
150g granulated sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon table salt
3 heaping tablespoons honey
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
finely grated zest of 1 large orange
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100ml Marsala wine
120g pine nuts, lightly toasted and cooled – or use almonds as the original recipes calls for

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, honey, eggs, egg yolks, butter, orange zest, vanilla and Marsala. With an electric mixer, mix just until a dough forms, then mix in the pine nuts – dough is sticky, but add a tiny bit of flour if it’s too sticky.
Divide the dough into 3 equal portions and, using wet hands, form each into a 25x5cm (10x2in) cylinder. Place them 5cm (2in) apart onto the baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until slightly golden and firm.
Carefully slide the foil with the logs onto a wire rack and cool for 8 minutes. Line the sheet with baking paper. Using a sharp knife and one firm cut, slice each log diagonally into 1.5cm slices, place them onto the sheet, side by side, and bake for 8 minutes or until golden. Turn the biscotti and bake until golden on the other side as well. Cool completely on the sheet.
The biscotti can be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Makes about 35


Melissa@Julias Bookbag said...

you and I get excited about all the same movies!!!! I can't WAIT for this one!!!! LOVE Cate B.!!!

Display name said...

Aren't they the best! I don't make them often enough. Thanks for a beautiful and tasty remainder...
:) ela@GrayApron

Gurdjieff's Daughter said...

You should totally watch Once Upon a Time (tv show); I love it!

pam said...

I always have pine nuts in the freezer!

lisa is cooking said...

The pine nuts sound great in these! I'd love to dunk a few into a cup of coffee.

Silvia Cisneros said...

I hope Bonham Carter portray an outstanding fairy godmother, she is an amazing actress and maybe will be a mix of gothic/crazy/tender :D I don't know if you have watched the animated movie Mary & Max, if not, you should give it a try. The voice of Max is Phillip Seymour Hoffman and MAry is Toni Collete. :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Silvia, you're the third person who has recommended "Mary and Max" - I will watch it, thank you!

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