Florentines have been on my to bake list for weeks and weeks but every time I get myself geared up to make them something always pops up and throws a little spanner in my works. Not today, no siree! Today my plans involved the sofa, copious amounts of Ringtons tea, cuddles with my furry children and florentines! Nothing would stand in my way, except maybe a nap... I jest, I jest. I didn't nap, I'm a good girl you see and naps make me a cranky mean face. Well, a crankier meaner face as my fiancee would say.
These florentines couldn't be easier to make, the cutting out part however is a bit more tricky. It isn't difficult to do per say, more it's a bit of a faff and boy do you need a whole bucket load of elbow grease! If I can offer you a Katie tested recommendation, do what I did and hammer your cookie cutters through the candy with a big arsed pan! That'll do it!
My very favorite thing about this recipe is once you're finished stamping out your florentines and packing them up in pretty little packages you can nibble on all the broken remains. Totally guiltless, don't you agree?
Cherry & Coconut Florentines
(Adapted from BBC Good Food Magazine)
140g light muscovado sugar
200g salted butter
100g desiccated coconut
140g flaked almonds
300g glacé cherries , sliced
4 tbsp plain flour
400g dark chocolate (you could use milk or light too)
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the sugar, honey and butter in a large pan and gently melt together. When all the sugar has dissolved stir in the coconut, flaked almonds, sliced cherries and flour.
Line a large baking tray with baking parchment (about 40 x 30cm), and roughly spread the Florentine mixture out to a thin layer - don't worry if you have small gaps, it should melt together in the oven. Bake for 10-12 mins until a rich golden colour, then set aside to cool and firm up.
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over gently simmering water. Line a second large tray or board with baking parchment and carefully flip the cooled Florentine bake onto it. Peel off the baking parchment. Spread the melted chocolate over, if you're using a few types just leave a gap between each.
Leave aside until set, then stamp out shapes using cookie star cutters - if the cutter is digging into your hands (as the Florentine mix may be a little hard), rest a small plate or pan on top of it and push down on this instead. Or do what I did and attack it with a pan! Finish your adorable cookies with a sprinkle of edible glitter for a bit of festive glamor!