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Brazil Nut and Cherry Rusks

A baked sponge base is cut into fingers and dried out (biscotti-style) to make delicious but no too sweet spongy biscuits to nibble on or dip into tea or coffee.

4 large eggs
1 cup (250 ml) white sugar
½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt
2 cups (500 ml) cake flour
1 Tbsp (15 ml) baking powder
1/3 cup (75 ml) brazil nuts cut up into slivers
1/3 cup (75 ml ) red glace cherries, finely chopped
½ cup (125 ml) sunflower or light olive oil
1 cup (250 ml) boiling water
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla essence

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line a large baking tray (± 38 x 28 cm) with baking paper and grease well with butter or spray with cooking spray.
  2. Beat together the eggs, sugar and salt very well for at least 5 minutes until thick and pale yellow.
  3. Sprinkle the flour, baking powder, nuts and cherries over the mixture and beat gently just until combined.
  4. Add the oil, water and flavouring and mix lightly.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared tin, spread evenly and bake about 20 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch.
  6. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes and cut into± 3 cm wide strips lengthwise and then crosswise into fingers ± 7 cm in length.
  7. Arrange the biscotti slightly apart onto baking trays and dry out for about  3 hours at 100 ºC until crisp and dry.
  8. Place a spoon in the oven door to keep it ajar and allow moisture to escape while drying.
  9. Cool and store airtight.

Makes approx 60 sponge fingers (± 3 cm x 8 cm)

Recipe by Carolie de Koster.

Brazil nut and cherry biscotti fingers