Author Jean Morrison
This Florentine recipe is a favourite of mine because you can vary the ingredients according to what you have available in the pantry. They are quite easy to make. In order to keep them all the same size I bought myself half a dozen egg rings into which I pile the mixture. After the mixture is compressed I carefully lift off the egg rings and into the oven go the Florentines. Easy!
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Quantity: Makes approximately 28
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1 cup sultanas
4 cups cornflakes
1 and 1/2 cups unsalted roasted peanuts
1/3 cup glace cherries, chopped slightly
1/3 cup dried apricots, sliced thinly
1/3 cup dried apples, chopped
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
Optional: 20 gm glace ginger, sliced finely
1 x 400 gm tin skimmed condensed milk
200 gm cooking chocolate
30 gm Copha
Pre heat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
Place the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well to distribute the sticky cherries and ginger (if used). Tip in the condensed milk and mix well.
Place a sheet of baking paper on a large baking tray . If you are using egg rings it is a good idea to spray the inside of them with oil at this point. Place the rings on the baking paper and pile a very large tablespoon of mixture into each ring. Compress the mixture with wet fingers, using the flat under side of your fingers rather than the tips. It works well if you wet your fingers each time you compress the mixture. Carefully lift the rings and re-use. If you don't have egg rings simply pile the mixture onto the trays and neaten them as much as you can.
Bake for 10 minutes until golden. Allow to cool on the tray. Carefully lift the Florentines off the trays.
Combine the chocolate and Copha and melt in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of hot water. When thoroughly melted, coat the flat under side of each Florentine with the runny chocolate mixture. Leave each Florentine upside down for about 5 minutes for the chocolate to set.
Makes about 28.
When I have had a shortfall of cornflakes I have successfully used Allbran to make up the difference. Flaked almonds can be used instead of peanuts. I have also used dried cranberries instead of apricots too.
Peanuts are not really nuts but members of the legume family. They are used in Asia in Satay Sauce. In African cuisines they are used in stews. In the west they are eaten, when roasted and salted, as snack food. They are also popular when processed into peanut butter. They are high in fat. Peanuts are a feature in Peruvian Creole cuisine. Some people have mild to severe peanut allergies. These allergies seem to be related to the roasting of peanuts. Un roasted peanuts are widely eaten in India and China but peanut allergies are virtually unheard of there.
The ginger we use in cooking is the rhizome (horizontal root) of the ginger plant. It is used both in its natural fresh form, dried and ground, pickled and also preserved in a thick sugar syrup. Ginger can also be stewed to make ginger tea and is the main flavour in ginger ale and ginger beer. Ginger has been found effective in treating some nauseas, particularly nausea caused by pregnancy, sea sickness and chemotherapy. Ginger is generally used fresh in savoury dishes and most usually ground for use in sweet dishes such as cakes, biscuits and desserts. Ginger tea is made by steeping a few slices of fresh ginger in water for several minutes. This tea is said to ward off colds and settle stomach disorders.
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