I had some mates round last week for morning coffee. We get together about twice a month in different homes and this time they were coming to me. I was dying to show off my new coffee machine and decided I needed some biscuits to put on the table while we chatted. I decided to be a little International and bake biscotti biscuits. These are twice baked biscuits also known as cantuccini or coffee bread. They originated in Prato, Italy. The first documented recipe is in a centuries old manuscript that is preserved in Prato; in it the biscuits were called Genoa. Modern day recipes are in the main based on Chef Antonio Mattei recipe after the rediscovery of the original recipe in the nineteenth century.
Biscotti were designed to be dunked in a drink be it wine or coffee. The biscuits are normally oblong shaped and cooked once in slab form and then re-cooked after cutting. I searched for some New Zealand variations and found this one for apricot and pistachio, which is great as I love both those ingredients. These biscotti I made gluten free for a couple of my guests and they were much appreciated. Not wanting to be boring and only offer one type I also made Biscotti with hazelnuts. These were delicious and flavoured with orange zest but the one voted the favourite was the chocolate biscotti and I will certainly make them again. The coffee machine was duly admired and at least one of my mates is going to buy the same one – yea excellent coffee when we go to her house.
Coffee, the smell the taste the sheer enjoyment of that first sip. Oh yes I am coffee addict and I love it. I like latte, cappuchino, macchiato, there is a time and place for all of them. Now there is an interesting debate about New Zealand coffee did we or did we not pioneer the ‘flat white’? Now the debate centres on the ratio of coffee to milk, milk that is textured rather than frothy. Served in a smaller drinking glass but with the same amount of coffee ( approx 30ml) as say a latte, it is less milky and the milk band is thinner and not as creamy. The difference between New Zealand and Aussie flat white appears to be the vessel it is served in! If you want to update your coffee terminology this list will be useful.
I recently lost my expresso machine to age, so sad to see it go but decided to give myself a early Christmas treat, after a bit of research I decided on the DeLonghi ESAM6700 PrimaDonna, now a bit pricey but as a family we do appreciate our coffee. Talked with hubby and decided to take out a Christmas loan to cover this and some other expenses. When you are needing cash simple to use, no fuss websites are necessary and I am now the proud owner of a luxury expresso machine sitting on my granite bench and I am off now to make myself a wonderful cafe latte to eat with my piece of Christmas cake – I made 2 so we are eating one already, love Christmas cake in my house. If you haven’t already make yours here are some recipes that you can choose from. I like the easy Christmas cake recipe with a little extra brandy!