Weekend Recipe | Nan’s Florentines

Taken from her first cookbook – Comfort: Delicious Bakes and Family Treats – Candice Brown’s recipe for Florentines uses the perfect combination of fruits paired with a dark chocolate base. Could there be a more delicious home-baked treat?

This is another handwritten recipe from my Nan. It was perfect the very first time I made it (that says it all really) and so was she. Feel free to change the fruit and nuts if you want, although why would you when it’s perfect the way she wrote it?

INGREDIENTS
Makes 38–40

  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 170g golden caster sugar
  • 30g plain flour
  • 150ml double cream
  • 115g flaked almonds
  • 115g whole toasted almonds or pecans, roughly chopped
  • 85g flaked coconut
  • 85g dried apricots, chopped
  • 60g dried cherries
  • 200g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C fan (190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5).
  2. Melt the butter with the sugar in a saucepan over a low heat. When the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is golden and bubbling, add the flour and mix until smooth over a low heat. Remove from the heat and slowly add the cream, stirring the whole time until smooth and glossy.
  3. Add the flaked almonds, chopped almonds or pecans, coconut flakes, apricots and cherries and mix well until everything is combined and covered with the creamy mixture.
  4. Line four baking sheets with greaseproof paper. Drop the mixture in heaped teaspoonfuls on to the greaseproof paper, ensuring there is about 2cm between each heap of mixture.
  5. Place in the preheated oven near the top and bake for 12–15 minutes (switch the baking sheets around halfway through).
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 3–4 minutes before transferring to a wire rack – use a flat palette knife to move the Florentines. Leave to cool completely.
  7. Melt the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Coat the flat underside of each Florentine with chocolate and allow to set slightly before zigzagging a fork across the chocolate to make a pattern. Then leave chocolate-side up, to set completely.

 

Candice Brown is a newspaper columnist and much-loved television baker who has recently released her first cookbook, Comfort: Delicious Bakes and Family Treats. She is one of the chefs headlining the demo stage of the Ascot’s Festival of Food and Wine this month – find out more here.

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