Indulge in this delicious recipe from Ilse van der Merwe (www.thefoodfox.com), and we strongly suggest pairing it with Stellenbosch Hills’ latest the vintage of the well-known winery’s rare Muscat de Hambourg, a collector’s item as the only fortified wine of its kind in South Africa. In glass, it is intensely fragrant with aromas of candy floss, boiled sweets, rose petals and violets. These tumble onto the palate in delicious balance and through to a long, satisfying and velvet finish.
The wine is perfect as an aperitif or after-dinner drink, served at room temperature in winter. It is equally tasty when presented over crushed ice, or vanilla ice cream and strawberries.
Pistachio, raspberry & white chocolate biscotti
(makes about 60 medium size biscotti)
3 tablespoons (45 g) butter, softened
1 cup (200 g) sugar
2 XL eggs
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla essence
½ teaspoon (2,5 ml) almond essence
1 cup (100 g) peeled roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
2 cups (280 g) cake flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking powder
¼ teaspoon (1 ml) salt
2-3 tablespoons (30-45 ml) raspberry jam
150 g white chocolate, cut/broken into chunks
3 tablespoons extra pistachios, finely chopped, optional (for decoration)
Adjust oven rack to middle position and pre-heat oven to 180°C.
Whisk butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until well mixed. Mix in eggs one at a time, then vanilla and almond essence.
Stir in the pistachios with a spatula.
Sift dry ingredients over egg mixture, then fold in with a spatula until dough is just mixed.
Halve dough and roll each half on a lightly floured surface into a 25cm x 5cm roll. Using floured hands, pat each log gently to flatten it slightly, then spread one log lengthways with jam (leave the edges clean). Place the second log on top of the jam log and press lightly to fuse the two together. Pat out again into one long roll of about 50cm, then cut it into 2 and place the 2 rolls next to each other on a lined baking tray.
Bake until the flattened logs are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. In the meantime, lower the oven temperature to 160°C.
Slice each log diagonally into 1 cm slices with a very sharp serrated knife. Lay the slices about 1 cm apart on a cooling rack placed over the baking tray and return them to the oven.
Bake until crisp and golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
While the biscotti is cooling, place the chocolate in a microwavable container and microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in-between. Stop when the chocolate is warm but not fully melted – it will continue to melt on standing.
Dip the cooled biscotti in the chocolate, then in the finely chopped pistachios and leave to set on non-stick baking paper. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
To serve: dip the biscotti in Stellenbosch Hills Muscat as a special after-dinner treat – it will soak up a little of the wine, but remain characteristically crisp on the inside.