This super easy chocolate florentines recipe is perfect for the Christmas holidays! I find it so rewarding to make something from scratch (just like when I created my easy shortcrust pastry mince pies recipe) and I know you will too. Crispy on the edges, chewy in the middle and smothered in glorious dark chocolate – florentine biscuits are a rich and indulgent treat that should be enjoyed by everyone! There’s even a really easy vegan option in this post. Want to know more? Read on…
Chocolate florentines are such a satisfying biscuit to make. Watching them spread on that baking tray is like watching your children grow! It’s just so exciting and one of those bakes that gives you a warm fuzzy feeling inside, you know?
They’re ideal for having in the biscuit tin when guest come over during the holidays but they’d also make a really beautiful homemade gift too. Simply wrap in clear cellophane and tie with curling ribbon to make them look the part. Plus, they keep well for ages too! Meaning you can make them ahead of time. Win.
Without a doubt! Everyone has different tastes so it’s understandable that this is an inevitable part of baking at home. Here are some tips to help you substitute without a hitch…
This is all down to interpretation. Traditionally, dark chocolate is used which can be very rich and sometimes bitter. If you stay down this road, make sure you use the best you can afford as this plays a big part in the overall flavour of florentines. If you’ve got more of a sweet tooth, use a good quality milk chocolate instead. Feel like experimenting? Go nuts! Try Terry’s Chocolate Orange, white chocolate, your favourite branded chocolate… whatever your heart desires. Any will work just fine.
100% the most fool proof thing you can do is make sure you line your baking tray first. I like to use a reusable silicone mat but baking paper will work well too. A lot of it is in the timing though. Leave freshly baked florentines on the tray for a few minutes to cool/begin to harden, then carefully slide them onto a flat spatula and transfer to a cooling rack. Although, if they just won’t come off and are stuck to the tray – pop them back into the oven for a minute to warm and loosen a little before trying again.
They may use slightly pricier ingredients than most biscuits but this florentines recipe isn’t that expensive to make, no. Because you get so many biscuits out of such a small amount of dough, you don’t actually need much of each ingredient – making your pennies stretch a little bit further 🙂
This is one of the best bits about this florentines recipe – they keep well for ages!! Chocolate florentines will easily last for up to 1 month when stored in an air tight container in a cool, dry place. One of the many reasons why this makes a great homemade gift as you can make them a litte in advance, taking some of the stress out of Christmas!
You absolutely can, yes! Simply switch out the butter for a vegan alternative (such as Flora Buttery) and make sure you use vegan chocolate. A lot of dark chocolate is accidentally vegan anyway but do always check the labels, especially if you’re making them for allergy sufferers. Please also note that regular Kellogs Cornflakes are not vegan (due to the vitamin D used) so either make sure the cornflakes you get are vegan friendly or switch them out for 50g of candied peel instead.
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Here is what you will need to make 15-18.
(For a printer friendly version, see the recipe card at the end of this post)
NOTES: Not a fan of an ingredient? See the ‘Can I substitute florentine recipe ingredients’ section earlier on in this post for tips.
First preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 170°C and line a large baking tray with a silicone baking mat or baking paper. Set to one side until needed.
If you haven’t already, prepare your ingredients. Finely chop the cranberries (25g | 1/4 Cup), flaked almonds (25g | 1/4 Cup) and walnuts (25g | 1/4 Cup) then crush the cornflakes (15g | 1/8 Cup) with your hands.
Next, weigh the butter (50g | 1/4 Cup), sugar (50g | 1/4 Cup) and golden syrup (50g | 1.8 oz) into a medium sized saucepan.
Then melt it all gently over a low heat until smooth – this will act as the ‘glue’ for our florentines.
Next, add in the flour (50g | 1/3 Cup) and all the prepared ingredients from earlier. (Cranberries, flaked almonds, walnuts and cornflakes.) Give it a really good stir until you get a very wet ‘dough’.
Now we have our florentines dough, it’s time to do some baking!
Take a teaspoon sized portion of florentine ‘dough’ and place it onto a lined baking tray. Try and keep in a rough ball shape if you can, then repeat for up to 5 more on the same tray. (Depending how big your tray is of course) Make sure you leave PLENTY of room between each one as florentines spread a lot while baking.
Bake for 8-10 mins until golden and thin. If you’ve been watching them while they’ve been in the oven – you’ll notice that the bubbling subsides almost completely by the end of the cooking time.
Allow them to cool on the tray for a couple of minutes until they’re just firm enough to handle. Then carefully slide a flat rubber spatula underneath and transfer them over to a wire rack to cool completely.
Repeat these steps until all the dough has been used up. You should get around 15-18 florentine biscuits.
Once the florentines have completely cooled, it’s time to melt the chocolate (200g | 7 oz). Break it into a small bowl then heat in 10 second intervals in the microwave until two thirds melted. Make sure you stir well between each time! When the chocolate is two thirds melted, don’t heat anymore – just stir stir stir until completely melted. (This is the easiest way to temper chocolate so you get that lovely shine! Just don’t allow the chocolate to get too hot for this to work.)
Then dollop a teaspoon full of melted chocolate onto the back of a florentine and spread it out thinly to coat the whole side.
Here’s where you will have to use your own judgement – the fork pattern. You have to time it just right. Leave it too late and the chocolate will have begun setting, making your pattern look ‘scraped’ and unslightly. Do it too early and the pattern won’t appear very difined. You have to do it somewhere in the middle. Have faith my friend – I believe in you! You will totally find the sweet spot, I know it!
Scrape the fork along a florentine (at just the right time) in wiggly lines. Then repeat for the remaining florentines and allow to set at room temperature.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature and consume within 1 month.
Will you be making some beautiful homemade florentines this Christmas? I’d love to know if you are! Send me your pics and comments on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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As featured on Julia’s Simply Southern Meal Plan Monday #194
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