This recipe is the Tin and Thyme version of Nigella’s Florentines. They’re easy to make, if a bit messy and they are nutty, chewy and delicious to eat. The dark chocolate creates the perfect foil for the sweet biscuits. They make great gifts for family and friends at any time of the year, but particularly at Christmas.
Florentines: From Italy or Austria?
The theme for this month’s Forever Nigella hosted by Maison Cupcake was Italian. All I could think of was a chocolate torte, but having made one for the last challenge, I wanted to do something a bit different, but what? A quick flick through How to be a Domestic Goddess and I alighted on florentines. Excellent, what could be more Italian than florentines?
On investigation, of course, it seems there is some debate as to whether florentines actually originated from Florence, as the name suggests, or from Austria. Still, I figured the name alone qualified them for the challenge and they’d also do very nicely as something suitable to take to my mother’s for tea.
Or would they? On 2nd thoughts I wasn’t quite so sure; I had vague memories of attempting these once before in the dim and distant past and that they perhaps had not been very successful! Oh well, nothing ventured and all that. Rather nervously I proceeded.
I needn’t have worried. These florentines weren’t nearly as difficult to make as I’d thought, just slightly messy. I was pleased with the results, even if they didn’t look as pretty as Nigella’s. For those that have the book, you will see I deviated fairly substantially from the original recipe.
Those that know me have probably grasped the fact that I’m incapable of following a recipe to the letter. In mitigation, however, I didn’t have the requisite fruit to hand. I also thought vanilla sugar would work well in this recipe. How right I was. Nutty, chewy and delicious is what they were. The plain chocolate was a good foil for the sweetness of the biscuits.
Spiced Hot Chocolate
Nigella had rather over estimated the amount of chocolate needed. She stated 100g of dark and 100g of white. I found that 150g was too much and that 100g would have been sufficient. That was fine though, I added some milk and a pinch of cayenne and made myself a delicious hot chocolate.
Other Gift Ideas and Festive Recipes You Might Like
If you’d like a few more gift ideas, click on my gifts link. For more Christmas food ideas, take a look at this vegetarian and vegan Christmas recipes post. There’s over 70 of them to choose from. My Vegetarian Christmas board on Pinterest is also well worth a look.
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make my version of Nigella’s Florentines, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate it. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
Nigella’s Florentines. PIN IT.
Nigella’s Florentines – The Recipe
- 25 g unsalted butter
- 90 g golden caster or granulated sugar I used vanilla sugar
- 15 g plain flour
- 150 ml double cream
- 50 g Brazil nuts - chopped into rough chunks
- 50 g flaked almonds
- 30 g crystallised pineapple
- 20 g mixed peel
- 80 g mix of sour cherries, raisins and goji berries
- 150 g dark chocolate I used G&B 72% cook’s chocolate
- Melt the butter at a low heat in a medium sized pan.
- Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.
- Beat in the flour as if making a white sauce.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream. Beat until smooth, then stir in the fruit and nuts.
- Place heaped teaspoonfuls, well spaced apart, on baking trays lined with baking paper. The mixture will spread.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4) for 10 minutes when the edges should be golden.
- Leave to cool for a couple of minutes, reshaping them quickly if needed, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of nearly boiling water.
- Spread the melted chocolate over the backs of the Florentines with a palette knife or back of a spoon. Place back on the baking paper and leave to set.
I’m sharing Nigella’s Florentines with Searching for Spice for #CookOnceEatTwice.