Cantuccini

Rain, rain and more rain.  My favourite times of year here in Western Australia are Spring and Autumn and this year I am bitterly disappointed as we seem to have skipped Autumn completely and  jumped straight into Winter.  

I don’t mind the rain, in fact I love it.  There is nothing quite like being snuggled up warm and cosy in bed at night listening to the rain coming down on the roof.  We need the rain so badly here and this is the time of year Mother Nature delivers it to us.  Trouble is, I’m rain specific – it can pour down Monday to Friday but come the weekend I want the sun to shine so I can get out into the veggie patch and the garden, go for walks with my husband and Angus, the Golden Retriever and sit around the chiminea with friends.

So here we are looking out at the rain pouring down.  Angus looks up at me with his big, brown eyes.  Sorry mate, no walk today.  These kind of days usually result in the consumption of copious cups of coffee and you know how I love something sweet to have with my coffee.  My go to is usually biscotti but I have found another wonderful Italian alternative.  It is  cantuccini which I suppose you could call a Tuscan version of biscotti.  It is made with almonds and is more of a cake like texture than biscotti although you can cook it a little longer to get more of a biscuit if you prefer.

Cantuccini

225gm Plain Flour

225gm Caster Sugar

100 – 200gm Chopped Almonds (depending on how nutty you like it)

1 tspn Baking Powder

1 tspn Vanilla Extract

2 Eggs

A pinch of Salt

1 tbspn of Grand Marnier (or you can use Cognac and Orange Zest but I didn’t have an orange to hand and the Grand Marnier worked perfectly!)

150gm unsalted Butter 

Preheat the oven to 180 deg C and grease and line with baking paper either a 23cm round or square cake tin.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat and allow to cool.  In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and almonds.  In another smaller bowl, mix together the eggs, vanilla extract and Grand Marnier.  Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir through.

Then pour in the cooled, melted butter and mix through to form a doughy consistency.  Pour into your cake tin and press down – it should be about 3cm deep.  Bake for approximately 35 – 45 minutes but check and leave longer or remove sooner depending on the texture you prefer.

Allow to cool and then cut into either small wedges if you used a round tin or fingers if you used a square tin.

I can feel a latte coming on……

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