Found this when I needed a sweet Holiday biscuit in a hurry. At this time of year, unexpected gifts are often required or plates of sweets needed for those who drop in for a coffee. Luckily, the pantry is heaving with nuts and dried or candied fruits left from that furious holiday baking a few weeks ago. These “cheat” Florentines were the perfect remedy.
The recipe is based on a recipe originally found in Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, via David Lebovitz’s wonderful blog. I’ve added a few ingredients to make them more festive. Incredibly easy and quick.
- 130g slivered almonds
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 50g powdered (icing/confectioner’s) sugar
- 50g glacé cherries
- 25g candied citrus peel
- 1 egg white
- 50g good quality dark chocolate
Preheat your oven to 140 degrees C (300 degrees F). Prepare a baking tray by lining it with baking parchment and brushing it with vegetable oil.
Chop the glacé cherries and citrus peel. Mix the fruit with the slivered almonds, salt and confectioner’s sugar, carefully breaking up the clumps of sticky fruit with your fingers, then add the egg white and stir gently with a spatula until the sugar has disolved and the fruit and nuts have been coated.
Have a spoon, a fork and a bowl of cold water handy to start laying out the Florentines on the prepared baking tray. Spoon a small amount of the nutty mixture onto the baking tray for each biscuit, keeping them well spaced as you will be flattening them with the fork. Do this by dipping the fork into the cold water (this prevents the mixture from sticking to its surface) and flatten and spread the nuts/fruit out. Do not leave any large holes, and keep the shape fairly regular.
Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes (the time depends on how big you make the biscuit). The colour should be golden brown, including the bottom of the biscuit. Let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then remove them with a spatula to a cooling rack.
While the biscuits are cooling, chop the chocolate and warm in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time until just melted. Do not over cook the chocolate; it should have a glossy look. With the tines of a fork, dip in the chocolate and drizzle the melted chocolate over the biscuits. It helps cleanup to place either kitchen paper or a sheet of greeseproof paper beneath the biscuits on the colling rack. Let the chocolate cool and solidify. They are now ready to eat – all acomplished in about 30 minutes. Well, except for the cleanup.