Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Inbox Sweetness

The Quakebake Newsletter is one of the highlights in my email inbox. Quakebake are a certified organic, artisan bakery in the Hawkes Bay who hand-make a range of sweet and savoury gluten free treats, German style Gingerbreads, and Italian style biscotti. Its newsletters promote a lot of things dear to my heart: obviously there's biscuits and slices but also matters including slow food, farmers' markets, romance (a free sweetheart cookie for your Valentine last year) and having a say on issues you care about.

In today's newsletter owner Robert Haas shared a recipe for Orange and Almond Biscotti which is reproduced below with permission (thanks Robert).

For someone selling biscotti, this was an interesting move, but Robert explained his reasoning like this: "Whilst I'm more than happy to sell Quakebake products to you, and actually rely on you to buy my products every now and then, I still think there is a certain emotional quality in home-made food, that even an artisan baker like me can't deliver on. That emotional quality is an intrinsic part of enjoying food and living a good and fulfilled life. It may look insignificantly small and negligible in our busy worlds of today, but it is there, and it can't be replaced by other means."
Good on you Robert ! We agree and hope many people enjoy making their own biscotti at home as well as enjoying other products from your range.

Make sure you have a look at Quakebake's website ( to sign up for the newsletter, to be tempted by Robert's range of organic biscuits and slices and for more mouth watering recipes.



  • 2 whole eggs
  • 250 g sugar
  • 80 g slivered almonds
  • zest of 1 orange (finely grated)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 250 g flour (preferably cake flour)


  • Pre-heat oven to 180 degree Celsius.
  • Cream the eggs with the sugar.
  • Add the grated orange zest, the almonds and the vanilla essence.
  • Sieve the flour with the baking powder and add to the mix.
  • Shape in two longish loaves directly on the baking paper of your baking tray (it will be reasonably sticky, use wet hands).
  • Put the tray into the oven, turn temperature down to 160 and bake for 35 min.
  • Pull the biscotti out of the oven, cool a little down and cut with a serrated knife (bread knife) into slices approximately 1 cm thick.
  • Spread out on the baking tray and bake another 15 min., for a more even baking result you can turn the biscotti after 8 min.
  • Once the biscotti have cooled down, store them in an airtight container.


  • Coat one end with chocolate, simply melt in a water bath or in the microwave 200 g dark chocolate (e.g. the Fairtrade dark chocolate from the TradeAid shops is very good).
  • Dip one end of the biscotti in, or the bottom of the biscotti, which ever you prefer.
  • Rest the coated biscotti on a wire rack until set, then store in an airtight container.
  • If the chocolate shows some white coating after a few days, don't worry this is called chocolate blume and is harmless. It doesn't look perfect this way, but is not affecting the flavour (it is caused by the cocoa butter which started to crystallise because the temperature of the melted chocolate wasn't perfect - you would need to do what is called tempering, but to do this efficiently you would need a marble slab in you kitchen!

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