A great time with great food is what a dough hook is to a stand mixer: necessary.
This sums up the last couple of days for me.
We had a great event come to Ottawa last Friday- RedBull’s Crashed Ice – that seemed to be primarily hosted by Fairmont Chateau Laurier (only one of the most exquisite hotels in Ottawa- and personally my favourite). Given the hype, my friends and I decided to attend the event three days in advance. The excitement leading up can only be described and excused in its entirety had we been hijacked by a couple of teenage girls on their way to a Taylor Swift concert. But given the adults that we were, the sturdy situation of our excitement was a little exaggerated; all in good spirits and for the purpose of good fun.
We decided to have lunch at Fairmont Chateau Laurier Saturday morning: mainly for two reasons. First, given the hotel hosted the event, camouflaging would be easy (turns the experience from fancy to casual), and second, as an indirect result from the first, we might be excused for not recognizing the slight difference in the two forks, two spoons, and two knives situation.
Of course thats not why we picked to have lunch there. But that was interesting to write.
Two cheeseburgers with fries-on-the-side later (consumed on two different days), three bread baskets with two butter ball bowls (say that fast 3 times), three desserts, two Redbulls, and about 10 different things in-between, I realized I unleashed the food dragon within and spoiled myself.
Now? I am trying to relinquish the bad behaviour (agree to disagree) and convince my mind that healthy eating is where I feel most comfortable and energetic.
I started last night by baking this low-fat cranberry and pistachio biscotti recipe. The recipe was very easy to make, and I quite enjoyed the result. I have had 3 so far, and thats progress from what I really could have had.
Off to the gym.
Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti Recipe
**Read Lessons Learned at the bottom before attempting this**
Total time: 60 min (includes baking time)
Service size: about 8-10
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted pistachio nuts
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 large eggs
- 1 yolk from large egg
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Combine flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, salt, pistachio, and cranberries in a mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix eggs, egg yolk, lemon juice, and vanilla together.
- Add the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix.
- Create a log-shape (flatten it out) and bake for 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes, remove from the oven (do not turn the oven off) and let it cool for 15 minutes.
- Next, cut the dough straight using a pizza-cutter (a new trick learned)
- Turn the biscotti to one side and bake for another 7-10 minutes.
- Repeat step #8 again flipping them to the other side.
Lessons Learned: I suggest you to Youtube some videos on how to make biscotti. This was my first time attempting this, and I think it was very successful. The double or triple baking process might intimidate some home-cooks but I don’t think there is much to it. I watched a video by Allrecipes that made this a little more comprehensible for me. It is often difficult to use words to describe a lengthy process (creating the log, double baking, etc.). A video might achieve faster results here.
The dough was very sticky. The way to remove all of your dough out of the mixer is to use flour. Flour your surface, hands, and mixer bowl. Then take the dough out. Sometimes you might want to add a full egg, or a tablespoon of oil to the mix. The inconsistency in the flour we use might make this mix a little too dry. Do not fret. Any type of liquid (even just egg white) might save this.
You might want to bake these a little longer depending on how crunchy you might like the texture. However, leaving the biscotti out and uncovered for a little while will help achieve this texture best.
If I was wrong in any of the suggestions, please let me know 🙂