TWICE-BAKED Italian biscotti is an all-year-round treat, so coupled with a scoop of ice cream on a hot summers day it becomes an instant crowd-pleaser.

The almond-inspired biscuits, meticulously-made into oblong mouthfuls, give an air of elegance when, really, they're a fairly simple to make.

A confident statement, having been shown the ropes by two Great British Bake Off (GBBO) favourites, handed recipes by two master chefs, and given tips by the president of Assocantuccini (the Association of Producers of Cantuccini Toscani) Giovanni Belli.

Dolce Hotels and Resorts, owned by the hotel franchise Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, sent the somewhat intimidating invite - considering the line-up - to help learn the latest biscotti blends.

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The hotel franchise, which runs a host of world-wide chains including Ramada hotels in Oxfordshire, was on the hunt for the best biscotti recipe to roll-out to all its Dolce Hotels.

Top-class chefs had been whittled down to two finalists chef Aleece Alexander of Dolce Aspen Meadows Resort, and chef Adrien Clauwaert of Dolce by Wyndham La Hulpe Brussels who would battle it out to win 'best recipe'.

One cooking up a pistachio, apricot, and cranberry concoction, the other a blend of almond, hazelnut and lime.

The chefs were tasked with guiding two teams of novice bakers, assisted by the familiar faces of Bake Off's Benjamina Ebuehi and Selasi Gbormittah, through the recipes, before a panel of judges chose the best one to launch under Due by Dolce.

Oxford Mail:

The winning recipe;

Pre-heat the oven at 180C and sift together 320g all-purpose flour, 6g baking powder, and 4.5g salt. Set aside.

For the dough, mix together 112g salted butter (melted then cooled), 168g sugar, and 112g pistachio paste.

Add two large eggs (one at a time) and beat until light and fluffy.

Add 2tbps of Amaretto and 1tsp almond extract on a low speed before slowly adding the dry ingredients until combined.

Finally stir in 56g of chopped pistachios, 56g diced dried apricots, and 42g diced dried cranberries.

Divide the dough into two equal pieces and create two logs about 21ins long, 2ins wide, and 3/4 ins tall. Place on a grease-proof papered baking sheet. Sprinkle with 28g of sugar and freeze for 20 minutes.

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Then bake the logs for 20 minutes, remove and wait until they are cool. Then freeze again for 10 minutes, to help keep them from breaking when slicing.

Oxford Mail:

Lower the oven to 120C and remove from freezer to slice on a 45-degree angle every 2cm. If they start to crumble spritz with water and leave for two minutes.

Spread out the biscotti for a further 20 minute bake, flipping them over mid-way.

The result: a beautifully-baked biscotti worthy of a hotel visit itself!

This winning recipe, as chosen by the judges at the event in London, was created by Aspen chef Aleece Alexander and will now be rolled-out worldwide across Dolce hotels.

Mrs Alexander said: "I am immensely proud and excited by this fantastic achievement.

"Just like Dolce by Wyndham’s culinary identity, biscotti are products of excellence and craftsmanship and we created a recipe with passion and dedication to ensure it would really give a taste of the artistry, craft and inspiration that you experience at our hotels.

"We are thrilled our recipe was crowned as the winner of this exhilarating bake-off and we are looking forward to bringing our signature biscotti to our guests all around the world.”

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