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Florentines

A Florentine biscuit is a French pastry that is erroneously attributed to Italian cuisine. The Florentine was first made in France at the Palace of Versailles by the king’s top pastry chefs for visiting in-laws, the Medici family of Florence.  Due to these close ties to Florence, it is not surprising that the French named this popular delicacy after the capital of Tuscany, Italy.  Florentines are made of nuts (most typically hazel and almond) and candied cherries mixed with sugar or honey and butter and baked in the oven.  They are often coated on the bottom with chocolate. Other types of candied fruit are used as well.  This recipe is a simplified version of authentic florentines.

200 g flaked almonds, toasted or 100 g each flaked almonds and hazelnuts
30 g butter, melted
2 large egg whites or 60 ml cream
100 g icing sugar
30 ml cake flour
60 ml red or green glacé cherries, finely chopped (optional)
60 ml raisins (optional)

Garnish
100 g white, milk or dark chocolate, melted

  1. Toast the almonds in a dry pan on a medium heat until light brown.  Watch them carefully as they burn very easily!  Transfer the almonds to a plate to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two baking trays with Wizbake baking sheets.
  3. Combine the butter, egg whites, icing sugar and flour in a mixing bowl and mix well.
  4. Add the glace cherries and/or raisins if used, as well as the toasted almonds and mix well.
  5. Spoon 20 to 30 heaps of batter onto the baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden. Set the baking trays aside to allow the biscuits to harden and cool completely.
  7. Serve as is or brush melted chocolate on the underside of the biscuits.  Use a fork and make a wavy line on each biscuit.  Alternatively drizzle melted chocolate over the biscuits.  Set the biscuits aside until the chocolate has set.
  8. Store the biscuits in an airtight container between layers of baking paper to prevent sticking.

16 to 20 biscuits.
Florentines