Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Italian affair...a disaster!

Oh! It is easy to make, I will hand you some recipes I have. Those were the parting words of my friend. It was after I exclaimed how delicious the biscotti we had at Coffee Bean were. They were delicious and nice. Only the price was not. I was handed a few biscotti recipes a few days later. Getting ready the almonds, raisins, and flour was an easy feat. The mixing part was not that easy. In the course of the mixing, I realised that the dough was very sticky. Scraping the mixture off from the sides of the mixing bowl caused me to break a palette knife. Then came the shaping of the dough to make a rectangular shape. Oh my, it was a very messy and sticky job. I had dough even on my hair. With no butter added in the recipe, the dough sticks all over. It took a while before I got it into the required shape. The dough went into the oven for the first bake. Then, the second bake and it was done. Up until that point, I thought everything was still under control. (I almost gave up during the mixing part.) The cutting of the biscotti was not easy either.The first two pieces were good then the third...ow..ow..Everything started to break. There was no way I could cut them into slices. I decided to let everything break and helped a little. I took a knife and flicked everything apart. Picture above shows the little 'rocks' of biscotti. Oh, guess what was next. It was not properly baked, the centre was still soft. I had the biscotti baked again. It turned out to be really 'jaw breaking' biscuits. It was baked three times and not double. (Biscotti are known as jaw-breaking biscuits.) If those disasters were not enough, friend turned up at the door. Goodness, why are your biscotti so thick, she asked. We checked the recipe and...I cut them into 3 cm instead of 3 mm! It was too hard and too thick and could not be sliced properly. Everything spelt disaster. Every once in a while, disasters like the biscotti experience happened. I would have cracked the wall with the little 'rocks' (just joking) but what Miss Mischievous did stopped me. I could not help taking a picture of her. She kept coming to the window as the aroma of the biscotti baking in the oven flowed through the kitchen. She appeared, she sniffed and she licked the window. She looked so cute. The look of the biscotti was not a welcome sight but the taste was not that bad. There were no jaws broken as we tried the little 'rocks' of biscotti. The biscotti were very hard! However, both dogs enjoyed the little rocks. It must have been 'bones' to them only different in flavour. After we cleared up, I told my friend that I would stick to my plain 'kiam pneah (soda biscuits) or maybe 'marie pneah' (another kind of biscuit). No more making those that comes with pompous word...biscotti. :o) **The name biscotti is derived from 'bis' meaning twice in Italian and 'cotto" meaning baked or cooked. Biscotti is said to have originated during Columbus's time and credited to an Italian baker who originally served them with Tuscan wines. They became so popular that every province developed their own flavoured version. Because of their long storage ability, they were an ideal food for sailors, soldiers, and fishermen.

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