GBBO this week and the bakers made Florentine biscuits, which I’ve eaten many times but never attempted to make. Biscuits are definitely a weak area of mine. They always end up either so tough you can’t bite through them or so soft they return to raw cookie dough within hours. Needless to say I don’t make many biscuits. Time to attempt a Florentine then and see what damage I could do.
I looked in my cupboard for inspiration and decided to make mine flavoured with lemon, pistachio and cranberries. I know lots of people are wary of lemon and chocolate but I love Lindt lemon dark chocolate so I based my decision on that. They turned out great. Not as pretty as store bought Florentines but lovely and chewy in the middle with crispy edges and a bitter chocolate base. Yum.
I based my recipe on this Florentine recipe from Ruby, winner of last year’s Bake Off, but mixed up the ingredients. I used spelt flour in place of plain flour when I realised I was out of plain flour. Whoops. They worked well with spelt but you could use plain if you don’t have spelt, and I’m not sure using spelt flour added anything special. I might just have to make another batch when I get some plain flour just to see the difference.
Lemon & Pistachio Florentine Biscuits
40g Flaked Almonds
80g Unsalted Butter
60g Light Brown Soft Sugar
Zest of 1 Lemon
40g Spelt Flour
100g Dried Cranberries
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 Tsp Almond Extract
100g Dark Chocolate
Preheat the oven to 180C (fan forced). Line a couple of baking trays with greaseproof paper.
Place the pistachios and almonds in separate dry pans to toast. Put roughly half the toasted flaked almonds in a bowl. Place the rest of the nuts into a food processor to chop, stopping when you’ve still got whole pieces, like a nut rubble.
Melt the butter gently in a pan then add the sugar, lemon zest, vanilla and almond extract and stir to combine then take it off the heat.
Place the flour, salt, cranberries and nuts in a bowl and stir until all the berries are coated in flour. Add the butter mix and stir to combine.
Use a heaped teaspoon of mixture for each biscuit, spacing them out to allow for them to spread when baked. I fit 6 to a tray. Bake for 7-8 minutes, checking them often and remove from the oven when the edges are golden brown. They won’t look cooked, the mixture will be bubbling and spread out but that’s what you’re looking for. Remove and let them cool on the tray for a couple of minutes before carefully transferring them to a wire rack. When all mine were cooked I put the wire rack in the fridge while I melted the chocolate so they’d be nice and firm to work with.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Take off the heat and leave for 5 minutes before painting it onto the bottom of the biscuit with a pastry brush. Pop them back on the wire rack, chocolate side up, to set.
I’m storing mine in a sealed container in the fridge so they stay nice and crisp. I’m not sure they’ll be there long enough though to judge how they keep. They’re very moreish.
Do you want to bake along with the Great Bloggers Bake Off? Check out the rules over with Mummy Mishap, the artist otherwise known as Jenny Berry.
Also joining in with #CookBlogShare party over at supergoldenbakes.