So week two is biscuit week! I love a biscuit, any type of biscuit but I’m definitely not a biscuit dunker. The thought of a soggy biscuit soaked in tea or coffee is my idea of biscuit hell! The technical challenge this week was Florentines, those thin caramel nutty fruity biscuits covered in chocolate that always remind of continental holidays! The team at GBBO must love dried fruit (me not so much!) as it’s the second week in a row so hopefully going forwards there is less dried fruit involved in the challenges!
These were relatively easy to make, though the baking was the tricky part – there was a fine line between them not being cooked enough and them being a little too brown!
First up was measuring out the butter, sugar and golden syrup and placing in a pan and simmering gently until it was fully melted and combined.
Next was measuring out the dried ingredients (minus the chocolate), I decided to go for cranberries over cherries as I prefer them but I think you could pick whatever dried fruit or nuts you want and they’d work well, and mixing them into the butter/sugar mixture.
The recipe says that the mixture makes 18 florentines but it was pretty tight – I’ve always seen quite large florentines but these were mini florentines in my eyes! The recipe also doesn’t state whether they should be a heaped teaspoon or level teaspoon so I opted for slightly heaped and found that the mixture needed to be spread out slightly as they didn’t spread as much in the oven. I used my favourite re-usable tin liners and they didn’t stick to the tray.
You need to bake the florentines in the oven for 8-10 minutes and I would definitely suggest getting a timer so that you don’t over cook them, but do keep an eye on them as they sometimes can cook quicker than this.
Whilst the florentines are in the oven, the chocolate needs melting. I opted for dark chocolate to balance out the sweetness of the florentines but they would work well with white or milk chocolate too.
Once the florentines are cooked, leave them to cool on a wire rack and then spoon over the chocolate. You don’t need much chocolate so spoon it on slowly. The frilling / design with the fork needs to be done once the chocolate is nearly hard otherwise the grooves don’t hold (as I found out!).
Once cool, enjoy! The florentines were enjoyed by my family, they were crisp and had the ‘frilling’ that Mary mentioned. They’re pretty easy to make so I’d definitely recommend them.
Next week is bread week…..looking forward to it! Have you baked any of the GBBO bakes? Let us know!
Here’s Mary’s recipe for Florentines
- 50g/1¾oz butter
- 50g/1¾oz demerara sugar
- 50g/1¾oz golden syrup
- 50g/1¾oz plain flour
- 25g/1oz dried cranberries or glacé cherries, finely chopped
- 50g/1¾oz candied peel, finely chopped
- 25g/1oz almonds, finely chopped
- 25g/1oz walnut pieces, finely chopped
- 200g/7oz plain chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line three baking trays with baking parchment or silicon sheets.
- Measure the butter, sugar and syrup into a small pan and heat gently until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and add the flour, chopped cranberries or cherries, candied peel and nuts to the pan. Stir well to mix.
- Make 18 florentines by spooning six teaspoonfuls of the mixture on to each of the prepared baking trays, leaving plenty of room for them to spread during cooking.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden-brown. Leave the florentines to cool before lifting onto a cooling rack using a palette knife (if the florentines have been baked on greased baking trays, then allow them to harden for a few moments only before lifting onto cooling racks to cool completely). If the florentines become too hard to remove, then pop them back into the oven for a few minutes to allow them to soften.
- Set a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, without letting the bowl touch the water. Temper the chocolate by breaking half of the chocolate into the bowl. Stir until the chocolate reaches a melting temperature of 53C/127F. Meanwhile, finely chop or grate the remaining chocolate.
- Carefully remove the bowl from the pan, add the rest of the chocolate and stir gently until the chocolate has cooled to 26C/79F.
- Spread a little melted chocolate over the flat base of each florentine and leave to cool slightly before marking a zigzag in the chocolate with a fork. Leave to set, chocolate side up on a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.