Chocolate Florentines

I’m a big florentine fan and find them very addictive. So I was very happy to find that my trusty Green and Blacks Chocolate book provided a recipe. The original version contained glacé cherries which I don’t like so I’ve altered the recipe a little to my tastes (quite literally) and substituted the cherries for dried apricots, as well as using more candied orange peel. Florentines are much easier to make than their delicate appearances give away. Even if they are a little on the ‘rustic’ side they’ll still taste good and make a great Christmas gift when wrapped in cellophane and tied with a ribbon.
50g (2oz) unsalted butter 125ml (4fl oz) double cream 125g (41/2 oz) caster sugar 150g (5oz) blanched almonds, finely chopped 50g (2oz) slivered almonds 120g (4oz) candied orange peel, finely chopped 40g (11/2 oz) dried apricots, finely chopped 50g (2oz) plain flour 250g (9oz) chocolate (plain,dark or white)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F/ gas mark 4. Butter and lightly flour baking parchment sheets (I use reusable non-stick baking sheets that can be bought in cooking shops)
  2. Melt the butter with the cream and sugar in a saucepan and slowly bring to the boil.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the apricots, chopped and slivered almonds and the candied peel. Sift in the flour and stir until well incorporated.
  4. Drop a teaspoonful of mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing well apart. Flatten each florentine into a  thin circular shape using a fork dipped in cold water.
  5. Bake for 5-6 minutes, remove from the oven and coax them into a circular shape using a circular biscuit cutter.
  6. Return to the oven for a further 4/5/6 minutes (depending on your oven) until the florentines are golden and lightly browned around the edges.
  7. Remove the florentines from the oven and leave them to set for a couple of minutes. Use a palette knife to transfer them to a cooling rack
  8. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl suspended over a saucepan of barely simmering water.  I recommend chopping the chocolate into very little pieces or grating it before heating – this helps the chocolate melt before it reaches 33C, preserving the temper.
  9. Leave the chocolate to cool for a little (so it is less runny) and spread onto the smooth undersides on the florentines.
  10. When the chocolate has nearly set create wavy lines across it using a large serrated  knife. Leave to set.
Makes about 24