An easy version of the classic Italian biscuit adapted from a recipe by the brilliant Maida Heatter.
Makes 30 slices
75g / 3oz whole almonds
100g / 4oz plain flour
1/4 tsp bicarb
1/4 tsp baking powder
50g / 2oz granulated sugar
100g / 4oz chocolate chunks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp whisky
Toast the almonds in a single layer in a 180°C / 350°F / Gas 3 until they are lightly coloured and have a lovely smell of toasted almonds when you open the oven door. Set aside to cool and turn the oven up to 190°C / 375°F / Gas 4.
Line a flat baking sheet with baking parchment. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb and sugar and stir to mix. Put an ounce or so of these dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor with around an ounce or so of the toasted almonds. Process for 30 seconds or so until powdery.
Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and add the rest of the almonds and chocolate chunks and stir to mix.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs with the vanilla extract and whisky. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until it all hangs together in a slightly sticky ball.
Turn out onto a plastic sheet or some other surface where you will be able to add water. Wet your hands and shape into a ball. Cut into quarters with a sharp knife, and then shape each part into a long, flat sausage, about 9 inches by 2 inches and about 1 inch high. The ends of each sausage shape should be rounded.
Place the four biscuits onto your baking tray and bake for 25 minutes, turning half way through to make sure they cook evenly.
Remove the sheets from the oven and slide off the trays onto a wire rack to cool. Make sure the biscuits are completely cold by puttting in the fridge for a few minutes when they have cooled for a while on the rack. When you are sure there is no sticky chocolate left inside, transfer onto a cutting board and slice up with a bread knife at a sharp angle.