Monday, July 31, 2006

Passionate cantucci with almonds, pink peppercorns and ginger

I first came across these cantucci with a kick exactly a year ago, when I received a European Blogging By Mail parcel from Johanna of The Passionate Cook. They were absolutely gorgeous - crunchy and bravely flavoured with ginger and pink peppercorns. I printed out the recipe straight away, but somehow I didn't manage to make these until last Friday. Silly me!

May I proudly present you with:

Johanna's cantucci* with almonds, ginger and pink peppercorns
(Roseepipra-mandliküpsised ingveriga)

I took these along to a dinner party on Saturday night, where - following a very tasty Sri-Lankan meal - we dipped them into coffee and/or cloudberry liqueur from Lapponia. I am so making these again soon. So should you, so go and get that recipe from Johanna's blog a.s.a.p! Or, if you're looking for something more lemony and are not too keen on almonds, then try these Pignoli Cantuccini with pine nuts from Delicious Days.

* You Say Biscotti, I Say Cantucci (a la Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong)
Note that there is some cross-Atlantic confusion about the name here. Italians call this type of crunchy cookies cantucci (meaning 'little stones' in Italian). In North America, on the other hand, these cookies are known 'biscotti'. These particular cantucci would hence be called almond, ginger and pink peppercorn biscotti across the Atlantic. The explanation? Biscotti means 'cooked twice' in Italian, suitably describing the way these cookies are prepared. However, the word 'biscotti' has later extended to a generic name to describe pretty much any cookie in Italian (a bit like the word 'biscuit' in British English).

Click here for a very informative post about cantucci/biscotti.


Anonymous said...

Having tasted the cantucci with almonds, pink peppercorns and ginger on Saturday night I am now a huge fan. I forgot how wonderful it can be to have ginger and peppery flavours in sweet foods. It reminded me of the first time I tasted chocolate with chilli flavours.

Also, I have noticed from your blog that you have a huge respect for Australian cooking: Stephanie Alexander, Bill Granger, David Thompson and Christine Manfield. Is this accidental or do you think Australian cooking is a venture in risk-taking?

Cheers, Tom

Anonymous said...

Pille thank you for reminding me. They have been on my list for months as well... Have a great time ! angelika

Anonymous said...

Cantucci/biscotti, I'm sure it tastes delicious.


Pille said...

Tom - I'm glad you liked the my cantucci:) Now that you have the recipe, you can make these yourself. Re: Australian cooking - it's been rather popular recently indeed, and I love the Stephanie Alexander's & Bill Granger's books I've got. There's something relaxed and refreshing about their style, which really appeals to me. Sadly, I cannot buy any more cookbooks at the moment, or I'd never be able to transport them home in October. But there are several more Australian cookbooks I absolutely must have one day..

Angelika - you're welcome. The only other cantucci I've made were orange and almond ones (recipe from Tessa Kiros' Twelve), and Johanna's were definitely more tasty and interesting. Your fellow Austrian blogger is a great source of decadent recipes, isn't she?

Paz - they were delicious indeed, but when you make these in NY, call them biscotti, or people will be lost otherwise:)

Anonymous said...

To add to the confusion of terms, our favourite Italian foodblogger Alberto of Il Forno sent me the following comment to my cantucci post: "johanna, a huge and grateful thanks! I'd almost fly to the UK to give you a hug :-). Finally someone that calls these with their proper name: cantucci. Why do people keep calling them biscotti? That's just Italian for biscuits."
I'll stick with cantucci, then... or maybe I'll just be quiet and gobble them all up while the rest of the table discusses which is the right name ;-)

Anonymous said...

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