I made florentines again.
The pretty ones with a chocolate coating.



Few years back I bought a tin of florentines which intrigued me enough to try to create my own version. I tried many hapless recipes before settling for this one. These are probably the most popular biscuits in our household. There is a recipe bouncing around the internet for florentines made with eggs, but I'm having none of that, I desire the more classical version. If you leave out the macadamias and add some candied orange zest, then it will be truly classical.

Single origin organic vanilla pods. From left to right: Papua New Guinea, Congo, Madagascar, Tahiti.

I even whipped out the vanilla extract I made exactly two years ago. It's as easy as one-two-three, stick a glorious amount of halved vanilla pods in alcohol, keep it well sealed and give it a shake once in a while. I waited eight months before trying mine, but six months should be just as fine. If it's not airtight though, the alcohol will evaporate after a while and the extract might go off.

Making vanilla sugar is even easier. It takes just sugar and vanilla pods. Using a spice grinder, grind dried out vanilla pods into powder to mix with sugar. Or buy ready made powdered vanilla and mix this into caster sugar. Done!



Florentines

200g flaked almonds
100g hazelnuts
150g macadamias
100g sugar
150ml double cream
40g butter
1 tbsp runny honey
orange oil
vanilla

Toast and skin the nuts if you didn't buy them already skinned. Chop hazelnuts and macadamias into reasonably sized pieces. I kept smaller ones whole, halved about one third and quartered the rest.

Take a saucepan, heat butter and sugar until melted, add the cream, honey, vanilla and orange oil. Let simmer for a few minutes until it looks syrupy. Add all the nuts and stir well for even coating. Cook for a couple more minutes. It should be rather sticky.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Spread or press the mixture into even flat rounds, about 6-7mm thick. When made too thin, the biscuit will be hard and too brittle. One heaped old soupspoon was enough for the larger ones, about 8cm diameter. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the size. Florentines will harden as they cool.

After florentines have cooled down, it is possible to coat the underside with chocolate. Temper about 200g chocolate and drop a spoonful on the underside of each biscuit, spreading with a spatula or butter knife. If you have all the skills and equipment of a chocolatier, then you probably have a simpler solution to this.

10 comments:

  1. Today I've made vanilla sugar and candied orange zest and I have a homemade vanilla extract for a year or so, they are so easy to made. Your florentines are so beautiful. And I love your vanilla extract bottle. It is so cute.

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  2. gorgeous. and i admit to being addicted to florentines.

    we make them where i work and i've made them at home before and our recipes are very similar. so i'm sure they taste amazing!

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  3. zappie, dürfte ich deine mail adresse erfahren, ich finde sie nirgendwo auf dem blog.
    for the record - i love it! such beautiful photos!

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  4. I love Florentines and am so glad to find a recipe w/o egg whites. They look delish!

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  5. Yes, good florentines are one of those things that you just can't stop nibbling.

    Du kannst mir schreiben an pesakond at hotmail punkt com

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  6. Tea or coffee become a good excuse to have even more florentines ;)
    Funny, I've just made vanilla flavored icing sugar with sugar cane this week-end. Easy yet pure goodness.

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  7. I am very embarrassed that as a baker, I've never used a real vanilla bean before. It's too pricey for me, although i know how important they are in possibly everything we bake.

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  8. Jesica, if you do decide to try a real vanilla pod, then to get the most out of your investment, do the following: first use it as normal, splitting in half and scraping out the seeds, then let the pod halves dry out, chop into small bits and grind into fine powder. Use a pinch of this in desserts, should last for a bit!

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  9. I love florentines ... such a nice idea for a Christmas gift, too ..
    yours are beautifully done !
    argone
    http://atasteofmylife.wordpress.com

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  10. hello,

    wat a lovely Blog.

    Greatings send you Conny

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