Vanessa Levis

Florentines are a great European favourite but require some patience to master. This recipe can be a little tricky but the results are worth it once you take the time. The mixture will spread so it needs to be gathered, with the help of a biscuit cutter, into a neat round shape halfway through cooking, and at the end.


Quantity Ingredient
125g butter
150g caster sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup cream
1/2 lemon, grated rind
185g flaked almonds
2 tablespoons chopped mixed peel
1 tablespoon chopped glace cherries, (optional)
125g cooking chocolate


  1. Preheated the oven to 190°C. Generously grease baking trays with butter or line them with baking paper.
  2. Put the butter, sugar, honey, cream, salt and lemon rind in a saucepan and lightly boil for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick and creamy and leaves the sides of the pan.
  3. Add the almonds, peel and cherries, if using. Mix well and remove from the heat. Spoon tablespoons of the mixture, about four to a tray, and flatten slightly with a wet spoon.
  4. Bake for about 8 minutes. The mixture will spread unevenly, so remove the trays from the oven and gather up the edges of the mixture with a 5 cm biscuit cutter to make the florentines into a round, even shape. Return to the oven for a further 6–8 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for a few minutes on the tray then reshape, using a cutter as before. Remove with a metal spatula and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  6. Melt the chocolate over a bowl of hot water, beat until smooth then spread over the flat side of each cooled biscuit. Using the tines of a fork or a serrated plastic blade made especially for the purpose, mark the chocolate in wavy lines and leave to set. Store in an airtight container.
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