If there was such a thing as a prize for the very best biscuit in the world, one bite of a Florentine would tell you this was the winner. Absolutely top drawer and perfect if you want to give a special homemade present at Christmas.
Makes about 20
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This recipe is from Delia's Cakes
Start by putting the butter together with the sugar and flour in a small, heavy-based saucepan over a very low heat, and keep stirring until the mixture has melted.
Now gradually add the cream, stirring continuously to keep it smooth. Then add all the remaining ingredients, except the chocolate. Stir thoroughly again, then remove the saucepan from the heat and put the mixture on one side to cool.
You’ll find it easier to bake one sheet of the Florentines at a time, so now place heaped teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto one of the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2.5cm apart (to allow the mixture room to expand while baking).
Flatten each spoonful with the back of the spoon, then bake on a high shelf for about 10–12 minutes, or until golden. Then take them out of the oven and leave the biscuits to harden on the baking sheet for 2–3 minutes, before quickly removing them to a wire cooling tray to cool.
Repeat with the second batch.
Next, melt the chocolate in a basin over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. This will take about 5–10 minutes.
Place the cooled Florentines base-up on the wire rack and, using a teaspoon, coat the underside of each Florentine with warm melted chocolate.
Then, just before it sets, make a patterned, wavy line on each one, using a fork.
Now leave the Florentines to cool completely before packing in alternating rows of fruit and chocolate side up in airtight tins.
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I think these twice-baked, very crisp biscuits are great for children to make and eat. After that, the adults in true Italian fashion sit down with a glass of chilled Vin Santo, and dip them into it before each bite.
If you like chocolate and orange as a combination, then forget Jaffa Cakes. These are in a completely different class.
These have always been personal favourites, and in this edition we have added chopped crystallised ginger and made them even better.
There has been a bit of toing and froing on this one, and a fifty-fifty split among our tasters. Some like them richer and very buttery, some like them drier and with a bit more crunch. I prefer the latter, but here you can make your own choice.
Still lovely after all these years. Still popular with children and with everyone else.
No changes here on these almost classic biscuits, but now you could replace the raisins with dried sour cherries or dried cranberries to ring the changes.
These are the quickest and easiest biscuits I have ever made: they have a nice crunch and a toffee taste. A friend recently reminded me of these, so we tried them again and decided, yes, they absolutely had to be included.
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