Orange & Almond Biscotti


Orange & almond biscotti – the name doesn’t sound very traumatising, right? So when I was asked to bake something yesterday for a Month’s Mind, these Italian biscuits popped straight into my mind. They seemed perfect for the occasion: subtle & simple, sophisticated (not like the gooey chocolate brownies I was also considering making), & something that people could easily snack away on with some coffee. 

I was so right, the biscotti went down a treat. Which was rather surprising really, because this was my first time ever making them. And also, I must admit, I had a bit of a breakdown during the baking process. The recipe said to cut up the cake & then put all the slices back into the oven again to crisp them up. Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but all hell broke loose when I began cutting. The top required being held everywhere so as not to fall apart, while the inside was crumbling away before my very eyes. It was devastating. However, after a few moments of wailing in heartbreak, I manned up, did my best to keep each slice in one piece (& when I didn’t succeed the slices got mashed together regardless of whether it wanted to be one), & put the lot back in the oven. Success!


The finished product was definitely worth the minor breakdown & the stress involved. They were crispy, but not too dry, & both the almond and orange flavours came through really well (not to mention the beautiful aroma all over the house), but without either being overpowering. 


I used a recipe from Homemade by Clodagh McKenna, but I tweaked it slightly because a) I didn’t have any whole almonds in the house, only ground, & b) being the chocolate lover that I am, I rather liked the idea of the biscotti being dipped in chocolate. For the chocolate dip, I decided to add some orange extract in so as to compliment the flavours in the biscotti. One word: perfection. It was a struggle to stop myself from eating the chocolate alone, but in the end my desire for chocolatey biscotti won.

The recipe should make in & around 36 biscotti, depending on how big your slices are. Here’s my adapted version:


  • 250g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 115g butter, softened
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 150g whole (or ground) almonds
  • the better part of a 300g chocolate bar
  • 1 tsp orange extract


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. 
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda & salt into a large bowl & mix well. 
3. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter & sugar together until light & fluffy.
4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then tip in the orange zest & juice. Along with the almonds, stir into the flour mixture until the dough comes together. 
5. With (really) floury hands, divide the dough in half & shape each half into a log 7.5cm in diameter. Place the logs onto baking trays & bake in the oven for 30minutes or until firm to the touch. 
6. Leaving the oven on, transfer the loaves to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut each loaf crosswise on the diagonal into 1cm slices. Arrange the slices in one layer on a baking tray & return to the oven & bake for 10minutes. Turn the biscotti over & bake for a further 10minutes on the other side. 
7. Transfer the biscotti to wire racks to cool. 
8. In a microwavable bowl, break up chocolate & put into the microwave on high for 45seconds. Remove from the microwave, stir, & return for another 30seconds. After the 30seconds, remove from the microwave & stir the chocolate until completely smooth, adding the orange extract while you stir. 
9. Dip the biscotti into the chocolate until you are happy with your biscotti to chocolate ratio. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *