Homemade ♥ Florentines!

Prep Time:25 mins, Cook Time: 10 mins, Total Time: 35 mins plus cooling times

February 12, 2015

Eat Your Veg | Homemade Heart Florentines

I have two sentimental reasons for making florentines. The first stems back twenty two years, back to my first year at Uni in Newcastle upon Tyne and to a local corner shop that sold the most delectably delicious florentines ever, biggies too, and for peanuts. Introduced to them by my very good friend Nic we may well have bonded a lifelong friendship over our fondness for those florentines. Together with our shared penchant for cheap vodka anyway, which naturally the shop also kept us in flowing supply of. Why such a shop came to sell such delicacies was always a bit of a mystery, I don’t recall it selling any other homemade goodies, nor was it a particularly salubrious joint. I do however remember it peddling the entire flavour range of 20/20, remember that stuff? I wish I didn’t. Believe it or not I’ve not actually made florentines myself until now, and they’re really not as tricky as you may think. Next time we meet Nic, I promise you homemade florentines, vodka of course too. Though of a superior quality than we guzzled back then!.

IMG_1023Sentimental reason number two. I have a special somebody to make Valentines treats for. A bit of a shocker I know, though I’m not going to divulge any details here other than to tell you he’s most definitely earned his florentines. Not least for constructing, digging and filling a magnificent set of raised veggie beds at Eat Your Veg HQ.  I know it may sound strange to most of you but this is possibly the single most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me. And yes I probably do have a skewed sense of romance, but then that makes two of us!. Do watch out for progress on the veggie beds, now that Eat Your Veg are officially back in the growing game.

Explanations delivered, now for the florentines. As I said they’re not nearly as tricky as you might conceive. Simply a matter of warming a little (and I mean a little) unrefined sugar, butter and flour together, stirring through cream and then combining with an interesting mix of dried fruits and nuts. I used flaked almonds, hazelnuts, apricots, cranberries and sultanas though more traditional recipes use glace cherries which I chose to omit. Just go with whatever you happen to have in. Then of course a brief baking, shaping and cooling before slathering in a slick of chocolate. And they’re really very, very good. Probably too good!.

If your loved ones are more savoury inclined then don’t forget my Love Pie from last year, I’m making one this Valentines for The Monsters with beef cheeks.

Eat Your Veg | The Love Pie | Slow Cooked Beef Braised in Red Wine

The Good Stuff:

Surprisingly packed with good stuff! Fruits and Nuts galore, Plain Chocolate too



Great For:

Kids, Grown Ups, Treats, Valentines, Christmas, Special Occasions, Edible Gifts



Notes:

Makes 10 medium sized florentines.
Vary your dried fruit and nuts, you could add seeds too.
Obviously my hearts were only for Valentines but you could just as easily, more easily even, make the traditional round florentines.



Special Equipment:

A lined baking sheet, a heart shaped cookie cutter if you want to make hearts, a cooling rack.



Homemade ♥ Florentines!

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Ingredients Prep Time:25 mins, Cook Time: 10 mins, Total Time: 35 mins plus cooling times

25g butter
60g soft brown sugar
10g plain flour
65ml double cream
50g flaked almonds
50g chopped hazelnuts
40g cranberries
40g sultanas
40g chopped apricots
100g plain chocolate, 70% cocoa (or you could use milk choc if you prefer)

1) Preheat your oven to 190ºc/170ºc fan/Gas Mark 5.
2) Place the butter, sugar and plain flour in a saucepan and warm together on a very gentle heat. When the butter’s fully melted gradually stir in the cream.
3) Remove the pan from the heat and stir in all the other ingredients except the chocolate. Combine well.
4) Place heaped teaspoons of the mixture onto your lined baking sheet and into a heart shaped cookie cooker, spread the mixture evenly with the back of the spoon and lift off the cutter. Leave a gap of 2.5 cm between the florentines as they will spread. Repeat until all the mixture is used.
OR If you want to make traditional rounds place heaped teaspoons of the mixture on the baking sheet and press down into a flat circle with the back of the spoon.
5) Place in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes until they are golden brown.
6) Remove from the oven. If you’re making hearts you’ll need to lightly re-shape the mixture back into a heart shape as it will have spread. Use a teaspoon and the cookie cutter and ease the mixture back into the cutter. Leave to harden on the baking tray for 2/3 minutes before carefully removing with a spatula and placing on wire rack to cool.
7) Once completely cool, melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water or very carefully in a microwave. Spoon a teaspoon of melted chocolate over the back of each florentine and spread it out with the back of the spoon. Leave to cool for a few minutes before making a traditional ‘wavy’ pattern with a fork through the chocolate. Leave to cool completely before scoffing, or giving to your nearest and dearest.

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5 thoughts on “Homemade ♥ Florentines!

  1. Janice

    Can you send your Valentine round to make me some raised beds please? I have raised bed envy! I am also a huge fan of Florentines, they always feel like a special treat, but do you know, I don’t think I’ve ever made them (shock horror) I love how you you made them into hearts.

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