Fast French Florentines

I first started writing recipes down in France, when I was a student. I don’t have many; most of the food that others cooked for me seemed madly complicated (blanquette de veau for example which only Gordon Ramsay could describe as simple…) so I spent most of my energy on eating it, praising it and getting fat. But every so often the lovely Denise (practically my surrogate French mother, who I met on an exchange aged 16) made something that I was sure even I could manage.

These Florentines are just such a recipe. Denise made them to accompany after-dinner coffee and froze them in great batches. They never seem to last long enough to reach the freezer round here and, well, my freezer’s so tiny I might as well just have another…

You will need:

250ml crème fraîche (more durable when heated than fresh cream)

100g unsalted butter

270g sugar (the original recipe uses 250g of sugar and 2 sachets of vanilla sugar; in the days when flavoured sugar wasn’t as common as it is now I used to spend ages hunting little sachets of the stuff, which I guess were about 10g each. These days I just shove a broken vanilla pod into a jar of caster sugar, which is quicker and cheaper.)

200g glacé fruits (or just cherries if that’s all you can find), chopped into dice

200g flaked almonds

65g flour (the recipe doesn’t specify but I use plain)

65g ground almonds

2 knife-points (1/4 teaspoon or so…) ground cinnamon

Method (dead easy…)

1. Put the butter and crème into a saucepan over a gentle heat and bring to the boil.

It will end up looking a little like this…

2. Add everything else (told you it was easy).

3. Stir everything together well. The recipe then says ‘bring to the boil again’ but since you now have quite a sticky mixture I’ve never quite understood how you can boil it. As I understand it, and make it, I mix it really well over the heat for about five minutes then stop when I have something like this…

4. Using a couple of teaspoons place small amounts of the mixture on a greased baking tray and flatten down slightly. (Avoid putting them on greaseproof paper, especially if you might not remember to take them off and cool them on a rack; it will stick to them and be impossible to remove. Try reusable baking parchment instead.)

5. Bake at 175C (155C for fan-assisted ovens), 325F, gas mark 3 for 20-25 minutes until golden then try fighting off the admirers.

Not as handsome as shop-bought but twice as yummy

This entry was posted in Biscuits, Fast food, Short order, Simple, Uncategorized, Very few ingredients. Bookmark the permalink.

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