Inspired by Louise Johncox’s The Baker’s Daughter: Timeless Recipes from Four Generations of Bakers, Florentines are basically tart-cookie concoction that is held together by a sugar syrup and combines the mouthfeel of a cookie with the filling-feel of a tart. Like a rustic oatmeal raisin, only tastier.
These small bites go perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee, especially if you like your beverage unsweetened. I’ve eliminated the sugar (almost) and the heavy cream in lieu of condensed milk. This gave the Florentines a pleasing sweetness and the heft it needed to hold together chunky ingredients like slivered almonds and pitted dates.
Baking time is minimal and the process is perfect for beginners or for those last, rushed days before Christmas when home-baked gift recipes abound that take a whole day to make when no one has the time for it.
You’ll need: For 9 small florentines
20g icing sugar
15g AP flour
3 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
5-6 pitted dates
60g slivered almonds
1 tsp orange zest
50g dark chocolate
- Preheat oven to 180C or 325F.
- Melt butter and sugar in a saucepan on low flame until the sugar dissolves. Stir in flour and condensed milk. Mix until the mixture looks well combined and slightly thick (think shampoo consistency).
- Take off from flame and stir in almonds, dates and orange zest.
- Line a muffin tin with parchment rounds. (This cutting of tiny parchment circles is the most time consuming part of this recipe, but don’t skip it! The ease of releasing the warm florentines later will make it worth the effort.)
- Scoop the batter into the muffin tin and press securely into the base.
- Bake 5-6 minutes until golden brown on top.
- Let cool on the counter a few minutes, then run a knife around the edges to release while sugar is still warm.
- Cool a bit more then turn out into a wire rack.
- Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler, then dip each florentine’s bottom into warm chocolate to cover. Let cool completely before drizzling a zigzag of melted chocolate right side up.