TOZZETTI: ROMAN ANISE, ALMOND, AND HAZELNUT BISCOTTI
Unlike most biscotti that are formed into narrow loaves before baking, tozzetti are spread in a pan. After the initial baking, they are cut into narrow strips and dried in the oven until shatteringly crisp.
Makes about 80 thin biscotti
2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups whole blanched almonds, lightly toasted
1 cup whole blanched hazelnuts, lightly toasted
3 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons Sambuca liqueur
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon aniseed, crushed
One 9 x 13- x 2-inch pan, buttered and lined with buttered foil
- Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
- Stir the flour and baking powder together, then stir in the almonds and hazelnuts and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the sugar, continuing to whisk for a minute until somewhat lightened. Whisk in the liqueur, vanilla, and aniseed. Use a large rubber spatula to stir in the flour and nut mixture.
- Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until just firm, about 20-25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack.
- When completely cool, slide the slab of baked dough to a cutting board. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut into three 3-inch wide bars, then cut across them to make 1/2-inch thick biscotti. Arrange the cut biscotti on 2 paper-lined pans.
- Dry the biscotti until very crisp but still light in color at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes. Cool and store in a tin.
CHOCOLATE BOURBON CAKE
The sweet, mellow flavor of Bourbon has a great affinity for chocolate. Serve this unadorned cake with a little unsweetened whipped cream.
Makes one 8-inch cake, 8 to 10 servings
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70%), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)
Pinch of salt
5 large eggs
3 tablespoons best-quality Bourbon
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
One 8-inch round 2-inch deep pan, buttered, bottom lined with a disk of buttered parchment
1. Set a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, allowing it to sizzle and get really hot. Remove from heat, add chocolate and whisk smooth.
3. In a bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, flour, and salt together; add all the eggs and Bourbon. Whisk together smoothly.
4. Stir the brown sugar into the butter and chocolate mixture and stir into the batter.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the cake until the center is still soft, but no longer liquid, 25 to 35 minutes.
6. Cool the cake on a rack.
7. To serve the cake, invert to a platter and remove the pan and paper. Cover loosely with plastic wrap if not serving immediately.