Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Easy ways to look like a god(dess) in the kitchen: Florentines

on May 16, 2011

These are amazing. They taste delicious and are super easy to make, and can probably be made with things in your cupboard and fridge (although you may need to buy cream). If you make these for a dinner party or for a party you’ll look like you’re totally amazing in the kitchen when actually you’ve not done very much at all! You don’t even need an electric whisk.

I found the recipe on this blog here – although I do have a recipe in a book, this one inspired me and made me see how simple it was really. Although I wish I had her silicon bakeware! But you know me, I don’t do fancy kitchen equipment, unless it’s been given to me by one of my husband’s relatives! Most of my stuff is from Ikea. But don’t knock Ikea, I’m pretty impressed with my kitchen stuff!

http://dianeskitchen.wordpress.com/2011/05/05/nuts-dried-fruits-chocolates-its-a-florentins-day/

But despite not having fancy bakeware, they still turned out pretty good, if not so evenly round and the chocolate was a little tricky until I realised that spreading it on with a knife was far quicker and simpler!

I used hazelnuts and almonds (both flaked and whole) and mixed fruit (leftover from Christmas!) but as Diane says – you can use any nuts and dried fruit really, just chop them up so they’re all the same size more or less.

I also used more honey and less sugar in mine. Don’t know why, seemed like a good idea at the time. But I’m sure it works fine either way.

I suppose I should say some thing about the dark chocolate. You may have noticed that I say at least 70% cocoa solids in my recipes. This may seem somewhat judgmental or prescriptive of me (and you know I tend to avoid that and let you decide if you’re doing organic or free range or tesco value!). But there is a serious difference in taste and it’s worth the extra few pence for the better chocolate. In aldi you can buy the 70% cocoa solid chocolate for 10p more than the 50% cocoa solid (and weirdly the 45% is more expensive than both!). And at 99p a bar, you can’t complain really. There’s no need to use green and black’s for cooking (that stuff is for eating!) but just check your percentages when you’re buying.

Florentines

Makes about 20 squares (if you don’t eat them first!)

  • 150g dried or candied fruit
  • 100g flaked almonds
  • 50g assorted nuts
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 50g double or whipping cream (I used double)
  • 40g sugar
  • 40g runny honey
  • 60g plain flour
  • 125g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper (unless you have fancy bakeware!).
  2. Heat your butter, cream, sugar and honey in a saucepan over a medium heat until it’s all melted and starts to simmer. Then add the flour and mix well until you have some weird goo paste.
  3. Next add your nuts and dried fruit to the goo and mix well to combine.
  4. Spread it out on your baking tray until you have a thinish sheet, but no so thin you have holes.
  5. Put in the oven and bake until golden on top (about 10-15 minutes).
  6. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly on the baking tray until turning out onto a wire rack to cool (I cut it into squares at this point, turned it upside down on the wire rack and peeled the paper off from the side now on top – this seemed the easiest way to do it).
  7. Melt the chocolate in a baine marie (bowl of chocolate over a saucepan of boiling water).
  8. When the florentines have cooled either carefully dip your squares into the chocolate, flat side down, or just spread the chocolate on the flat side with a knife (which is why turning them upside down on the wire rack turned out to be the simplest option!). Leave until the chocolate is set.
  9. Enjoy with a cup of tea or after dinner – and revel in your goddessness!
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