As their name suggests, Florentines are an Italian “biscuit” that originally hail from Florence, Tuscany. In their most basic form they are essentially a group of nut and cherries set in caramel and coated on one side with dark chocolate. However, as with most concepts, there are a million-and-one variations on the classic (check out Wuthering Bites’ sterling recipe). As you can see, these are a little less fancy than her’s – mine are strictly flower free – though they remain mightily delicious. Though I must admit that the infamous Katherine should take full credit for these biscuits – she made them!
As you may have deduced, these are only biscuits by virtue of their shape – really, they’re more like a sweet (or dare I say it… candy). This is no bad thing, of course – Florentines may be a long shot from my traditionally British Christmas spiced biscuits, but I’m sure the biscuit community would be glad to keep them on board. Strangely enough, though Florentines are great for lighter weather, this particular recipe approaches the festive – perfect, considering the unseasonably cold weather we’re experiencing. After all, nothing engenders a festive spirit quite like chocolate and plump dried fruit! With that in mine, I bid you all a very jolly Easter – don’t go making yourselves sick with dangerous amounts of chocolate.
• 60g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
• 25g mixed peel
• 25g raisins
• 25g sultanas
• 25g dried cranberries
• 25g glace cherries
• 35g plain flour
• 75g butter
• 75g golden syrup
• 100g dark chocolate
1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a tray with baking parchment. Melt together the butter and golden syrup. Remove from the heat, stir in the fruit and sift in the flour. Stir thoroughly.
2. Spoon the mixture onto the sheet in 1 tbsp dollops, flatten a little bit around 1 inch apart. Pop in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.
3. Allow to cool on parchment for 5-10 minutes until rigid, then remove to cool completely on a wire rack. Melt the chocolate in a bowl suspended over simmering water, coat the bottom of each Florentine. Leave to set chocolate side up before indulging.
Cost: The entire batch of delicious Florentines, which also happen to be perfect for Easter, come in at a mere £2 – beat that!