Chocolate Florentine

I am well aware that my posts for the last week or so have been mainly dominated by cakes, baking and sweet treats, but if I’m honest, it’s because I haven’t really been interesting enough meals for it to be worth documenting, and also I’m so happy to be back in a kitchen where my baking involves minimal fuck-up-age because the oven is so good! My oven at university only goes up to 200 degrees Celsius, and it’s not very precise at all, so it feels like an utter luxury to be able to make perfectly risen cakes and perfectly crispy cookies again.

So anyway, I decided to make Florentine today because they’re my mum’s favourites (I surprised her by making them whilst she was at work, then putting them in her room – model daughter?) and because I feel like I’ve been a bit of a horrid person to be around recently; because coming to and from university in Lancaster is so draining and I haven’t been eating very well this week I’ve been feeling apathetic and weepy, so I thought I’d treat her to her favourite sweet treat and me tidying up a bit to thank her for putting up with me and being so supportive and understanding. To be honest, I knew that dealing with anorexia whilst at university was really hard on me, but I never thought of how it would affect my mum, my friends and my boyfriend as well, so I’m really going to try to make it up to everyone as much as I can – I’m taking my best friend to a very secret surprise ‘event’ in a few weeks, which will be really exciting :) I would divulge what it is, but it’s too awesome to risk her knowing, so I’ll post about it after July 26th…

These little biscuits were so lovely for me to make, because it’s quite an involving process, you can’t just whack them in the oven and leave them, and it was reallyย therapeuticย to brush the chocolate on; you could try and do patterns on the bottoms of them, but I didn’t want to risk them going wrong, so I kept it plain and simple. They were also really easy to ‘veganize’ and make gluten-free, so they’re a really good allergy-bake as well. All you do is substitute the butter for vegan spread and the flour for rice flour, and it doesn’t spoil the careful chemistry of them at all :)

I reckon these would be a perfect little Christmas present as well (yeah, thinking a little far ahead) because of the rich sweetness of the dried fruit, and the nutty, chewy but sort of brittle texture – this recipe’s definitely a keeper. I adapted it from my new Jo Wheatley book, which I’ve adorned with post-it-notes to work my way through over summer. I really hope you like them as much as my Mamma did!

Chocolate Florentine

Ingredients

50g of vegan spread (I use Pure dairy free spread)

50g of golden syrup

50g of soft brown sugar

50g of rice flour

50g of flaked almonds

20g of chopped pecans, roughly chopped

50g of dried cranberries

50g of dried apricots, chopped

20g of dessicated coconut

150g of dark chocolate

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease two baking trays.
  2. In a large saucepan, stir the sugar, golden syrup and margarine until melted, then add the flour, coconut, nuts and fruit (off the heat) and stir until well combined.
  3. Spoon teaspoons of the mixture onto baking trays, leaving room for them to spread out during cooking, then bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
  4. Take out and leave for 30 seconds to harden, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Melt the chocolate and spread on the bottoms of the Florentines, then leave to set until completely cool before eating.

Makes about 12

Waiting forever for them to cool…

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15 thoughts on “Chocolate Florentine

  1. Pingback: Christmas Truffles and Present Ideas! | Emily Cooks Vegan

  2. Very interesting recipe… I don’t think I can say I’ve ever had a florentine cookie before, but a quick glance at the ingredient list makes me want some as soon as possible!

  3. I love Florentine cookies, and I think it’s amazing that you came up with a vegan version using fruit and coconut with the nuts! They look pretty spectacular!

  4. They look lovely, and I I agree they’d be a great Christmas gift. I remember what it’s like coming home to a place with a functioning oven – I’ve lived in a few places with no oven at all, it was torture for me!

  5. Your university oven sounds just like mine. Totally awful, especially for something as precise as baking. My sympathies! These florentines look yummy, and I really like the idea of the level of craft involved being therapeutic. I am all about losing yourself in the details.

    • Thank you :)
      I’m in a little house next year with 3 of my best friends, and first thing I did when we were showed around was check out the kitchen – it’s small but really functional and cute, looking forward to it! x

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