After a flurry of new thing baking during the summer, things have slowed down a little. I’m currently still looking after my friend’s lovely dog Sascha, and I’m frantically cramming for a German language test. In short, life has been too busy to be trying to avoid getting hairs in beautiful patisserie. Today though, I had the itch. I needed something quick, sweet, and new to make to try and take my mind of German grammar for a little while. Enter florentines, the nutty and chewy biscuit seemed right up my ally.
I’d never tried a florentine biscuit before so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. Despite the name, they don’t actually come from Florence and are actually a French sweet treat. They are usually made up of caramel, nuts, and dried fruit, and the bottom half of the biscuit is coated in chocolate. In short, they sounded amazing and I couldn’t wait to try some.
Looking at pictures online there seemed to be so many different versions and sizes, it was hard to know what to aim for. After a brief look at the fantastic Felicity Cloake’s How to make the perfect… column for tips, I found an interesting sounding recipe from Nadiya Hussain – ginger and almond florentines.
Nadiya’s florentines looked flatter and thinner than the average (I could see through them) so I was quite pleased that mine seemed to look the same after a short stint in the oven. It was really hard to time it right so that the caramel was firm, but not entering brandy snap territory – I was so scared of this that mine ended up a bit too bendy. I left them to completely cool before dipping them in chocolate (the Nadiya way) hoping they’d firm up, but the chocolate only seemed to make them softer. They were soft and chewy, and insanely good, but not the crisp biscuit I was hoping for.
The other downside, they were not in any way photogenic. I took so many pictures, using all my new food photography skills to try and make them look good, but oh boy, it did not work. So, I guess you’ll just have to trust me that I made these and they looked bad, probably weren’t strictly florentines, but tasted incredible.