Easy gluten free Chocolate and Hazelnut Biscotti are the perfect last minute gift. Bake once, freeze, then bake again for gift giving. Keep a loaf of the cooked dough in the freezer and never find yourself scrabbling for a last-minute gift again.
Total Time Investment: 1 hour 20 minutes plus overnight
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Christmas is coming. And it is coming really, really fast. The supremely organised amongst us already have their gifts wrapped and under the tree. I am not one of those people. Every year I make truffles, spice mixes and other food gifts for those on my list. Yet no matter how well I plan, I always manage to forget someone; an oversight that usually only occurs to me the day before I should be fronting up with some sort of gift. Which is where this gluten free chocolate and hazelnut biscotti comes in.
Biscotti are a twice baked biscuit. First the dough is shaped into a log and baked, then the cooked log is sliced and baked again. It is this two step baking process that makes biscotti ideal for emergency gift giving. Allow the cooked log to cool prior to slicing, then wrap it well in foil and store it in the freezer as gift insurance. Should you find yourself in need of an emergency gift, defrost the log (I try to do this overnight, if I have remembered in time), then slice and bake as normal. Allow the cooked biscotti to cool before gift wrapping.
These biscotti are gluten free and wholegrain thanks to the inclusion of the sorghum flour and buckwheat, although I would challenge anybody to notice. The Princess and Mr Grumpy have been working their way happily through my test batches without comment. Neither realised these biscotti were gluten free until I told them.
Biscotti should not be too sweet, so even though these are low on sugar the classic combination of hazelnut and chocolate give the illusion of an indulgent treat. I have incorporated cocoa nibs as I prefer them. Feel free to swap in your favourite chocolate chips or good quality chopped chocolate if you prefer.
I start stocking my freezer with loaves of biscotti about this time every year in preparation for the festive season ahead. I already have a few wrapped loaves of this gluten free chocolate and hazelnut version, as well as some of my Pistachio, Lemon and Rosemary Biscotti. I buy nice boxes and gift bags so I am prepared for the inevitable last minute gift, then adopt a serene gaze and pretend it is all under control. Now where did I put that Christmas tree?
Chocolate & Hazelnut Biscotti Tips & Tricks
- This recipe works best if the loaf is baked on one day, then sliced and baked again on the second day. The loaf will be extremely crumbly if it is not allowed to rest sufficiently. If you are in a hurry, the biscotti can be made in one day. You must ensure though that the cooked loaf is completely cool before slicing or it will just crumble to small pieces.
- Freeze loaves of cooked biscotti dough for up to three months. Allow to defrost completely at room temperature.
- For best results, use a serrated knife for slicing the loaf.
- Store in an airtight container to prevent the crisp slices softening.
- Cooling the loaf in the tin is a critical step in making these biscotti work so don’t skip it. It is the moisture trapped in the tin that allows the loaf to soften enough that it will slice without crumbling immediately.
- Gluten free biscuits will not act in the same way as their gluten cousins. I have not added any gums, commonly seen in gluten free baking, to these biscotti and as such they are slightly fragile and crumbly. Take a little care when slicing the loaf and you will be rewarded with intact slices.
- I have not made these biscotti with any other combination of flours so cannot say for certain the effect that substitutions would have. You could consider using teff flour in place of the buckwheat, and cornflour in place of the arrowroot if desired.
- Use caster sugar in place of the rapadura sugar.
- Try chocolate chips in place of the cocoa nibs.
- Lightly toasted almonds would work well in place of the hazelnuts.
Easy Gluten Free Chocolate and Hazelnut Biscotti
- 102 g (3/4 cup) sorghum flour
- 60 g (1/2 cup) buckwheat flour
- 30 g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder
- 30 g (1/4 cup) arrowroot starch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 150 g lightly roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
- 40 g (1/3 cup) cocoa nibs
To make the loaf
- Preheat the oven to 170C (150C fan forced)
- Line a 21cm x 11cm loaf tin with baking paper and set aside.
- Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk gently to combine.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a separate bowl.
- Whisk in the macadamia oil, coffee powder and vanilla extract.
- Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.
- Stir to combine. You will have a firm dough that will not completely hold its shape.
- Add the hazelnuts and cocoa nibs and stir until evenly distributed through the dough.
- Turn the dough into the loaf tin and push into the corners.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean.
- Allow the loaf to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then completely wrap the loaf (still in the tin) in foil.
- Allow the loaf to cool completely. Preferably overnight.
- If you wish to freeze the loaf, unmould it from the tin, rewrap it and freeze for up to three months.
To make biscotti slices
- Preheat the oven to 150C (130C fan forced).
- Line a tray with baking paper.
- Remove the dough log from the loaf tin.
- Using a serrated knife, and working as gently as possible, slice the log into 1.5cm slices.
- Gently transfer each slice to the baking tray.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the biscotti from the oven and gently turn each slice.
- Bake for a further 15 minutes or until the slices are dry.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring the slices to a cooling rack.
- Allow to cool completely then store in an airtight container.
The loaf will freeze, uncut, for up to 3 months. Allow to defrost overnight if possible before proceeding with the recipe.
Gluten free biscuits will not act in the same way as their gluten cousins. I have not added any gums, commonly seen in gluten free baking, to these biscotti and as such they are slightly fragile and crumbly. Take a little care when slicing the loaf and you will be rewarded with intact slices.
Cooling the loaf in the tin is a critical step in making these biscotti work so don't skip it. It is the moisture trapped in the tin that allows the loaf to soften enough that it will slice without crumbling immediately.