Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Juicy Lead Cantuccini


Blurb on a pack of Lidl granola:

"Delicious clusters of crunchy British wholegrain oats toasted wth acacia honey, coconut chips, seeds and whole nuts, mixed with juicy raisins." Forgetting for one second about the lack of punctuation, juicy raisins? Isn't the whole purpose of a raisin for it to be dry? A juicy raisin can only be a rehydrated raisin or still a grape.

Nestle has withdrawn £50m worth of instant noodles from shelves in India after regulators found higher than permitted levels of lead. Lead? What the hell is any lead doing in instant noodles?

Been experimenting with Italian biscuits this week, specifically cantuccini. Saw some for sale in Lidl and thought they couldn't be too hard to make - and they're not. Here's my twist:
  • 250g self raising flour,
  • 150g caster sugar (most recipes call for more, but they're sickly sweet),
  • I recommend 1 level teaspoon baking powder for that added lift,
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence, or you could use vanilla caster sugar,
  • 2 or 3 eggs - depends on consistency - needs to be like plasticine,
  • 180g chopped hazelnuts and almonds or any nuts of your choice,
  • 25g melted butter,
  • half a cup dessicated coconut (my own little addition - you could add ground almonds),
  • A dash of Amaretto or rum (my own touch).
Mix the lot till it's a stiff plasticine consistency, using the eggs to get it right - it will be sticky as hell. Dust with flour, place in a plastic bag and bung in the fridge for half an hour.

Turn oven to 180 degrees (160 fan). Cut pastry into 4 and make a sausage from each, laying them side by side on a flour-dusted baking tray, leaving plenty of space between them. Flatten the rolls slightly and then bake for 25 minutes.

Once baked, slice the pastries and allow to cool. Once cool, bung back in the oven for another 15 minutes to get that twice baked crispness. Leave to cool again and then store in a bag until it's time to dip them in an espresso.

Another hiatus - off the the Paris Air Show for the day and then on to Rome till the end of the week. All business.


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