We were wandering through the supermarket a few days ago when my husband spotted some florentines, and commented how much he likes them.
"I can make those," I said, with absolute confidence.
It was only later that I realised I'd never made them before, and by then, I'd already steered Andy round to the Home Baking aisle to pick up flaked almonds, and cherries, and candied peel. We were at the checkout before I realised I had no idea what I was going to stick them together with.
Now, when I want a recipe for something baking-ish (where proportions matter!), I generally turn to the internet before my many recipe books. I really want Google to invent a new type of recipe search engine, where it scours the internet for all instances of a particular dish and then works out the ideal proportions of the ingredients, across the whole internet. But until then, I do a small-scale, manual version myself, reading a large number of related recipes and trying to find a sort of middle-ground. This is the result of that process.
Florentines are a classic Christmastime treat in my home alongside mince pies and lebkuchen... and now, I'll never need to buy them again.
Makes 16 biscuits
100g flaked almonds
50g candied peel
25g glace cherries
50g caster sugar
50g plain flour
2tsp golden syrup
2tsp double cream
100-150g chocolate for melting (I used milk chocolate this time)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, and line two large baking trays with greaseproof paper (or use a silicone baking sheet).
- Chop the cherries into quarters, and mix the almonds, cherries, raisins and candied peel together in a bowl.
- Melt the butter, sugar and flour together in a small saucepan, over a very low heat, stirring constantly.
- Once the butter has fully melted, ensure the flour and sugar are fully mixed in, then add the syrup and stir through.
- Remove from the heat and stir the cream through the mixture. You should end up with a very thick, homogenous liquid.
- Add the almonds and fruit, and mix thoroughly.
- Use a teaspoon to scoop out small balls of the mixture, and space evenly around the baking sheets, leaving about an inch around each one for spreading. Flatten each biscuit slightly.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown (any longer, as I found out with my second batch, and they will spread further to become rather too crispy). Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray for a couple of minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Melt the chocolate according to your favourite method (I have a special chocolate-melting machine, but in a bowl over a pan of boiling water works fine, too).
- Spoon a little chocolate onto the flat side of each florentine, and spread it around to cover the biscuit. Refrigerate to speed up the setting of the chocolate.
If you want to show off:
I was primarily making these for myself (and my husband, obviously), so I did them quite quickly. If you want to show off, you may want to ensure the florentines are round by pushing the raw mixture into the base of muffin tins. You may also want to draw pretty patterns in the chocolate with a fork, or use a mixture of different types of chocolate (plain, milk, and white are all lovely with florentines).
|I'm submitting this recipe to Food Blogga's 3rd Eat Christmas Cookies event - see here for the rules and here for the roundup which is absolutely stuffed with amazing recipes for sugary Christmas goodies|