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Nigella’s Florentines and Spiced Hot Chocolate

The Tin and Thyme Version of Nigella's Florentines

Biscuits, Gifts | 24th March 2011 | By

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 that there is some debate as to whether these actually originated from Florence, as the name suggests, or from Austria. Still, I figured the name alone qualified these for the challenge and they would 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.

Nigella’s Florentines

The Tin and Thyme Version of Nigella's Florentines
 
I needn’t have worried. These weren’t nearly as difficult 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.
Chilli Hot Chocolate

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.
 

Nigella’s Florentines – The Recipe

5 from 1 vote
The Tin and Thyme Version of Nigella's Florentines
Nigella’s Florentines
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Nutty, chewy and delicious, these Florentines make a wonderful gift. The plain chocolate is a good foil for the sweetness of the biscuits.
Course: Afternoon Tea
Cuisine: Austrian, Italian
Keywords: almonds, biscuits, brazil nuts, chocolate, Christmas, cookies, dried fruit, florentines
Servings: 30 biscuits
Ingredients
  • 50 g Brazil nuts - chopped into rough chunks
  • 50 g flaked almonds
  • 30 g crystallised pineapple
  • 20 g mixed peel
  • 80 g mixed sour cherries , raisins and goji berries
  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • 90 g golden caster or granulated sugar - I used vanilla sugar
  • 15 g plain flour
  • 150 ml double cream
  • 150 g 72% dark chocolate - I used G&B cook’s chocolate
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter at a low heat in a medium sized pan.
  2. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.
  3. Beat in the flour as if making a white sauce.
  4. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream. Beat until smooth, then stir in the fruit and nuts.
  5. Place heaped teaspoonfuls, well spaced apart, on baking trays lined with baking paper. The mixture will spread.
  6. Bake at 180℃ for 10 minutes when the edges should be golden.
  7. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes, reshaping them if needed, then transfer to a wire rack.
  8. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of nearly boiling water.
  9. 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.
Recipe Notes

You can replace my choice of dried fruit and nuts with your own. If using glacé cherries, chop them into smaller pieces.

Use a mix of milk, white and dark chocolate for a more interesting finish and a fork to make wavy lines on the chocolate if desired.

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.

Linkies

I’m sharing Nigella’s Florentines with Searching for Spice for #CookOnceEatTwice.

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 or via social media. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them. For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on TwitterFacebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Nigella’s Florentines. PIN IT.

Nigella's Florentines - a nutty, chewy cookie biscuit that are a complete delight. #tinandthyme #florentines #recipe #festiverecipe #christmasrecipe #foodiegift #hostessgift #cookies #biscuits

25 Comments

  1. Dom at Belleau Kitchen

    24th March 2011 at 8:19 am

    I adore those chewy Florentines! Yours look exceptionally good. You shouldn’t have worried! And they make great gifts!

    Reply
  2. Kath

    24th March 2011 at 9:46 am

    ooh lovely and that spicy hot chocolate sounds like an added bonus.

    Reply
  3. Sarah, Maison Cupcake

    24th March 2011 at 10:49 am

    I think these look great and Dom is right, Florentines in bags make charming gifts. Thanks so much for joining in with Forever Nigella 3.

    BTW I’ve known all along what I want to make for We Should Cocoa and chocolate lime is one of my all time favourite flavours but everyone in my family has been ill one after another in past 3 weeks and I’m really behind with baking… so I don’t know if I’m going to meet the deadline but it’s not for want of trying!!

    Reply
  4. Pudding Pie Lane

    24th March 2011 at 11:08 am

    Florentines are always beautiful, definitely worth the effort – you were right to reward your self with hot chocolate in the end!

    Reply
  5. Johanna GGG

    24th March 2011 at 11:31 am

    I love florentines – never think of them as Italian but I guess I should given the name – made them last year and must get back to this recipe soon

    Reply
  6. VegBoxBoy

    24th March 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Not sure cayenne in hot choc is for me.

    But liking the florentines very much. Could definately manage one with my coffee right now.

    Reply
  7. MissCakeBaker

    24th March 2011 at 1:25 pm

    They look great – v impressive!

    Reply
  8. Chele

    24th March 2011 at 7:07 pm

    I like your style … as always ;0)
    Leftover chocolate shall never be a problem lol

    Reply
  9. Baking Addict

    24th March 2011 at 7:44 pm

    These look great and the hot chocolate looks so tempting!

    Reply
  10. MaryMoh

    25th March 2011 at 8:45 am

    These look very delicious and addictive with all the fruits and nuts. You made it sound very easy to make….just melt and mix. Thanks very much for sharing.

    Reply
  11. Maggie

    25th March 2011 at 10:33 am

    I’ve never made florentines, although I always think how jewel like they look. Yours look very tempting.

    Reply
  12. Liz

    25th March 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I love Florentines and these look especially good, I often make them at Christmas with cranberries, ginger pieces and green cherries then dust them with gold powder…and I really fancy that spicy hot choc. BTW I couldn’t find a saint for chocolate – only St Drogo for coffee – I’ll keep looking..
    x

    Reply
  13. Nicisme

    25th March 2011 at 9:37 pm

    I keep meaning to make some, yours look fabulous and very easy. A great Nigella entry.

    Reply
  14. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes

    26th March 2011 at 8:21 am

    Those look outrageously lovely! You’ll be opening your own patisserie soon I have no doubt x Joanna

    Reply
  15. cityhippyfarmgirl

    26th March 2011 at 8:51 am

    I say recipes are only as a general guide. An idea to jump start from. Pahh, to following them completely 🙂
    I haven’t made florentines before, but would happily settle for one of these right now.

    Reply
  16. Foodycat

    26th March 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Gorgeous! I love florentines. You can get them in pretty much any cafe in Australia and they were always one of my go-to sweet treats. I’ve never made them though. And the hot chocolate looks wonderful! What a great use for leftover melted chocolate.

    Reply
  17. celia

    26th March 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Choc, I can’t believe it, you deviated from a recipe? 😉

    Your deviation looks like an improvement to me – those look very moreish – and the hot chocolate looks like a perfect accompaniment. 🙂

    Reply
  18. Choclette

    27th March 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Dom – thank you. They do have a very special chewy texture. I think these might be on this year’s gifts for Christmas list.

    Kath – the hot chocolate was lovely. Nothing quite beats hot chocolate made with real chocolate.

    Sarah – sounds like you’ve got plenty on your plate. There’s always next month 🙂

    Pudding Pie – thanks for the comment and any excuse for a treat is my moto 😉

    Johanna – not sure why it took me so long to get around to making them, they are not that difficult after all.

    VBB – but surely you are a chilli fan?

    MCB – thank you.

    Chele – you’re right, there isn’t really such a thing as leftover chocolate 😉

    Baking Addict – thanks

    MaryMoh – they weren’t nearly as difficult as I’d led myself to believe.

    Maggie – thank you. Jewel like is a good way of describing them – or at least the professional ones!

    Liz thank you – can’t believe there wouldn’t be a saint for chocolate! Your ginger Florentines sound amazing with gold powder too.

    Nic – thank you. Do give them a try.

    Joanna – ha ha, along with your bakery!

    CityHippy – I’m with you all the way. You’re in for a treat if you ever do get around to making them.

    Foodycat – had no idea these were so common in Australia. I hardly ever see them over here.

    Celia – I know, it’s shocking 😉

    Reply
  19. Gloria

    28th March 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Love these, I love Nigella recipes, look fantastic, gloria

    Reply
  20. Choclette

    30th March 2011 at 4:58 am

    Thanks Gloria

    Reply
  21. Anne

    22nd April 2011 at 8:28 am

    I adore florentines, though never dared to make them as I fear I would eat them all in one sitting!!

    They look so delicious and fruity, and therefore must be semi healthy? 😉

    Reply
  22. Choclette

    10th May 2011 at 6:50 am

    Anne – thank you, a good point, if it’s got fruit in, it must be all right 😉

    Reply
  23. Anonymous

    20th June 2014 at 7:10 am

    It’s really a great and helpful piece of info. I am glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  24. Corina Blum

    18th December 2018 at 10:09 pm

    Florentines have been on my list of things to make for so long! My husband loves them and I keep intending to have at them but somehow I never get round to it. Yours do look beautifully thin and packed full of delicious ingredients. Thanks for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      19th December 2018 at 8:21 am

      For some reason the idea of making them is a bit more daunting than the reality. Give them a go Corina.

      Reply

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