I’m sitting at my desk, headphones on to block out unnecessary noise, my heartbeat finally slowing after an entire day of insanely mad rush.
To say that the past week has been crazy is quite the understatement – I’ve been trying to keep my cool and maintain my calm amidst new responsibilities, month-end deadlines, new objectives and goals that I’ve set for myself and those that are added on as a result of my wider job scope.
I think it’s reasonable to feel like I have my thoughts flying in a thousand and one directions.
And in this crazy web of ideas and things I’m trying to do all at once, I desperately need to hone my ability to focus.
While I can multitask and hold four different Skype chats at the same time, each one covering a different topic; and while I can have twenty different tabs open in my web browser; I feel a growing frustration at sometimes being spread too thin.
In this week where I’ve had to give my attention to so many different topics and people, I need to learn to slow down, step back, take a deep breath and just take the effort focus on one thing at a time.
My weekends, precious time which I hold onto much more dearly these days, are the opportunity I have to relax and dedicate to what I love.
Among the many things I try to squeeze into Saturdays and Sundays, I almost always carve out time for cooking. It trains me to focus, to concentrate, and allows me room to create.
I didn’t realize it back then, when I started cooking classes two years ago, that cooking would eventually because an escape that I’d seek solace in when times start going crazy.
But now, I see that it is, and the hustle and bustle of these days have proven that the tiny two-square meter kitchen in my apartment gives me so much more than the small space it is.
Last Saturday afternoon, which found me alone at home because Juan was at a football marathon with his friends, I decided to test out a recipe for grain-free biscotti – something that’s been on my mind for quite some time.
Biscotti and I have become pretty good friends, and this twice-baked Italian invention is the sort of thing that always comes out a success.
That’s what I love about biscotti – the good old dependable tea-time snack that pleases almost everyone with its crunchy texture.
You can add hazelnuts to biscotti, then coat them with chocolate, or add lemon zest to give a hint of citrus, or you can make it plain, with just almonds, and it still turns out well.
I wanted a plain, no-frills biscotti recipe that I will definitely play around with sometime in the future.
So I experimented and in the course of doing so, left behind work worries and stress, and ended up with very delicious grain-free almond biscotti, baked until golden and crunchy.
I think you might like it too..
GRAIN-FREE ALMOND BISCOTTI (Makes 10-12)
Inspired by: London Bakes
1) 1 cup almond flour/almond meal
2) 1 teaspoon of baking powder
3) 1/3 cup + 1 teaspoon brown sugar
4) 1 egg, beaten
5) 1/4 cup roughly chopped almonds
1) Pre-heat oven to 180 deg Cel and line a baking sheet with a silpat or non-stick baking paper
2) Whisk almond flour/almond meal with baking powder and brown sugar in a large bowl
3) Add the beaten egg and mix the dough together until smooth
4) Gently stir in the chopped almonds until evenly mixed
5) Roll the dough into a flattened rectangle about 6-8 cm wide and place on baking tray
6) Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the dough feels firm to the touch, then remove from oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Turn oven down to 140 deg cel.
7) Once the log has cooled, slice it breadth-wise into 1cm-thick pieces using a bread knife. Place biscotti on one side on a baking paper-lined baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Flip biscotti over and bake on the other side for another 10 minutes until firm.
8) Let biscotti cool before serving