Heritage FlorentinesPosted: October 25, 2014 Filed under: Biscuits, Budget, Gluten-Free, Traditional 14 Comments
The recipe I have for you this week is infinitely customisable, rich, classic, timeless……and made up 2 weeks ago.
Yes – confession time – I have LURED you in with the promise of an authentic, resurrected classic biscuit by using a shamelessly ambiguous title.
For these are not Heritage Florentines due to their authenticity and observance of a meticulously researched recipe. No – they are named after Stuart Heritage who said something nice about me in The Guardian newspaper.
THE GREATEST GBBO CONTESTANT OF ALL TIME, FOR ALL TIME, TILL THE MOUNTAINS FALL AND THE SEAS RUN DRY.
I paraphrase, but I think that was the general gist.
Go me! 😀
In gratitude, I sent him a bumper-fun Box O’ Bakes, which included these Florentines.
Reading the – frankly hi-LARIOUS – article, I noticed a certain wistfulness about him wanting-to-but-never-quite-getting-fired-up-enough-to bake stuff. Quite by coincidence, an article on “How to bake the perfect Florentine” was published on the same day as I made these. However, those all turned out to be a whole lot of Faff™, what with the butter and the sugar and the cream and the flour…..yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. SO! I rustled up this recipe for the faff-hating foodie! I’ve no idea whether he’ll have a go at them, but the recipe is here if needed.
I used a silicone cupcake mould to ensure a small, rounded shape to each biscuit, and also to prevent them spreading to side-plate proportions with accompanying tooth-shattering caramel. The mix of fruit and nuts is entirely customisable to a) what you like and b) what you have in the cupboard. Keep the fruit large/whole, so that the variety in the baked biscuit can be both seen and appreciated, rather than become an anonymous blob. Incidentally, this recipe is an amazingly efficient method of spring-cleaning the cupboard and using up all the half-opened packets you’ve got lying around.
*poker face* Not that I’d ever do that.
Hope you enjoy this fast, fuss and gluten-free riff on a classic.
Written in deliberately faff-free language. For a delicious variation, use caramel condensed milk, aka Banoffi Pie filling.
1 lot of sliced almonds
1 lot of coconut ribbons/cornflakes
2 lots of dried fruit
1 (397g) tin sweetened, condensed milk
- Get a mug – doesn’t matter which size, really – big if you’re peckish, small if not really, proper measuring cup if that’s how you roll.
- Fill mug/cup with sliced almonds.
- Bung them in a bowl.
- Fill mug/cup with coconut ribbons and bung in the bowl. Don’t like coconut? Use cornflakes instead.
- Fill mug with dried fruit that you love. Throw in more nuts if you like.
- Bung it in the bowl.
- Repeat as above (for a total of 2 mugs of fruit).
- Open tin of sweetened condensed milk.
- Bung it in the bowl.
- Turn oven on to 170°C, 150°C Fan.
- Put spoonfuls of mixture into cupcake tin. NB Using bendy silicon is probably easiest, but non-stick metal works too. To help retrieve the biscuits easily after baking, put a square of baking parchment into the bottom of each one and spoon mixture on top. NNB Up to 2cm of mixture will make a crispy Florentine, more than 2cm will make chewy/gooey Florentine. Either way, they will be nice and round and not burnt at the edges.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Take the tray out and turn it around 180 degrees.
- Look at your Florentines. If they’re already starting to brown, bake for a further 2-3 mins. If they’re still pale, bake for a full 5 more minutes.
- Leave to cool in the tin.
- Melt some chocolate.
- Dip the bottom of the cooked biscuits in chocolate.
- Put biscuits on parchment to set.
I read the Stuart Heritage piece and that was how I read it too!
I read the Stuart Heritage piece and was willing him to make you the GBBO Number 1 – because you are! (Chetna came pretty close!)
And thank you for the vote of confidence! And I agree, Chetna was definitely fab to watch! M-A 😀
would desiccated coconut with cornflakes work?
That’s the great thing about this recipe – whatever works for you, works for the recipe!
I suggested ribbons of coconut, so that they would be on a par with the rest of the whole fruit and almond flakes, but really, as long as you’ve got 4 cups of stuff, it doesn’t matter what you use.
Hope this helps! M-A 😀
Florentines have been on my must bake list for ages but having seen how fiddly they are to make on GBBO, they have stayed on there, demoted beneath other recipes. Your recipe may just be their saviour!
Hope you have a bash at them – they’re ridiculously easy this way 😉 M-A
Great blog , great recipe 🙂
Thank you! Will you be giving it a go this weekend? 😀 M-A
These sound yummy. My sister loves florentines so I might make her some as her Christmas pressie. (we don’t ‘do’ big, fancy pressies) . Thanks for the easy, faff free recipe.
These were easy to make but I managed to mess them up a little. I left my fruit and nuts too large so it wasn’t practical to have dainty, lacy Florentines – mine were dense and chewy. Delectable tho’ so I’ll try this again with the items cut much smaller. Plus, my silicone muffin cups were too small, so I’ll repeat this with a different pan.
So, following on from the above, my Best Beloved managed to store these Florentines in a less than airtight box which left them ‘bendier’ than I care for. However, the positive outcome is that I learned that drying these for several hours in my dehydrator turned them nicely crisp (I imagine the same would happen in a very low oven).
I’m delighted with this recipe and have now made 4 batches in all: a very pleasant addition for people who don’t coat these in chocolate is to mix in some cocoa nibs.
Apologies for not replying to your earlier comment.
Am delighted you’re enjoying the recipe – and what a fab idea with the cocoa nibs!
Very envious of your dehydrator, too – I might try and sneak one onto my Christmas List 😉
Happy Baking! M-A 😀
In the same way that I am heading for my double century in your fabulous Keep Cake, let’s just say that I’m putting up some creditable figures for your florentines – and this is now my preferred method of preparing them, even for different recipes.
I thought I’d mention this here as I’ve just made a batch of ginger florentines for a friend’s birthday bash and used this method. Thank you so much.
I use my dehydrator all the time (4 days a week or more) and find it invaluable both for food preserving and to tweak items (see above for airtight boxes that weren’t closed correctly 🙂 ).