These make a great gift for any special occasion such as New Year and Easter. I made these for my relatives and purchased little cellophane bags from Cakes, Cookies and Crafts. I do think the recipe needs a bit of tweaking though, partly because they took quite a long time to make. Firstly, the recipe says to use two baking trays, adding small spoonfuls spaced apart. I found that I needed to use three baking trays and my third tin was a little smaller than the rest and the Florentines did start to merge with each other. If you want to be sure that they don’t merge, I’d suggest either doing tiny mounds or using four baking trays. The mixture only has to be cooked for 10-12 mins so that part is very quick.
The recipe says to melt dark or milk chocolate and then paint it on baking paper and then stick the dried Florentines on to the baking paper. I found this to be an extra step which wasn’t strictly necessary as it wasted chocolate and meant that you had to wait for the chocolate to dry before you peeled off the Florentines from the baking sheet. Once dried, I painted on more of the melted chocolate and used a fork to create a wavy pattern in it. It helps if the chocolate has been left for 30 seconds so the pattern stays in the chocolate. Your hands do get very sticky so it’s handy to have a damp cloth nearby.
I struggled to get perfect circular Florentines but once they have the chocolate on them, they do look quite professional anyway, especially in the little bags!
Here’s the recipe:
75g caster sugar
50g glace cherries (or use 25g cherries and 25g glace ginger)
25g raisins or sultanas
25g pumpkin seeds
100g almond flakes
175g good quality dark chocolate – you could probably just use 100g by cutting out the painting on a piece of baking paper first
2 tbsp double cream
Melt the butter and add in the sugar. Bring to the boil once the sugar has dissolved. Take off the heat and add the almonds, cherries, sultanas and pumpkin seeds. Then add in the two tbsp of double cream. Spoon tiny amounts onto several baking trays (lined with baking paper) and put in the oven at 180degrees for 10-12 mins until lightly golden brown. Leave to cool. Take the Florentines off the baking trays and then paint the melted chocolate on to the flat side of the them. Draw a wavy pattern in the melted chocolate using a fork. Leave to set. Add into little clear bags once the Florentines have dried.