12 Bakes of Christmas 2017: Florentines (Vegan)

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Florentines are, contrary to popular belief, a traditional French biscuit, created in late 17th century France to honour their Florentine Queen; Catherine de’ Medici. They have a beautifully chewy texture; full of fruits and nuts and covered in chocolate, so are the perfect treat for the festive season. They’re very quick and easy to make, and taste absolutely delicious. Plus, they’re vegan, so everybody can enjoy them!

This recipe makes around 15 large Florentine biscuits.

Ingredients

  • 50g dairy-free spread (suitable for baking)
  • 50g demerara sugar
  • 50g golden syrup
  • 50g plain flour
  • 25g dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 50g candied peel pieces, roughly chopped
  • 25g flaked almonds, roughly chopped
  • 25g walnut halves, finely chopped
  • 200g plain dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C Fan/ 350°F/ Gas Mark 4. Line two large baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Gently heat the dairy-free spread, sugar, and syrup together in a small pan on a low heat. Do this until the spread has melted, and the sugar has started to dissolve.
  3. Take the pan off the heat, and sift in the plain flour.
  4. Add the chopped cranberries, candied citrus peel, almonds and walnuts. Stir until well combined and all ingredients are evenly dispersed.
  5. Spoon the mixture onto the baking trays (around 1 teaspoon per Florentine) and flatten out slightly. Leave around 10cm between each of the Florentines to allow them to spread as they bake.
  6. Place the baking trays in the oven, and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
  7. When they are done, allow the Florentines to cool and harden slightly on the baking trays. Once you have done this, gently lift them off the trays and place onto a rack to cool fully.
  8. While they are cooling, you can melt the chocolate. To create a bain-marie, place a heatproof bowl over a small pan of water, making sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Roughly chop half of the dark chocolate. Bring the water to a simmer, and place the chopped chocolate in the bowl to melt, stirring occasionally.
  9. When the chocolate has fully melted, remove the bowl from the pan, and finely grate in the remaining chocolate. Stir until all of the grated chocolate has melted.
  10. Spread a small amount of the chocolate on the flat side of each Florentine, making sure the chocolate goes right to the edge of the biscuits. Place the Florentines chocolate side up on a rack to fully cool and set.

 

Recipe adapted from Mary Berry (BBC Food)

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Second-year Politics and Philosophy student from Warwickshire. Member of the Aerial Sports Society, alternative music fan, and prosecco enthusiast.

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