Florentines are a little finicky to make, but are some of the most delicious biscuits that you’ll ever eat. Whilst some modern recipes include flour, the classic version is a simple caramel mixed with fruit and nuts, and then backed with chocolate to keep everything together. It’s easy to see why these golden discs were named after the florentine coin.
My version of the classic florentine contains cranberry and citrus, to provide a nice contrast to the sweetness of the caramel. Simple they may look, but when it comes to flavour, these biscuits really pack a punch!
I am completely unapologetic about my recipe needing a thermometer to make. Although you can visually judge when the caramel is ready (by the presence of dark streaks as you stir it), you will definitely need a thermometer to temper the chocolate. And temper it you must, as this is what gives the biscuit it’s customary snap.
I always use powdered cocoa butter crystals to temper my chocolate. It’s quicker and easier than any other method, so I encourage you to invest in a box of cocoa butter crystals if you haven’t already – it’s a little pricey, but will last you for years.
Cranberry and Citrus Florentines
- 125 g flaked almonds
- 25 g dried cranberries
- 25 g mixed peel
- 75 g golden syrup
- 75 g double cream
- 125 g caster sugar
- 150 g dark chocolate
- 1 1/2 tsp powdered cocoa butter
- 2 chocolate transfer sheets (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180c / 160c fan
- Place them flaked almonds into a plastic bag, and crush them with a rolling pin to break them into small shards. Roughly chop the dried cranberries and mixed peel, then add to the almonds and set aside.
- In a saucepan, weigh out the golden syrup, double cream, and caster sugar. Move the saucepan over a medium heat, and stir gently as you bring it to the boil.
- Heat the mixture to 118c, then remove from the heat. Stir in the dry ingredients, then set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Pinch off 15g chunks of the dough, and roll them into balls. Place on a lined baking sheet with lots of space between them.
- Use wet fingers to slightly flatten each of the balls – this will help them spread and cook more evenly.
- Bake for about 8 minutes, until the caramel is a light golden brown colour. Remove from the oven and move the baking sheet to a wire rack and leave to cool.
- If you want your florentines to be perfectly round, set a timer for 2 minutes, then use an 7-8cm round metal cutter, dipped in cold water, to score into the soft caramel. Press down firmly, and pull the excess away.
- Leave the florentines to cool completely, then use an offset spatula to slide underneath and release them from the baking mat.
- Melt the dark chocolate gently, either over a bain-marie, or in the microwave.
- Stir the melted chocolate until it cools to 34c, then add the powdered cocoa butter. Stir continuously until the cocoa butter crystals have all melted, and the chocolate is 32c.
- Use a pastry brush to paint the chocolate on the back of each florentine, then place down onto baking paper to set completely.(If you have chocolate transfer sheets, you can make your florentines look even more decadent with a fancy design)
- Once the chocolate appears set and no longer looks shiny, move to the fridge for 5 minutes. Peel the florentines off the paper, and then serve.