There are many good memories attached to these Florentines, which taste partly like honeycomb and partly like cookies. I spent one New Year’s visiting my boyfriend in Sweden, and on New Year’s Day we hosted a hang out at his house with everyone we’d been celebrating with the night before. When we needed something quick to serve as an after-dinner snack. I improvised nuts, coconut, natural syrup and spices into what turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever made.
8–10 tablespoons natural syrup
2 tablespoons water
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
150g flaked almonds
40g desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, paste, powder or fresh vanilla seeds
A generous pinch of sea salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon maca powder
1 quantity Dark Chocolate (page 194)
+ I also added 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder to the florentine mixture (you can see 3 slightly darker ones in the second image, above). Try this if you want an even more enhanced chocolatey flavour.
Bring the syrup and water to the boil in a large saucepan over a high heat Wand continue to boil for 2 minutes, until the mixture forms thick bubbles. Remove from the heat and add all the remaining ingredients apart from the chocolate to the pan. Use a spatula or a wooden spoon to mix together well and ensure everything is evenly coated in the syrup.
Take 1 heaped tablespoon of mixture and drop it onto the prepared baking paper. Use the back of the spoon to press it down and shape into a cookie- like round. Repeat until all of the mixture is used up. Bake for 6–8 minutes, until the edges begin to turn golden brown.
Remove from the oven and place in the fridge to cool for about 10 minutes. Whilst they cool, prepare the chocolate. (If you would prefer to use shop- bought raw or dark chocolate, melt approximately 100g, following the same instructions for homemade chocolate on page 194).
Once you have made the chocolate and it is not too hot to handle, dip the bottom of each florentine into the melted chocolate, then place on a cooling rack, or on a sheet of greaseproof paper covering a plate or baking tray. Alternatively, drizzle the chocolate over the top of each biscuit. Leave to set in the fridge or freezer, and dip a few extra times, as desired, if you want a thicker chocolate layer.
Store in the fridge or in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.