The recipe book says an entire batch of these biscuits should take less than an hour to make. That is in no way correct! I spent most of a day making these biscuits, and although the flavour is quite lovely the work involved in no way justifies the time spent making them. Saying that, I blanched my own raw almonds, which was time consuming, as was finely chopping them and all the other ingredients.
I replaced the candied orange peel with the same quantity of supermarket brand luxury dried mixed fruit left over from Christmas (which claimed on the packet that it was great for making chocolate Florentines) and I used flaked almonds instead of slivered, because that’s all I had (and I wasn’t running to the shop to buy anything!). I’m in a ‘use up what’s in the store cupboard’ sort of phase just now, and the tail end of a tub of glacé cherries was used in my bake as was the remains of a carton of double cream which, in all honesty, I had no idea how long it had been open in the fridge (it smelled fine so I used it!). As such, I am sharing this recipe with the No Waste Food Challenge guest hosted by Fiona over at London Unattached this month.
Like I said, the biscuits were good, but I don’t think they’re worth the effort unless you haven’t anything else planned for a day and just want to potter about the kitchen for ages. The original recipe instructions said to drop the batter by the teaspoonful onto the prepared baking sheet and claimed they spread to twice their size. So I followed the instructions, using a 5 ml teaspoon as a measure. My first batch of Florentines ended up being ‘fun size’, ideal for the children’s Valentine’s Day packed lunches (they loved them!). Through trial and error I discovered a scant one tablespoonful of batter makes a perfect size biscuit. They don’t spread to twice their size, by the way.
To get the biscuits into perfect, uniform circles you remove them from the oven midway during baking and use a large circle cookie cutter to coax them back into a circular shape. This is easy, but time consuming, especially if you’ve got a tiny oven like me and can only cook six biscuits at a time. Then you need to finish baking them, wait for them to cool for a few minutes on the baking tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
You then spread melted dark chocolate on the flat sides, wait ages for the chocolate to partially set (I ended up opening both kitchen windows trying to speed up the process), and then you create wavy lines on the chocolate using a serrated bread knife. This looks pretty, yes, but results in quite a waste of chocolate as you end up scraping half of the half melted chocolate off the biscuit in the process. Our youngest son helped himself to the semi-solidified chocolate I’d scraped back into the bowl, so it didn’t go to a complete waste!
All in all they were good, but I think the next time I want a Florentine I’ll pick one up in the bakery.
- 50 grams unsalted butter
- 125 ml double cream
- 125 grams caster sugar
- 40 grams glacé cherries, washed in hot water, dried and quartered
- 150 grams blanched almonds, finely chopped
- 50 grams slivered almonds
- 100 grams candied orange peel, finely chopped
- 50 grams plain flour, sifted
- 250 grams dark chocolate, min. 60% cocoa solids, coarsely broken
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Makes 24
I’m also sending this recipe over to Laura’s Biscuit Barrel Challenge over at I’d Much Rather Bake Than… this month’s theme is chocolate!