I seem to have never-ending stash of nuts and dried fruits (not that I’m complaining). They usually end up in my homemade granola. On this particular day, I felt like I deserved something more treat-worthy, and so I turned to florentines.
Somehow florentines straddles between a healthy snack and indulgent sweet. The way I prefer to see it is that it falls in the rare category of being both deliciously satisfying and but nutritiously wholesome. Let’s put it simply – it has almost the same ingredients as a granola bar but with a little more glucose n butter.
The origins of Florentines have been rather vague. Even though its name may imply that it is from Florence, it has been debated that it was first invented in the palace of Versailles in Paris specially for the royalties of Florence.
While I cannot be certain where these lovely biscuits first originated, I can be absolultely certain that these florentine biscuits taste really scrummy.
Also, I think that these florentines would make nice little Christmas gifts and they look great even though the effort to make them is minimal.
Makes about 10 large ones (about 9 cm in diameter)
Don’t be put off by the incredibly long list of ingredients. There’s hardly any work involved in making these biscuits! It’s a good base to work with and you can feel free to replace any of the nuts and dried fruits according to your preference.
A classic florentine recipe would include the use of flaked almonds and it is often decorated with glace cherries. However, I like to think of a florentine as a blank canvas for you to play with.
75g unsalted buter
25ml 35% fat cream
125g nuts (I used walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds), chopped
25g apricots, chopped
15g cacao nibs
1/2 orange zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp fleur de sel
+/- 200g 70% dark couverture chocolate
1. Place butter, sugar, honey, cream in a sauce pot and cook at medium heat until 116 degree celcius.
2. In a separate bowl mix together all the other ingredients.
3. Pour the boiled cream and sugar mixture over the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
4. Spoon over the florentine mixture evenly into greased tin moulds, about 3-4 mm thick (to hold its shape while baking).
5. Bake in a preheated 180 degree celcius oven for about 10 – 12 mins or until golden brown.
6. Allow them to cool, they will continue to harden as they cool, before removing them from the moulds.
7. Temper (see my post on tempering chocolate) some dark chocolate/milk chocolate. Alternatively, you can choose to simply melt chocolate in a bain marie. Dip one side (the smoother side) into the chocolate, using a small palette knife to smoothed off the excess chocolate. Allow it to set slightly before using a jagged toothed comb to create a wave pattern.
*Baking tip:You can choose to bake these florentines without moulds. They will spread but you can cut them with a cookie mould after baking to ensure they have a uniform shape and size.
*Storage tip: Store these florentine biscuits in an air tight container in the refrigerator (unless you are living in a cold climate and the chocolate does not melt).