These easy and very addictive chocolate florentines are great for festive gifting – or to serve after Christmas dinner with a cup of coffee!
- 50g (2 oz) Unsalted Butter
- 50g (2 oz) Demerara Sugar
- 50g (2 oz) Plain (All Purpose) Flour
- 50g (2 oz) Golden Syrup
- 50g (2 oz) Mixed Candied Peel
- 50g (2 oz) Blanched Almonds
- 4 Glace Cherries
- 90g (3 oz) White Chocolate
- 90g (3 oz) Plain Chocolate
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (350 fahrenheit) and line two to three large, non-stick baking trays with baking parchment.
- Combine the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a medium saucepan and set it over a medium low heat, stirring occasionally until the butter has all melted.
- Meanwhile, finely chop the blanched almonds and cut the glace cherries into eighths – I find if they’re particularly sticky it helps to rinse off any excess sugar syrup under a cold tap and pat them dry on a piece of kitchen paper first!
- Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the flour, chopped nuts, candied peel and chopped cherries until everything is just combined.
- Drop teaspoons of mixture onto the baking trays, leaving a good amount of space between them to spread out – I never put more than six on a tray, even if this means I have to work in batches. Try to get them into nice rounds, so you get nice round florentines! Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes keeping a careful eye on them – you want them to be just golden, and they catch really quickly!
- Meanwhile, in two separate heatproof bowls, melt the chocolate. I know some people are happy to do this in the microwave, but I prefer to do it over a pan of simmering water set over a medium heat, the chocolate bowl not touching the water, allowing the steam to gently melt the chocolate. Set the chocolate aside to cool a little.
- Remove the florentines from the oven and allow them to cool on the tray for 5 minutes or so, just until they’re stiff enough to be lifted from the tray onto a wire cooling rack without bending! Also, if some have splurged a little and are not perfect circles, working quickly the moment they come out of the oven you can carefully re-shape them a little using a palette knife!
- Once the florentines are completely cool, working in batches (see my notes in the post above) using the back of a spoon or a palette knife, spread a generous layer of chocolate on the flat side of each florentine before using a fork to create a few decorative squiggles on the cooling chocolate (see photos) before leaving the chocolate to set.
We use just almonds as a family preference, but you can use whatever mixture of nuts you like!