This Christmas, I’ve whiled away time in the kitchen listening to the Nutcracker Suite and making these stem ginger, cherry and cranberry Florentines to give as Christmas gifts. Of course, you can use whatever type of fruit and nut combination you like.
There are a few steps to making these delicious morsels, it’s not just a case of throwing everything in the mixer. However, with the Christmas music and the constant quality checking the process went quite smoothly. The Florentines were a huge success bringing Christmas cheer to all.
- 15g plain flour
- 25g (1oz) salted butter
- 60g (2 1/2oz) golden caster sugar
- 1 tbsp golden syrup
- 60ml (2 1/2fl oz) double cream
- 50g (2 oz/3 rounds, drained) chopped stem ginger
- 50g (2oz) dried sour cherries
- 50g (2oz) cranberries
- 25g (1oz) chopped pistachios
- 50g flaked almonds
- 180g (4oz) dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Line 2 large baking sheets with no-baking paper. In a saucepan, combine the flour, butter, sugar and golden syrup with a small whisk to prevent lumps forming and melt gently over a low heat. Gradually add the cream, stirring all the time.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the stem ginger, sour cherries, glace cherries, pistachios and flaked almonds.
- Dollop teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking sheets, leaving a generous gap between each for spreading. Bake no more than 6 Florentines per sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until deeply golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- Meanwhile, melt the dark chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool and thicken (but not set) for 5 minutes. Using a palette knife, release the Florentines from the paper. Divide the batch in half and arrange smooth-side up.
- Spoon the dark chocolate over the Florentines. If you like you can use a fork to make a pattern on the chocolate once the chocolate has set a little. Alternatively, you can sprinkle gold stars or something similar onto the chocolate while the chocolate is still wet. Chill until set.