Saturday, 12 December 2009

Cherry & coconut Florentines

These beautiful little hearts are cherry and coconut Florentines, wonderful present ideas for friends at Christmas. I found this recipe in a GoodFood magazine, and thought that I must try it. It was very easy and succeeded well, and the taste - mmmm! Just wonderful. I've never heard about Florentines before, but I think that from now on I'll make these every Christmas. 

Makes about 36 hearts
140g dark muscovado sugar
100ml clear honey (liquid)
200g salted butter
100g desiccated coconut
140g flaked almonds
300g glacé cherries, sliced into small pieces
4 tbsp plain flour
250g dark, mik or white chocolate (I used semi dark chocolate, about 50% cocoa)

1. Heat oven to 200°C. Put the sugar, honey and the butter in a large pan and gently melt together. When all the sugar has dissolved stir in the coconut, flaked almonds, sliced cherries and flour. 

2. Line a large baking tray with a parchment paper (about 40x30cm). Roughly spread the Florentine mixture out to a thin layer - don't worry if you have small gaps, it will melt together in the oven. 
3. Bake for 10-12 mins until a rich golden colour, the set aside to cool and firm up. 
4. Melt the chocolate in a small kettle over gently simmering water. 

5. Line a second large baking tray with a parchment paper and carefully flip the cooled Florentine bake onto it. Peel off the baking parchment. 

6. Spread the melted chocolate over, if you're using a few types just leave a gap between each one. 
7. Leave aside until set, then stamp out shapes using a preferable cookie cutter (I used heart, but you can use for example star or something else). If the cutter is diggind into your hands (as the Florentine mix may be a little hard), rest a small plate or pan on top of it and push down on this instead. 

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