This season of the end of the year and winter holidays is one of my favorite seasons in Paris. This city is beautiful at any time, but in winter it becomes even more special. Christmas lights, shops decorations and the smell of roasted chestnuts when you go out of the Metro.
This season is the most important for the pastry chefs and chocolatiers who create special collections for the holidays. When cold there is nothing like a dessert rich in chocolate or chestnuts, hot chocolate or chocolate bonbons filled with praliné. The body needs a warm up, the mind needs comfort and the carbohydrates are starring.
In the Florentine you will find a combination of some of my favorite ingredients – almonds, caramel and chocolate. Is there anything better than that? These cookies are very special because they are made of two delicate layers that together create a wonderful combination of textures and flavors.
A thin, crackling layer of almond flakes with candied orange peels or other candied fruits, cooked and baked in caramel, coated with a fine layer of chocolate. The chocolate gives the cookie sweetness and a delicate texture.
There are many techniques for making the Florentines, the easiest is to bake the almond layer in a muffin/cylinder silicone mold and then place each baked almond disc on a layer of melted chocolate, in the same mold, while lightly pressing until the chocolate covers the entire bottom of the almond disc. You can also dip the discs in the melted chocolate, each one and its own way 🙂
12-16 cookies (depends on the size)
muffin/cylinder silicone mold
100g heavy whipping cream
40g Acacia/Lavender honey
100g flaked almonds, toasted
80g candied orange/lemon peels, chopped
20g cocoa nibs
300g dark/milk chocolate
1. Preheat the oven to 170C degrees, grease muffin/cylinder mold with an oil spray.
2. Florentines: in a medium saucepan heat the cream, sugar and honey until simmering. Keep cooking for 5 minutes until golden liquid is obtained.
3. Add the almonds, chopped candied fruits and cocoa nibs to the boiling liquid, mix well and remove from the heat.
4. Using a spoon, place on the bottom of each muffin/cylinder cup, a thin layer of the almond mixture and press it down well. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the almond discs get a deep golden color. Cool, remove from the pan and place on a cooling rack.
5. Chocolate coating: Melt chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave, cool slightly. Using a spoon place melted chocolate in the bottom of each cup of the same mold in which you baked the almond discs. Place each almond disc on the melted chocolate and press lightly until the chocolate layer coats the entire bottom of the disc.
6. Refrigerate for a few minutes, remove from the pan and enjoy.