These make good-sized biscotti, just right to serve with freshly poured coffee. For more delicate titbits, divide the dough into three portions instead of two. The orange-flavoured chocolate tastes amazing, but you can use a plain chocolate instead and add finely grated orange zest in place of the vanilla extract if you prefer.
MAKES ABOUT 60
375g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1½ tsp baking powder
200g caster sugar
100g good-quality orange-flavoured chocolate (such as Green & Black’s
75g blanched almonds
100g dried cranberries
3 large free-range eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4.
Put the flour in a large bowl and stir in the baking powder and sugar.
Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a colander. Shake it about a bit to get rid of any tiny pieces of chocolate, then tip the rest into the bowl with the flour.
Stir in the almonds and cranberries.
Beat the eggs with the vanilla extract and pour them on to the flour mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon and then with your hands until the ingredients come together and form a stiff but pliable dough.
Transfer the dough to a well-floured board and divide it into 2 equal pieces.
Roll each one into a fat sausage-shape of about 25cm long. Put the rolls of dough on a large baking tray, lined with baking parchment, leaving plenty of room between them to allow for spreading. Flatten them slightly so they are about 2cm high.
Bake for 25–30 minutes until the dough is risen and firm but still looks fairly pale. Leave to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 140°C/120°C Fan/Gas 1.
Transfer the dough to a board and, using a bread knife, cut into slices about 1cm thick.
Return the biscuits to the baking tray and bake for another 20 minutes or until very lightly browned.
The biscotti will become crisp as they dry. Leave to cool, then store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. They also make great Christmas gifts.