Hazelnut Florentines Recipe

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Cakes River Cottage HandbookFlorentines, bedecked and bejewelled with glacé fruit and nuts, are redolent of opulence and riches, and very high-ranking in the biscuit hierarchy. However, despite their overt flamboyancy, they are quick, easy and very satisfying to make. Appealing and rather special, half a dozen will delight any beneficiary lucky enough to receive them.

  • Yield: 12


  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 75 g light soft brown sugar
  • 25 g (about 1 tbsp) honey (runny or thick)
  • 1 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • 50 g g finely chopped preserved stem ginger (drained of its syrup)
  • 100 g dried pears, sliced into long strands
  • 50 g glacé cherries, quartered
  • 50 g hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 40 g plain flour white, spelt or chestnut flour
  • 125 g chocolate plain, milk or white, broken into small pieces
  • 2 large baking sheets, lined with baking parchment
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Put the butter, brown sugar and honey into a heavy-based saucepan. Heat very gently over a low heat, stirring, until the butter has melted and the mixture is absolutely smooth. Remove from the heat.
  2. Stir the yoghurt into the mixture, then add the ginger, pears, glacé cherries and hazelnuts; mix well. Finally, sift in the flour and fold in with a large metal spoon.
  3. Place generous dessertspoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 5 cm apart to allow room for a little spreading (like middle age). With the back of a spoon or fork, flatten each to a 5 cm round.
  4. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until lightly browned and slightly crisp around the edges, or allow a little longer if you prefer a very crisp biscuit.
  5. Leave the Florentines on the baking sheet for 10–15 minutes to firm up. When cool and firm enough to handle, use a palette knife (or your fingers) to release them, flip them over and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of hot water, making sure the basin isn’t actually touching the water. Leave until the chocolate has just melted and is smooth and glossy.
  7. Now you need to coat the smooth bottoms of the Florentines with the melted chocolate. The easiest way to do this is to spoon the chocolate onto the centre of the Florentine base, then spread it evenly with a flat-sided knife that has been dipped into a jug of very hot water.
  8. Leave to set, chocolate side uppermost, on a wire rack. The Florentines will keep for up to 10 days stored in an airtight tin.

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