Chocolate, cocoa nib and cherry biscotti

wheat/ dairy free. Makes 32

This is my personal prescription for those of you who just want a little something delicious when you sit down after dinner with a cup of tea. They do have some expensive ingredients, but in small amounts, and the recipe makes 32 odd - oh, and they last for ages, and did I say they are really good?

Kitchen Notes: Cocoa Nibs are becoming more freely available, even organic ones. They are roasted, hulled and broken cocoa beans – this is where chocolate comes from. Probably the most heavenly food on the planet, rich with every possible nuance of flavour and the texture of nuts, and rich with cocoa butter. Unbelievably fabulous.

2 cups white spelt flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 cup rapadura or raw sugar 1/2 cup nuts - walnuts, pecans or almonds -roughly chopped 1/2 cup dried cherries - roughly chopped 3 tablespoons cocoa nibs 35 gm dark 70% chocolate finely chopped 1/4 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup almond oil 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract 165 ml (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) milk - soy or oat

Pre heat the oven to 180c or 165c if fan forced.

Lay a sheet of baking paper over a baking tray.

Add the spelt flour, baking powder and sugar to a mixing bowl and whisk through. Add the nuts, cherries, cocoa nibs and chocolate and whisk through.

Add the maple syrup, oil, milk and vanilla to a small bowl and mix together. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. The mix may be quite moist, but will be fine.

Place the mixture onto a very lightly floured work surface and roll into a log - 36cm long, by 3 cm deep. It should be about 6 - 7 cm wide. Place onto the lined baking tray (this may need to be on the diagonal to fit) and bake for approx 30 - 35 mins, or until firm to the touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool fully.

Turn the oven down or off, remembering to bring it up to heat or on again when ready to bake the biscotti for the second time. The temperature should be 170c or 160 if fan forced.

Pick the log up using the paper to lift it and place on a cutting surface. Using a sturdy, sharp knife (not serrated) cut the log into slices, 1 cm thick. Gently pick up each slice (I use my knife or palette knife to do this) and transfer them to an unlined baking tray. You will need two trays. Bake for 15 mins or less - you don't want the biscotti to colour, and turn. Again, I prefer to use my knife or a palette knife to do this. Bake for a further 10 - 15 mins. Remove from oven and let cool before storing in an airtight container. If for any reason you feel they have not dried out enough, simply return to the oven.