Chocolate-topped, heart shaped Florentines: a sweet Valentine’s treat
I’ve had a recipe for cherry and coconut Florentines that I clipped from bbcgoodfood magazine waiting for me to make for ages. Turns out you can find it online here.
It appealed to me because the method makes things a bit easier: make a big slab of Florentine and then cut them out.
I decided to use a heart-shaped cutter to make these Florentines more suitable for Valentine’s Day, but obviously you can use whatever cutter you have or just cut/break the large slab into irregular shapes.
Ingredients (easily 24, but it depends on the size of your cutter):
- 140 g / 5 oz light muscovado sugar
- 100 g / 4 oz clear honey
- 200 g / 8 oz butter (or baking margarine)
- 100 g / 4 oz desiccated coconut
- 140 g / 5 oz flaked almonds
- 300 g / 10 oz glacé cherries, sliced
- 4 tbsp plain flour
- 250 g / 9 oz dark, milk or white chocolate
Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees C (180 degrees C fan)/ Gas Mark 6/ 392 degrees F.
The original recipe calls for a very large baking tray: 30 x 40 cm (12 x 16 inches). I don’t own a tray that large, so I used two tins: one rectangular and one round. Grease your trays with a little butter and line with baking paper.
In a large pan, warm the butter, sugar and honey over a low heat, stirring until all the ingredients have melted together into a smooth mixture. Stir in the coconut, flaked almonds, sliced cherries and plain flour.
Spread the Florentine mixture onto your prepared trays, press down until you have an even layer. Try to get it as thin as possible. If I made these again, I think I’d spread it a little thinner.
Bake the Florentine mixture for 10-12 minutes until a deep golden colour. I think I’d go more for 10 minutes than 12. I went for 12 and the edges of the mixture were a little too dark. Leave the Florentines in the tin to cool.
Melt the chocolate or chocolates of your choice either in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave.
Line a chopping board with baking paper (or just spread the paper out on your countertop). Turn out your Florentines from their baking tin onto the new baking paper and peel off the baking paper which is stuck to the bottom.
Pour the melted chocolate over the top of the Florentines and spread. Drizzle a different chocolate over the top if you wish. Here is a picture of my efforts:
Leave the chocolate to set, or semi-set, then use your cutter to cut out your Florentine shapes. You may want to use a plate or a small board to push down on the cutter as the florentines set hard and the cutter may hurt your hand otherwise.
If you store the Florentines in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, they should keep for up to 2 weeks. However, they will start to go soft after a week.
These heart-shaped Florentines would also make a lovely gift… if you can bear to give them away!
And if you’re looking for other sweet treat recipes: