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Monday 10 January 2011

Baking for Beginners: Florentines

I only ever seem to have Florentines at Christmas, when every other relative I visit seems to have a box open next to the Twiglets. But I love them. They're biscuity, but without making you full up on sugar, and they're just that little bit more luxurious than a ginger nut. I decided this Christmas that I'd make some for myself. Turns out, they're pretty darn easy, although mine don't look nearly as pretty as Delia's (I adapted her recipe), they super creamy and toffee-y (that's a word, right?) and the dark spiced chocolate works perfectly with the nutty flavours. You can add a different mix of nuts and fruit. I think using ginger would work really well too, I'll try that next time.

These went down really well at a couple of parties at the weekend (which is why there's only one in the photo - we ate them all). Even with melting and setting the chocolate, you'll be done within the hour. Each batch makes about 20 small biscuits. You'll probably need two batches so no one minds when you munch your way through half of the first one when no one is looking.

You'll need:
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 25g butter
  • 10g flour
  • 65ml double cream
  • 50g chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts instead of the more traditional almonds)
  • 50g mixed peel
  • 50g dark chocolate - I used Green & Black's Maya Gold which had a perfect spicy kick.
  • Handful of pecans
  • 25g glace cherries (optional)
Make it!
  • Mix the flour, butter and sugar on a very low heat until smooth.
  • Gradually add the cream, mixing continuously.
  • When the cream is properly mixed in, add the dry ingredients to the saucepan and stir thoroughly.
  • Add the mixture to a lightly greased baking tray and flatten. Spread it out as much as you can, but making sure it stays together (it'll expand, don't worry).
  • Cook at 190/gas mark five for 15 minutes until it's bubbling.
  • Now, what Delia doesn't mention is that it looks like a dog's dinner when you take it out of the oven. I almost threw my first batch away it looked so rubbish. But trust me, leave it to cool, and all the bubbly cream with soak in and harden, leaving you with shiny tasty caramel treats. Wait until it's cool to the touch, but still a little soft and cut into squares with a sharp knife (you might get a neater biscuit if you use a cookie cutter).
  • When the Florentines have cooled completely, melt up some chocolate and cover the flat sides of the biscuits. Pop in the fridge to set, give to everybody you know as fabulous presents.


  1. Absolutely EVERYTHING tastes better if you bake it with Maya Gold - fact.

    I've never made florentines as, for some reason, I think it must be a complete faff. But I'm definitely tempted now - yours sound yummy!

  2. I thought they'd be really complicated too!


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