Boy Bakes Treats - Florentines

Florentines

Boy Bakes Treats - Florentines

Dating back to the late 17th century kitchens of French royalty, classic Florentines are a combination of thinly sliced nuts and dried fruit coated with a mixture of melted butter, flour and sugar baked until golden, with a base covered in dark chocolate. This recipe is not for one of these.

Instead, these are "New-School Old-School Double-Dip Florentines". For as long as I can remember, Florentines have been a Cornflake-peanut-sultana-cherry combo, so we're staying mostly true to this non-traditional, traditional version, but with an additional twist. Not only do they have the fancy swirly chocolate base, but we'll be adding an extra coating just for good measure. Damn, that's decadent!

As a side note, I'm not sure if this is an Australian thing, but for a good few decades it seems as though Cornflakes was the go-to for any kind of cooking or baking. Cheap, easily available and a reliable go-to when you need some extra crunchy texture, it's amazing how often they pop-up in recipes. Peanut cookies? Handful of Cornflakes. Out of breadcrumbs? Coat that chicken in Cornflakes. So it's probably not surprising that they found their way into Florentines. Almonds didn't come cheap and you don't want to bite into a soggy mess...

Anyway, this is a one-bowl special, so throw everything but the chocolate in together, stir it up, shape with a greased cookie cutter or egg ring and into the oven it goes. Since you're missing flour and sugar to bind your ingredients, you'll need make sure to slice and dice your fruit and nuts finely enough for the condensed milk to hold them all together.

Whatever fruit and nut combination you wish to use is entirely up to you, as long as you keep the ratios about the same as what's below. I've used almonds in a bid to have at least some acknowlegement of tradition, cranberries for their extra zing, and mixed dried fruit - a ready-made combo of raisins, current, sultanas and orange and lemon peel - to save on buying individual packets.

Burning fingers alert! These will be super-hot when they come out of the oven, so just leave them be on the baking tray for a bit. They may seem loose at first, but will harden up in time for the chocolate dipping to commence.

MAKES

12

PREP

35 minutes

COOKS

15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Cornflakes, crushed
  • 3/4 cup mixed dried fruit
  • 50 grams dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup glacé cherries, chopped
  • 60 grams slivered almonds
  • 30 grams unsalted peanuts, chopped
  • 20 grams pistachios, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon rind, finely grated
  • 260 grams condensed milk
  • 200 grams dark chocolate

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius/360 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two oven trays with baking paper.
  2. Combine Cornflakes, fruit, nuts, lemon rind and condensed milk in a large bowl.
  3. Place a lightly greased 6cm-round cookie cutter or egg cutter on a prepeared tray, then drop around 1 tablespoon of the Florentine mixture into the cutter and press with the back of a spoon to fill evenly. Repeat with remaining mixture, leaving around 5cm space between each cookie.
  4. Transfer into the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and leave on the baking tray to firm up for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. When cool, place half the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan with simmering water. Make sure the water isn’t touching the bowl and just simmering gently. When the chocolate is liquid, carefully dip the base of each florentine in the chocolate and leave to cool and set, then repeat with the other half of the chocolate. If you want to get a bit fancy, use a fork to make wavy lines in chocolate to decorate. Wait for the chocolate to harden and set before serving.

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