Christine McFadden Cookery and Food Writing
Christine McFadden with students
Baby Chillies
Braised Cheeks
Candied Seville Orange
Peel in Syrup
Cantuccini with Black Pepper,
Fennel and Orange Zest
Coconut Flour Pancakes
with Lime
Chick-Pea Pancakes with Nigella Seeds and Turmeric
Couscous Salad with
Roasted Green Garlic
Deep-Fried Egg
Easy Curry
Globe Artichokes
Glorious Green Stir-Fry
Goose Egg Frittata with
Potato, Onions and
Piquillo Peppers
Grilled Asparagus Salad
with Bacon and Parmesan
Greengage and
Cobnut Crumble
Guinea Fowl with Peppercorn
and Kaffir Lime Leaf Butter
Japonica Jelly
Korean Roasted Roots
Meringue Roulade with Strawberry, Cucumber
and Mint Filling
Mexican Pork and Beans
Moroccan Kid Tagine with Apricots and Almonds
Mushroom, Red Pepper and Rocket Ciabatta Burgers
Mushrooms with Pappardelle,
Pine Nuts, Cream, Garlic
and Parmesan
Pan de Higo
(Spanish Fig Bread)
Pan-Fried Jerusalem
Artichokes with Cobnuts
Pear and Chestnut Tart with
Rosemary and Orange Syrup
Quince and Ginger Sorbet
Quince Compôte
Rabbit with Potatoes,
Peppers and Lemon
Roasted Squash
and Chilli Soup
Roast Grouse with
Rosemary Sorbet
Roasted Cauliflower with
Walnuts, Chives and Lemon
Rhubarb and Angelica Sorbet
Sea Bass Parcels
with Fennel and
Preserved Lemon
Salted Sevilles with
Star Anise, Coriander
and Chilli
Seville Orange Ice Cream
Spiced Parsnips and
Ginger Cupcakes with
Orange Drizzle
Spiced Roast Quince with
Honey and Clotted Cream
Strawberry and
Black Pepper Ice-Cream
Strawberry Compôte with
Tarragon and Orange Zest
Sweet Pepper Tarte Tatin
with Black Pepper Caramel
Two-Apple Pizza
with Walnuts
Two-Cherry Yogurt Ice
Warm Salad of Baby Broad
Bean Pods, Grilled Cherry
Tomatoes and Feta
Warm Salad of Partridge,
Pears and Walnuts
Baking classes Christine McFadden

Cantuccini with Black Pepper, Fennel and Orange Zest

These pepper-spiked biscuits are fun to make. There is just enough pepper to make itself felt, and it combines beautifully with the sweet clean flavours of orange and aniseed. Delicious dipped in a glass of vin santo or sherry.
Makes about 25

eggs 2, plus I egg yolk
caster sugar 200g
finely grated orange zest 2 tsp
vanilla extract ½ tsp
plain white flour 270g, plus extra for kneading
baking powder ½ tsp
fennel seeds 1½ tsp, lightly crushed
black peppercorns ¾ tsp, freshly ground
whole almonds with skin 100g

1) Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment or silicone.

2) In a large bowl whisk the eggs, sugar, orange zest and vanilla extract for about 3 minutes until pale and creamy.

3) Sift the flour and baking powder into the egg mixture.

4) Add the fennel seeds and black pepper. Using a metal spoon, mix the dough until it forms a sticky ball.

5) Tip the dough out onto a well-floured work surface. Flatten with the palm of your hand into a rough circle. Sprinkle over the almonds and knead them into the dough. If the dough is still too sticky add a little more flour.

6) Divide the dough in half. Roll out into logs about 4cm wide and 24cm long. Place the rolled logs on the prepared tin. Flatten slightly using the palm of your hand. Score the dough diagonally with a blade or sharp knife at 1.5cm intervals.

6) Bake in the middle of the oven for 15–20 minutes, or until pale golden and firm to touch. Remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C/gas 2.

7) Cut through the score lines. Place the slices flat on the baking sheet. Return to the oven for 15-20 minutes, and bake until golden and no longer sticky.

Cook's notes
• If the cantuccini brown too quickly during the first baking, cover them with
a loose piece of baking parchment.
• For completely hard cantuccini, turn off the oven and leave them to dry out
until the oven is cold. If you prefer a chewy moist biscuit, don't let them
dry out completely. Just let them cool a little and eat at once.

Recipe © Christine McFadden from Pepper: the Spice That Changed the World published by Absolute Press/Bloomsbury

    Photography: Jason Lowe    
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