Friday, 25 September 2015

Chocolate, Almond and Orange Biscotti

Since I don't have anything interesting to share when it comes to food, I thought I'd pop in and say hello and share with you the books that I've read recently. The first is Elif Shafak's 'The Architect's Apprentice'. I have been wanting to read more of her work after she captivated me with her earlier book, 'Forty Rules of Love'. And the second book is the final instalment of Amitav Ghosh's 'Ibis' Trilogy, 'Flood of Fire'.

I am no one to critique these novels or these writers except to say I am just in awe of both of them. Their ability to write a story of fiction, breathe life into its characters and then build the plot to a crescendo whilst capturing the drama of human emotions that beats at its heart, is story telling at its finest.

Ghosh's book is richer and more complex but that's also because his canvas stretches across three books. And I also feel that his book is steeped in the culture of traditional Indian storytelling, with its myriad of sub plots whose paths intersect and intertwine through the book.

But, most of all these books remind me that the more I read, the more I realise how little I know. Both are books of fiction that are set in a factual, historical setting and one can only marvel at the sheer research undertaken by both authors to write these books. Shafak's novel has the Ottoman Empire as its backdrop while Ghosh's novel is set in the theatre of the Anglo-Chinese Opium War.

And I'll admit my knowledge of both is abysmal. In fact, my knowledge of history overall is patchy and wonder if it has anything to do with insipid history curriculum that we had in school. And it's a handicap because to the understand the issues of the present, one needs to view them through the periscope of past events.

Now, that's enough of a ramble about the books that I've read. Instead, let me tell you about these biscotti. I saw these on Pinterest and there was something about them being dipped in chocolate that made me want to bake them.

These are dry, crackly cocoa biscotti with a hint of orange and cinnamon that are given texture with almonds and pistachios that are then dipped in shiny, glossy dark chocolate so that nobody can find any fault with them. Biscotti are some of the easiest and least time consuming biscuits to make. I will say though that these biscotti taste better the next day when the flavours have been allowed to deepen.  

I am currently reading Tolstoy's 'Anna Karenina' and wondering why I haven't read it till now. I'd love to hear what you are reading, no matter what the genre is. Have a lovely weekend!! 

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Chocolate Hobnob Biscuits

It's been a bit quiet around here, hasn't it?! It's not that I have been super busy but rather the mind's been a bit preoccupied and honestly, before I knew it, the days have just gone by! I've even had a few posts in mind but they've just remained stuck right my mind! I've had the time, the inspiration, the kitchen to myself and yet, for reasons that remain unknown I've just stayed away from the kitchen.
And then this week, as it always happens, I wanted to pre-heat the oven again. Just like that! So, to ease back into the groove with things, I decided first up to fill up the biscuit jar that's been lying empty for way too long.

I saw these biscuits on Izy's blog a few days back and I knew had to bake them. For no other reason than nostalgia. Chocolate-coated Hobnobs and chocolate-coated Digestives have kept me company through many an exam and late night project submission deadlines. And for some reason, I always chose the dark chocolate ones over their milk chocolate peers. Well, the reasoning was that the virtues of dark chocolate would counter the evils of excessive and stress induced snacking. The mind's ability to twist logic around to validate our decisions is simply genius!!

But, coming back to these biscuits that I baked. Hobnobs are oat-based biscuits and this recipe is brilliant. There is no white sugar, no white flour, no eggs and they taste even better than the shop bought ones. You could leave out the chocolate topping but I advise against that. The chocolate completes it. And with the Indian climate, store them in the fridge. Hobnobs taste better when cold.
You should hopefully see some more activity on this blog in the coming weeks. In the meanwhile, I hope you've been well..xx!
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