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Fruity florentines

  • Makes about 30

A tin of these chewy and delicious Italian biscuits would make a great festive stocking filler...

Florentines - Artisan Home Baking

These chewy and delicious Italian biscuits, full of fruit and nuts with chocolate-coated bases, are great to serve with after-dinner coffee or to crumble over ice cream. They also make a delightfully different edible gift.

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Ingredients

  • Whole glacé cherries 50g
  • Mixed candied peel 50g
  • Sultanas 100g
  • Flaked almonds 200g
  • Plain flour 50g
  • Salted butter 120g
  • Caster sugar 160g
  • Single cream 50ml
  • Dark chocolate 200g, roughly chopped

Method

  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.

  • Step 2

    Wash all the syrup from the glacé cherries, dry thoroughly and dice finely. If the pieces of mixed peel are large, dice these the same size as the cherries. Place the diced cherries, mixed peel, sultanas, flaked almonds and flour in a large bowl.

  • Step 3

    In a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter and sugar together. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream, then add this to the ingredients in the bowl. Stir until evenly blended. Spoon 6 walnut-sized scoops of the mixture onto each baking sheet, spaced well apart, gently pressing down the mounds with the back of the spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and immediately re-shape the florentines into circles – a cookie cutter is ideal for this, or you can use a knife. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and repeat the process until all the mixture is used and baked.

  • Step 4

    Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, stirring occasionally, until it has thickened to a spreading consistency. Brush some melted chocolate on the underside of each Florentine using a pastry brush and leave to set.

  • Step 5

    The florentines will keep for 7–10 days in an airtight container or freeze for up to 2 months.

Equipment:
baking sheets lined with baking parchment
5-cm/2-inch round cookie cutter (optional)

Artisan Home Baking by Julian Day, published by Ryland Peters & Small (£14.99) Photography by Steve Painter © Ryland Peters & Small
This recipe is taken from Artisan Home Baking by Julian Day, published by Ryland Peters & Small (£14.99). Photography by Steve Painter © Ryland Peters & Small. 
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