Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pistachio and Saffron Biscotti

Diwali (Hindu festival of lights) is around the corner and we have a series of parties to go to. It's a fabulous time of the year, as for us living in the West, we get to start the Holiday season a few weeks before Thanksgiving and carry on with the rest of the world with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years! 
Diwali, just like Christmas, packs on a few pounds with all the sweets and food there is. After all, what is a festival and holiday without food?
I LOVE all things sweet, but despite my sweet tooth and Indian origin, I really do not love Indian sweets all that much.
Western desserts have always been my weakness, which is why I chose to make Pistachio and Saffron Biscottis instead. Both the flavors work well with Indian food, and it would work fabulously for our tea time pot luck tomorrow.

This is the first time I ever made biscotti, and it was quite easy and makes a large batch. The recipe said 50, but I got closer to 35–40. 

This recipe is by Georgie Socratous, from

6.5 oz pistachios
Good pinch of saffron, soaked in 2tbsp boiling water
4 oz / 1 stick butter
3 eggs
7 oz caster sugar
630g flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F
  2. Spread pistachios on a tray and bake for 5 minutes. Leave to cool.
  3. In an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. 
  4. With the mixer running add the eggs, sugar and soaked saffron (with water)
  5. Add in the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix the dough until smooth.
  6. Using a wooden spoon stir in the pistachios.
  7. Line and grease a large tray or 2 smaller ones and roll your biscotti into long logs about 2cm high– not too high, but you can make it wide for larger biscotti or thin for smaller. 
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, let the logs cool and then transfer to a cutting board.
  9. Diagonally slice each log into 2cm–thick pieces. Place back on the tray, cut-sides up and bake for 5 minutes or until golden. Turn them over and bake for another 5 minutes. 
  10. Turn them over and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  11. Let them cool.
  12. In a double-boiler, melt the chocolate chips.
  13. Dip a biscotti, one at a time into the melted chocolate, clean the edges with a small spatula or spreader and lay on a lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for one hour for the chocolate to harden. Serve at room temperature.
Different flavors to try out too! 

  • Swop the saffron for 1 vanilla bean and the pistachio with sliced almonds
  • Swop the saffron for 2 tsp cinnamon and 2 tsp chai masala
  • Dip the biscotti in chocolate as above, cool in the fridge and then re-dip in white chocolate to make it double chocolate. 

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