Florentines

Sunday, 19 December 2010

How funny to find a comment posted today on this post. When there are six inches of snow covering everything in sight it is hard to remember those hot days of early summer when I was making ice lollies every day. But not all my readers are in the UK or even in this hemisphere, so to Caz, Alice and everyone else reading in Australia and New Zealand I hope you are enjoying a lovely summer.

This weekend I have been making florentines. Florentines are a rather special and luxurious biscuit and something of a Christmas tradition in my family. My mum has been making them every Christmas for as long as I can remember and I have been making them for at least twenty years. They are easy to make but require careful measuring and some patience. The recipe I use is slightly adapted from one in Mary Berry's Ultimate Cake Book.


You need 2 oz of everything.
In a saucepan gently melt 2 oz each of butter, demerara sugar and golden syrup.
Remove from the heat.


Next stir in 2 oz of chopped nuts- I used half walnuts and half almonds, 2 oz chopped glacé cherries and 2 oz of candied peel. I'm making a double quantity here.


Add 2 oz plain flour to the mixture and stir well.


Spoon teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto lined baking sheets. Space them well apart as they will spread a lot.


Bake at 180°c / 160°c fan oven / gas 4 for 8-10 minutes.
Leave to harden on the baking sheets before lifting carefully with a palette knife onto a cooling rack.


When completely cool melt 6 oz of dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water.
Turn the florentines flat side up and spread with melted chocolate. Leave to set.
I generally put the chocolate on the day after I have baked the biscuits. They are best stored in the fridge to keep the chocolate nice and hard. They also freeze well.


If I get round to it I am going to try them with chopped crystallised ginger in place of the cherries and peel.


Do try them, they are delicious :o)


We have lit our candle for the last Sunday of Advent. This time next week it will all be over. My children still have two more days of school although with the weather the way it is it's looking unlikely that their schools will be open tomorrow.The little wood where I took these photos in May looks like Narnia today.



20 comments:

  1. You have had lots of snow! Virtually none here, this time.
    I love florentines but have never made them - I'll put it on my list for next Christmas!

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  2. Perfect timing Sue!
    I've been looking for a florentine recipe and a tried and tested one is just what I'm looking for!
    Thank you and happy Christmas!

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  3. Oooooh Florentines! Thanks for the recipe, I will definitely give them a whirl. I thought you might like to know that my blogging partner, Annie, has linked to you- she's giving some well-deserved love to your fab crochet blanket!
    You can see what she said here:
    http://nimblefingersandsteadyeyebrows.blogspot.com/2010/12/choas.html

    Happy Christmas, Laura x

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  4. Ooooh Sue - really glad you posted these. I am sat here eating Tesco finest ones and thought they were more difficult ot make. I am def going ot try these out. Thanks. Have a lovely Christmas week. x

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  5. They look so delicious !! I love florentines but I'm starting to feel rather full with all the Christmas cookies we've been eating here... but I guess I WILL have to make them. And the girls were all hyped up on the homemade ice creams. (not before another 6 months though!)

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  6. Hi Sue, our summer here in Australia is behaving most unusual. I live in Victoria which is at the bottom of Aust. We have had very few hot days and it has rained and rained and rained, we are having floods in most states. I still have to have the heater on.
    Love florentines, haven't made them for a very long time tho'.
    I'm off Christmas shopping today :)
    x Sandi

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  7. Hi Sue,
    The florentines look yummy.
    Oh I forgot to light my candle last night, hope it will be ok to light it tonight!? Not quite the same i know.
    Love Carole in Snowy Rossendale xxx

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  8. The florentines look delicious. If you're making them with ginger try using some toasted hazelnuts in the mix as they seem to go well with ginger. I'm just about to make a last minute Christmas cake which has a florentine type topping and is very good. It will no doubt find its way onto the blog!

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  9. Ginger Florentines sound extra yummy. Maybe pineapple would be good too, very Christmassy.

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  10. Oh, your Narnia picture. I shall carry it in my head all day.

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  11. Yum - I most certainly will...thank you.

    Merry Christmas

    Nina xxx

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  12. Wonderful post, started out making me hungry, then I could smell candles, finally I ended up in a frozen woods still craving freshly cooked buscuits...thanks :)

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  13. Florentines are a favourite of mine too - but I haven't made them for ages - thanks for the idea and the recipe!

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  14. I made florentines in the summer after watching and reading Chocolat again! Hadn't thought about making them for Christmas though, will do now, I think ginger would work well I have some in the fridge.
    Thanks for the idea.

    Jo x

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  15. Pati from London8:16 pm GMT

    Hello Sue,
    I love Florentines, I make them with cranberries (quite Christmassy), almonds and honey (instead of golden syrup) but will definitely try yours. London is also covered with snow but I just hope it melts soon...Night, night, Pati x

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  16. Love your Narnia photos Sue (funnily enough we watched The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe only last night).
    I've never eaten a Florentine - the nuts put me off. But, I'm definitely gonna try and make your recipe - I'll just add more cherries and candied peel to mine though.
    Jill x

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  17. Lovely pics. OK I've tried making florentines before and they always break up when I remove them from the baking tray - am I trying to remove them too soon do you think? How long do you leave yours to harden?

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  18. A lot of my florentines break when I move them too. I leave them just long enough for them to come off the tray easily -ten mins maybe? I find the ones that are slightly browner, or longer cooked stay crisp and whole best. I don't worry about the more fragile chewy ones, I just glue them back together with the chocolate and keep them in the fridge. They all taste good however they look.

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  19. thanks they turned out . im not a natural cook so thanks .im so plesed ,we gift wrapped them and put it on the blog . www.green-glamour.blogspot we added a sprinkle of edible gitter . cant stop my self .

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