Serves: 10-12
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 12 minutes


Ingredients

  • 3 ½ oz. (100 g) candied lemon peel (alternatively, use orange peel)
  • ¾ cup (5 ½ oz./150 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 ½ tablespoons (1 ¾ oz./50 g) honey
  • 2 ½ cup plus 2 ½ tablespoons (160 ml) whipping cream

For the cream

  • 1 ¾ oz. (50 g) pine nuts
  • 3 ½ oz. (100 g) sliced almonds
  • 14 ½ oz. (400 g) bittersweet chocolate, 70 per cent cocoa, divided

Equipment

  • 1 kitchen thermometer
  • 12 stainless steel pastry circles, about 4 in.
  • (10 cm) diameter or silicone molds
  • 1 silicone baking mat
  • 1 food processor fitted with a blade attachment

Directions

1Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Cut the candied lemon peel into fine dice. Place the 12 pastry circles on a silicone baking mat.

2 In a thick-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, honey, and cream. Heat to a temperature of 244°F (118°C), then stir in the nuts and diced lemon peel.

3Divide this mixture into the pastry circles, flattening it so that it is smooth and evenly distributed. Place in the oven and bake the Florentines for 10-15 minutes, until they turn a nice amber colour. Remove from the oven and take off the pastry circles. Leave to cool.

4Temper the chocolate. Finely chop 3 ½ oz. (100g) of the chocolate, or process it in a food processor. Set aside. Chop the remaining chocolate using a knife with a serrated edge. Better still, use chocolate pistoles, buttons, or fèves. Melt it slowly in a bain-marie, or in the microwave oven on “defrost” or at 500 W maximum.

5 Stir the chocolate at regular intervals so that it melts smoothly. Check the temperature. When it reaches 131°F-136°F (55°C-58°C), remove the bowl from the bain-marie. Set aside one-third of the melted chocolate in a bowl in a warm place. Add the 3 ½ oz. (100 g) finely chopped or processed chocolate into two-thirds of the melted chocolate, stirring constantly. The chocolate should reach a temperature of 82°F-84°F (28°C-29°C). Gradually add the remaining hot chocolate to increase the temperature to 88°F-90°F (31°C-32°C), stirring as you do so.

6Use a spatula to cover the smooth surface (the underside) of each Florentine with the melted tempered chocolate.

CHEF’S NOTE

Remove the Florentines from their circles using a knife as soon as you take them out of the oven, when they are still pliable. If they start to harden, pop them back in the oven very briefly.

IMAGE © CLAY MCLACHLAN


First printed in our sister publication France Today

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