But lady-like and dainty was not the sort of day I was having when I made them. It was one of those days when all was going wrong, not in a major disaster, soup-all-over-the-walls type fashion, just in a oh-I-miscalculated-the water-that's-why-the-marmalade-isn't-setting-oh-great-apparently-you-can't-substitute-butter-for-suet-my-sponge-is-all-wrong-ah-so-that's-what-happens-when-it's-too-hot sort of way.
Adapted from Nigella's recipe in How to be a Domestic Goddess.
A few notes:
- Nigella called for whole blanched almonds, chopped, but I took the easy route and used flaked; feel free to do either. In fact I was kind of blasé about following the stipulated ratio of the fruit as well, making up the whole amount of peel and cherries required with more cherries and less peel than Nig asks for....you do what you fancy, I know not everyone is a peel fan so cut it down or out if you like and replace with more cherries or perhaps another chopped nut.
- I followed Nigella's lead and covered half my Florentines in dark chocolate and half in white; you do as you please.
You will need
several baking sheets, greased
100g flaked almonds
90g mixed candied peel, chopped fairly small
40g glacé cherries, chopped fairly small
25g unsalted butter
90g caster sugar
15g plain flour
150ml double cream
100g dark chocolate
100g white chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 190°c.
- Mix together the nuts and fruit in a bowl.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the sugar.
- Add the flour to the saucepan, which should leave you with a thick paste.
- Take the pan off the heat and whisk in the cream.
- Stir in the fruit and nut mix.
- Drop heaped teaspoons of the mixture onto your baking sheets leaving plenty of space for each biscuit to spread out.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, by which point they should be bronzed round the edges and nice and thin.
- Leave the Florentines to cool and firm on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes.
- When the biscuits are robust enough to handle, gently lift them off the baking sheet with a metal spatula or palette knife and leave them to cool completely on a wire wrack.
- Melt the two types of chocolate separately, either in a bain Marie or in the microwave and spread over the flat side of each Florentine; half the batch white, and half dark.
- After a while, when the chocolate is starting to firm (this takes longer than you think, maybe a good 15 minutes), use the prongs of a fork to make wiggly lines in the chocolate...or don't. Feel proud either way.