As usual, a few weeks before my upcoming classes at Divertimenti, I work on the recipes I will be teaching for the Pastry Class. There are two types of recipes in Pastry… the ones you have to act upon without calling into question (Macaroons are part of that group) and the other type that allows you to be inventive and to experiment. Florentins are part of the last group and I used to do them without recipe but I am not sure a blank page will satisfy my students. They need at least some guidelines. Then, I sneaked into my cupboards and got all the nuts and dried fruits I had in order to make up my choice.
In the end, I kept the following ingredients:
- dried apricots and citrus peel for the dried fruits
- slivered almonds and hazelnuts for the nuts
This is my choice but you can make your own and do something very different such as Florentins made with Macadamia, Almonds & Dried Cranberries with a White Chocolate Base!
Anyway, here the recipe that will explain how to put together all these ingredients:
Ingredients for the Florentins: Makes about 45
– 150 g assorted dried or candied fruits (orange, apricots, raisins, cranberries…)
– 100 g slivered almonds
– 50 g nuts, chopped (pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans…)
– 50 g butter
– 50 g whipping cream
– 75 g sugar
– 25 g honey
– 60 g flour
– 100 g dark chocolate melted in a bain-marie
Method for the Florentins:
Preheat the oven to 180°C
Depending on how you want them, you can use a baking tray lined with parchment paper or use a silicon tray for minis. With the first, your Florentins will have an unconventional look when the Silicon trays will produce perfectly round shaped Florentins and as you will see later, will also save your time for the last step of the recipe!
Once your trays are ready and your oven is turned on, you can start.
First you will have to chop roughly any oversize fruits or nuts especially nuts such as Pecans, Macadamia, Walnuts and Fruits such as Apricots, Prunes, Figs because Florentins are small and you need to gather ingredients about the same size before incorporating them to the mix.
Now, in a pan, heat the butter, cream, sugar and honey until the sugar is melted and the mixture starts to simmer. It’s the same process as a caramel sauce!
Now, you have to pour the flour in and keep on whisking on low heat. Then, one by one you will add in the fruits and nuts, and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined.
Your mix is sticky and ready…. Using two spoons, place small lumps of mixture on the tray or into the minis molds. Flatten the lumps a little with your finger.
Bake for ten to twelve minutes, until the tops are golden.
When the florentins have completely cooled and hardened, melt the chocolate in a bain-marie.
Dip the flat bottom of the florentins in chocolate, holding them delicately by the sides, and let cool on a sheet of parchment paper until the chocolate has hardened.
You can also do it my way to save your time…..
Simply cut into two each quarter of chocolate and drop an 1/2 in each hole of your silicon mold then let it melt in your cooling oven. Now just put each Florentin on its chocolate base and slightly press on top of it to make sure that the chocolate spreads evenly at the bottom of your Florentins. Let it cool down a few minutes in the fridge or freezer. They will come out very easily and it will save you lots of additional washing as well as the duty to finish any melted chocolate remaining in the dipping bowl…!
Florentins are amazing with a nice cup of coffee, tea as well as with ice cream or a digestive after a great Dinner!