You can whip up these orange blossom & almond biscottis at a moment’s notice. They keep very well for weeks in an airtight container. This recipe was inspired from my childhood travels to Tunisia. As the Mediterranean sun retreated in the afternoons, I’d indulge in a refreshing ‘citronnade’ (freshly squeezed lemonade) and dip one of these almond biscottis known as ‘boulou’ in the land of the Touareg, and enjoy the cool breeze under the shaded veranda of my grandfather’s home.
The crunch of the toasted almonds and sesame seeds coupled with the delicate perfume of orange blossom water makes these biscotti a perfect late afternoon treat with coffee or in the summers with freshly squeezed lemonade.
Follow the next few steps and reward yourself with this treat in a moment of peace & tranquillity, away from the madding crowd.
Ingredients (makes 20 biscottis)
- 500g plain flour (sifted)
- 11g baking powder
- 250g caster sugar
- 150g vegetable oil
- 2 tbs of orange blossom water (alternatively 1tsp orange blossom extract)
- Few drops of tepid water if need be
- 75g freshly toasted almonds
- 25g freshly toasted sesame seeds
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F) and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
2. Sift the flour, baking powder and caster sugar in a large bowl.
3. Add the vegetable oil and orange blossom water.
4. Attach the dough hook in an electric mixer, knead for 5 minutes until the dough forms a souple and smooth dough
5. Add the toasted almonds to the dough and mix by hand using a wooden spoon
6. Take a small amount of dough in the palm of your hand, form a circle
7. On a clean work surface, sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds and delicately roll the dough with your fingertips to form a small log so the seeds coat the surface of the dough. At this point, it’s really important that you work with speed and are agile with your fingertips so that you don’t incorporate too much heat into the dough. This would result in the dough becoming sticky and slightly harder to work with.
8. Place your biscotti onto the baking sheet and repeat until you have used all the dough
9. Bake for 30-35 minutes. As they bake, let yourself bask in the fragrance of the orange blossom water wafting out of the oven.
10. Remove from the oven and let them cool off on a cooling rack.
Let your imagination run wild and experiment with different flavour combinations. How about adding sultanas, or combining pistachios with rose water, chocolate with orange zest? Possibilities are endless! That’s the beauty of the culinary world… it’s a blank canvas waiting for you to make your mark.
Bon appétit mes amis.