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Chocolate, almonds and a taste of Tuscany:
One of my favourite occupations on my recent trip to Tuscany was nibbling on home made cantuccini with a glass of vin santo after a meal. The little biscuits which we sometimes mistakenly call biscotti over here, were packed with almonds and pleasantly crunchy.
In Florence, we saw this wonderful shop window full of neat cantuccini stacked in pyramids…and I got home and started to bake! Mine don’t look so tidy, but then I am only eating them, not charging money for them!!!
My first attempt was really not bad. The cantuccini went in a tin and I munched my way through them in a few days. And I noticed that this month’s ‘We Should Cocoa’ challenge was almonds. Now, note the little chocolate cantuccini in the shop window in Florence. I started to yearn!
Here’s the result. They are REALLY lovely, though since we didn’t eat any chocolate cantuccini in Tuscany at all, just looked, I can’t tell you how authentic or not they are. I did browse the web for a suitable recipe and couldn’t find one I was confident would work because for the most part they used a mixture of cocoa powder and chocolate chips. And, I thought that would make the cantuccini too moist. So, I just replaced 60g of the flour in my original recipe with bournville cocoa powder and ended up with some pretty good chocolate cantuccini.
I think they need a different glaze. The egg wash just looks too shiny, maybe I should try mixing it with a little caster sugar or dredging some over the biscuits before they go in the oven. But taste-wise and texture-wise, at least for me, these are spot on. Densely chocolate flavoured and really crunchy without being tooth breaking. I haven’t reprinted the recipe because I didn’t make any other changes. But, next time I will try adding a little vanilla essence or some orange rind, just because I can!