Cantuccini/Biscotti

imageWhy have I never made this wonderful Italian biscuit before? It is an absolute delight to make and a superb dunking biscuit to accompany your cup of coffee/tea/hot chocolate or indeed feel free to follow the Italian custom and dunk it in your glass Vin Santo or Amaretto!

Once immersed into your drink the biscuit softens.When it hits your taste buds the flavours merge together creating a wonderful sweet delight. It has now become one of my husbands favourite break time treats.

Traditionally this biscuit is made with almonds and pistachio nuts,as I am not keen on these flavours I substituted for flavours I do like.

Give it a go, be adventurous with the flavours, believe me it is worth the minimal effort needed to make.

It also keeps well in an air tight tin for about 4 weeks, if it lasts that long.
Serves 20 

Ingredients

Cranberry,orange and chocolate chip biscotti

70g dried cranberries
70g chocolate chips
250g strong white flour
150g caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 unwaxed orange
Icing sugar for dusting

Chocolate biscotti

225g strong white flour

25g cocoa powder

25 g chocolate chips

( miss out cranberries and orange from recipe above)

Method

Line 1 or 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper and preheat the oven to 180C , for fan oven, Gas Mark 4

Sift the flour (add cocoa powder here if making the chocolate version) sugar, baking powder into a large bowl. Stir in the cranberries and chocolate chips with the eggs, vanilla extract and orange zest and combine to form a biscuit dough.

Dust your work surface with icing sugar, divide the dough into 3 pieces and shape each piece into a sausage by rolling it with your hands in the icing sugar

Place the rolls on the prepared baking tray and flatten slightly

Bake for 30 minutes in the middle of the oven

Remove from the oven and places the rolls on a chopping board. Leave to cool for 10 minutes to firm up. Use a sharp knife to cut each roll diagonally into 1cm strips.

Turn oven down to 140C Gas 1/2. Spread the strips in a single layer on the baking tray and return to the oven for 30 minutes (you may need an extra tray for the second baking). Turn over after 15 minutes to dry other side.

Leave the cantuccini/biscotti to cool on a wire rack before serving. Enjoy them with a coffee or a glass of Vin Santo or Amaretto!

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The Dome, Edinburgh

The Dome,originally the site of the site of the Old Physicians Hall (1775). Later (1844) to be rebuilt as the Commercial Bank of Scotland. In 1993 The Royal Bank of Scotland decided the building was no longer viable and sold the lot to Caledonian Heritable Ltd, who converted the site into the popular enterprise you see today.

The Dome opened in 1996 and can be found in Central George Street in the heart of Edinburgh city centre. The venue is certainly resplendent and elegant. The dining experience is something not to be missed, especially around Christmas time. (Just a reminder however, make sure you book well in advance to secure a table, it is extremely popular and reservations are snapped up quickly.)

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The venue can be spotted quickly as you turn the corner into George Street as it is lit by hundreds of fairy lights, a light shower of artificial snow trickles from above as you approach the entrance. All of this just serves to add to the wonderful Christmas dining experience that awaits you inside.

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On entering you get first sight of the main bar in the grill room. It  can only be described as spectacular and certainly takes your breath away. The decorations are magnificent, with an enormous Christmas tree taking centre stage. Opulent dried flower arrangements, tinsel clad columns, drop crystal chandeliers and immaculate set tables all add to the ambience of the dining experience.

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The Christmas menu was extensive and would I am sure please a range of palettes. Our group ordered a range of starters which were served swiftly and efficiently by cheerful,professional waiters and waitresses.  The selection we opted for were:

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Haggis wrapped in Filo pastry with a whiskey,mustard and cream sauce

Smoked Venison Fillet with walnut pesto and poached pear

Scottish Smoked Salmon with prawn and crayfish cocktail

Roast Shallot and Thyme Tart Tatin with cherry tomato confit

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The main courses on offer consisted of offerings of meat, fish or vegetarian. Most of our party opted for the traditional Christmas fare of  the traditional turkey dinner. I went for the Red Wine Braised Beef Shin Daub with horseradish potatoes, caramelised shallots,roast winter vegetables. All dishes were very flavoursome, picturesque and filling.

 

 

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Then came the dessert. Again a wide choice available all of which I could have chosen and enjoyed.  The Dome cheese board was a popular choice from our party along with Christmas Pudding served with cranberries and brandy butter. I opted for the Trio of Chocolate Desserts with ice cream, chocolate mousse,rich chocolate tart.

 

To complete the meal we were served a choice of coffee or tea and a mini mince pie.

All in all a very enjoyable experience. For a reasonable festive price. I would not hesitate to recommend this venue. However, please be aware that a 10% discretionary service charge is added to your final bill.