16 Mar 2010

Recipe of the week - gluten free florentines

I love Florentines. The simplicity of their fruit and nuttiness with or without a chocolate bottom, but the shop ones are rarely gluten free for the miniscule amount of wheat flour they contain. Their implied simplicity led me to quickly throw a batch together one afternoon in anticipation of a visit from my mother. Impending guests are now used as an excuse to bake otherwise I bake too much and eat too much cake.

On this occasion I had already made a tropical lime, mango, passion fruit and coconut cake making embracing the lack of English fruits and ripe tropical ones (shipped and not air freighted I have you know which I actually find improves their flavour) in my fruit box. A clipped magazine recipe from I don’t know where, the Florentine recipe looked straightforward and allowed me to bake at the same temperature.

A simple recipe of weighing, melting and mixing I saw little room for error, but my gung-ho approach to gluten free cooking soon changed that. Looking back the mistake came at measuring. I try and limit my collection of kitchen paraphernalia but sometimes this hampers my cooking making a de-cluttered kitchen irrelevant. My huge measuring jug being a case in point since 90ml of cream in this recipe represents just a dribble on its base. This in turn created a thinner toffee base and meant that my piles of nuts, fruits and seeds soon resembled a pool of caramelised Florentine tray bake.

Tasty nonetheless, and not one to waste anything, the Florentine tray bake was broken into bite size shards and still accompanied the intended coffees on my mother’s arrival. Just in shards. So this week’s recipe of the week comes with a reminder to measure your ingredients properly, and embrace those cooking mistakes... it’s the only way to learn.

Florentines (makes about 12)

25g butter
90ml cream
60g golden caster sugar
75g flaked almonds
75g crystallised ginger
25g sultanas
5g gluten free flour

Heat the oven to 180°C and line 2 large baking sheets with non stick parchment paper
Heat the butter, cream and sugar in a small saucepan on a low heat and bring to the boil so that the sugar dissolves.
Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the remaining ingredients gently but thoroughly.
Place 12 tablespoons onto the baking sheet spacing them about 3” apart to allow for them spreading
Bake for 8-10mintues or until golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes and slide them onto cooling rack.

Please note - I only wish my florentines looked as good as the ones in the image above... but this pic is courtesy of Fudges Bakery.. but I don't think they are gluten free. Try baking your own!


Hua said...


Yum, this looks delicious. I think I am going to try baking myself a florentine this weekend.

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Alayssa said...

you've got a Nice and Yummy recipe in their.. I would probably try baking my own.. I just hope I won't burn mine :p

thanks for posting it and sharing your knowledge on cooking with us.. best of luck