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Biscotti brutti ma buoni

The cliché about not judging a book by its cover has never been truer than for these truly sensational meringuey biscuits. There is no denying that they are not beautiful. But bite into their nutty, crunchy outside to the chewy goo within and you’ll know you’ve discovered a classic.


Recipe

Ingredients

  • Hazelnuts - 300g/ 10.5 oz
  • Caster sugar - 300g/ 10.5 oz
  • Medium Egg whites - 6
  • Ground almonds - 150g/ 5.3oz
  • Vanilla extract - 2 tsp
  • Cocoa - 1 tsp
Hazelnuts - 300g/ 10.5 oz Caster sugar - 300g/ 10.5 oz Medium Egg whites - 6 Ground almonds - 150g/ 5.3oz Vanilla extract - 2 tsp Cocoa - 1 tsp

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C/390F/gas mark 6.

Place the hazelnuts on a baking try and toast  in the oven for about 8 minutes or until the skins start to split. Rub the hazelnuts with a tea towel to remove as much of the skin as possible. Turn oven down to 150C/300F/gas mark 2. Put the hazelnuts in a food processor with 100g of the sugar and grind until coarse but well mixed. Add the almonds, vanilla extract and cocoa, and pulse the mixture a little bit more.

In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites with the remaining sugar until soft peaks form. Then slowly fold in the hazelnut mixture.

Transfer the mixture to a saucepan heat gently while stirring. It should dry a little and come away from the sides of the pan. Line a baking tray with non-stick paper. Scoop 2cm/ 1 in diameter balls of the mixture on to the tray and leave 2cm/ 1 in between each ball.  Bake for about 18 minutes, until golden brown.

Leave to cool before serving.