Florentines

A classic florentine recipe from 'The Great British Bake Off: Christmas' cookbook, a lovely festive treat and the perfect edible gift.

From the book

The Great British Bake Off: Christmas by
The Great British Bake Off: Christmas
Festive inspiration for the Christmas season
Masterclass Christmas recipes from Mary and Paul
Inspiring bakes and the ultimate showstoppers

Introduction

These sticky little sweet treats are half biscuit and half chewy caramel goodness.

They have become a classic at Christmas, probably thanks to the candied peel and glacé cherries that are so beloved at this time of year. Don’t worry if they spread into uneven shapes – it’s all part of their homemade charm.

Makes 16-18

Ingredients

25g unsalted butter
75g caster sugar
2 tsp plain flour
4 tbsp double cream
50g flaked toasted almonds
50g candied peel
25g dried cranberries
25g glacé cherries
100g dark chocolate
100g white chocolate

Instructions

1. Heat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5 and line 2 baking sheets with non-stick baking paper. Put the butter and sugar into a small pan over a low heat and melt, stirring constantly, until they form a paste. Stir in the flour and cream and heat until you have a smooth batter and the sugar has dissolved. Fold in the almonds, candied peel, cranberries and cherries. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool a little.

2. Spoon small teaspoonfuls of the mixture, well spaced apart, onto one of the lined baking sheets. Bake at the top of the oven for 10–12 minutes until golden, then remove and leave to cool for 2–3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Repeat with the second tray.

3. Melt both chocolates in separate bowls set over pans of barely simmering water, making sure the bases of the bowls are not touching the water. Turn the cooled Florentines over so their bases are facing up and use a teaspoon or small palette knife to spread the bases with either white or dark chocolate. Leave to cool completely. If you have any chocolate left you can drizzle the tops of the Florentines with it once the bases are dried.

4. Package into cellophane bags with pretty ribbon or into boxes to give as Christmas gifts.

Thinking ahead: these keep well for several weeks, stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

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