Orange and chocolate. It’s a classic combination. But I have a confession: I have mixed feelings about it. I want to like it. I really do. I feel somehow stunted. Limited. Because I shy away from this combo. But honestly, I’m not a fan. I don’t hate it, I just don’t like it. So in an effort to broaden my horizons and give this combination another chance, I made orangey-chocolate chunk biscotti.
Tangent: I’m reading The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten. In the introduction, he talks about how he made himself get over his food aversions so that he could eat anything as a food writer/critic. His secret? Repeated exposure to the offending food. Maybe there is hope for me and my orange-chocolate aversion. I did manage to get over most of my olive aversion by periodically forcing myself to eat an olive or two. Some of the stronger flavored olives still repel me slightly but I have found a number of olives that I love… and I don’t avoid foods on menus just because of olives in the description.
Remember the lime white-chocolate biscotti? I used a Dorie Greenspan recipe for Lenox biscotti. It’s made with cornmeal which adds an addictive crunch. This time I took the same recipe but added orange zest and dark chocolate instead of the lime zest and white chocolate chips. I really liked the orangey-ness of the batter. The combination of orange, vanilla, and butter was reminiscent of a creamsicle so I had great hopes for the finished biscotti. The final flourish was chopping up some dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s and mixing it into the dough just before baking.
The results were very pretty: speckles of orange and chunks of dark chocolate. But flavor-wise not my favorite biscotti (the chewy chocolate ones are still my favorite… chocolatey, salty, not too sweet, not too hard. Hmm. Maybe it’s time to make some more). I sent the biscotti to work with Dan where he and his coworkers enjoyed the orangey-chocolaty-crunchy biscotti. So I don’t think it was a failure in execution, just a failure to convert myself into an orange-chocolate lover. Maybe next time.