Foodie February: Dark Chocolate Earl Grey Biscotti

Foodie February: Dark Chocolate Earl Grey Biscotti

Do you ever get the urge to Produce Something New? Something fun, maybe a little wild, you haven’t dared make before? Sometimes I wonder if that’s really what winter stir-craziness is for – the urge to explore all those latent hobbies and interests you dismiss when the air is warm and the green breezes of temperate weather beckon us outdoors. And it’s not that we don’t go outdoors in the winter here at Wanderlust (the stargazing is superb!), but I admit I need a hot cuppa if I’m going to enjoy it out there for any length of time. Brr!

South American Dark Chocolate. That's right. Drool.Today I decided I needed to experiment in the kitchen and Try Something New. I’ve always been intrigued by shortbread recipes that included tea in their ingredient list, and I recently learned how to make biscotti – it’s something I’ve loved but had never bothered to make myself. The stars aligned on these two thoughts: why not combine them? And it could be because I was watching Star Trek: Into Darkness at the time, but I decided our prize candidate would be Earl Grey Crème! Toss in the chilly weather, and the drive for something decedent took hold!

Earl Grey’s strong bergamot notes are assertive enough to dance with heavier flavor profiles like dark chocolate. Our Earl Grey Crème has soft vanilla and citrus notes that I felt brought new dimensions to these crispy cookies! They retained a surprising amount of tea flavor for the small amount that goes into the recipe.

I decided to make hot cocoa to go with the biscotti and made a perfect match by experimenting with a touch of orange extract. The citrus and vanilla in the cocoa gently mirror the flavors in the biscotti, and…wow. You really should try it for yourself!

 

Dark Chocolate Earl Grey Biscotti

2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp Earl Grey Crème, crushed finely (food processor or mortar & pestle)
1 tsp baking powder
heavy pinch of salt
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
heaping 1/2 cup of chopped dark chocolate (or mini semi-sweet chips)

 

  1. Heat your oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Mix together all of the dry ingredients. You need to crush down the loose tea into a coarse powder, either with a food processor or something lower tech, like a mortar & pestle (which is what I did).
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add your eggs and vanilla.
  4. Mix into a wet, sticky dough. Should be shiny and quite moist.
  5. Chop a block of dark chocolate or measure out a heaping ¼ cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Fold in to the dough.
  6. Lay down parchment on a cookie sheet and roll the dough into a long log. Bake at 300 for 40-45 minutes.
  7. Remove it from the oven when the dough looks dry on the top. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  8. After 10 minutes, cut the mass into ½” to 1” pieces. Turn these pieces onto one side, cut side up, and put back in the oven for 15-17 minutes.
  9. After that, turn the pieces onto their other side and bake for another 15-17 minutes. Then you’re done – let cool a bit, then eat (preferably with the cocoa below…)! The recipe’ll whip up about two dozen cookies.

Orange-kissed Hot Cocoa

3 cups 2% milk
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp sugar
dash cinnamon
½ tsp espresso powder (optional)
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp orange extract
Whipped cream to serve (optional)

  1. This stuff is amazing, akin to those chocolate oranges you smash and eat! Start heating the milk on the stove on medium heat. You don’t want it to boil or scald, so keep an eye on it!
  2. While the milk is slowly heating, mix the dry ingredients together in a small bowl with a fork.
  3. When the milk has fine bubbles at the edge and a little steam might be coming from it, it’s ready for the chocolate. Whisk in the dry ingredients.
  4. Add the vanilla and orange extracts and whisk again. Test the temperature and the flavor. Add sugar/cocoa to your taste, if needed.
  5. When it’s hot enough, serve in cups with whipped cream. Serves about three people.

– Heather

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