How to make Biscotti al Caffe (Italian coffee biscuits) with Mitshel Ibrahim (Ombra Bar and Restaurant)
Thinking of a holiday this long weekend? We are too which is why we've taken a trip to northern Italy with this perfect spiced, sweet coffee pairing - Biscotti al Caffe.
Mitshel Ibrahim is the Head Chef at East London dining icons, Ombra, and while he may be better known for bringing modernity and refinement to the traditional dishes of Veneto he's been kind enough to share a good old classic with us here.
A little resting here and a little gentler than normal incorporation of ingredients there and you'll see that, if you respect the dough, it'll pay you back in spades. Take a little care to follow the steps of this recipe and you'll be rewarded with light, buttery flaky biscotti that with hints of coffee and clove sing by themselves but elevate a morning/ afternoon coffee to another level.
Ombra - the canal side Venetian inspired bar and restaurant - has a cult following amongst both industry and fiercely loyal Hackney locals. Previously of The Dairy, Koya and The Clove Club, Mitshel's take on Venetian dishes honour their Italian roots while offering sophistication and originality for the inquisitive palates of London's modern diners.
They are currently offering a take- away only menu which focus on fresh pasta, dinner set menus and picnic bundles as well as a load of hard-to-find Italian provisions.
Photos: Ruta Sasnauskaite
- 270g plain flour
- 100g soft butter
- 90g demerara sugar
- 50ml of brewed coffee (we've used Mount Espresso and any strong brewing method will do)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Icing sugar & caster sugar for dusting
- Brew your coffee and set aside to let cool to room temperature.
- In a large mixing bowl use an electric mixer to cream the butter and the sugar together until the butter mixture turns light in colour and texture.
- Add the egg and the coffee and mix well.
- In a separate bowl mix the four, cloves and salt until uniform.
- Add the flour mix incrementally to the wet mix and take care to combine without 'over-working' the flour.*
- Wrap your dough in air-tight cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for a minimum 1hr.
- When you're ready to begin baking remove the dough from fridge and allow to rest at room temperature for 10 - 15 mins. Pre-heat oven to 180C
- Using your hands create golf ball sized balls of dough and allow to rest on a tray for 10-15 mins.
- Using two separate bowls coat the balls of dough first in caster and then icing sugar before placing them on a backing tray lined with parchment baking paper. Allow 5-7cm between balls as they will expand while cooking.
- Cook for 13-16 minutes until biscotti are cooked golden rotating the tray half way.
- Allow biscotti to cool on a cake rack.
*The best Biscotti al Caffee are light and fluffy in texture. Take care not to develop too much gluten in the preparation by over-working the batter. This will lead to heavier chewy biscotti.