Words, recipe and image by Dominique Woolf
A textural feast - simultaneously crunchy, chewy and sticky - with an addictive combination of dark chocolate, dried fruit and nuts. Somehow they also remain light, which means one is never enough! I have used cranberries and cherries, but you could swap them for candied peel, dried apricots or whatever takes your fancy. Likewise, if you prefer walnuts or hazelnuts to pecans, then feel free to use them instead.
I don’t need to tell you that they’d be perfect with an afternoon - or morning - cup of tea. They’d also be great after dinner, or if you’re feeling generous, would make a wonderful gift.
Bear in mind the chocolate can take a while to set, so you do need a bit of patience!
30g vegan butter or spread
30g soft brown sugar
40g dried cranberries, roughly chopped
40g dried cherries, roughly chopped
30g flaked almonds
30g pecans, roughly chopped
1 tbsp plain flour
zest of 1 orange
100g vegan dark chocolate, chopped
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark four. Line two large baking sheets with greaseproof baking paper.
Over a low-medium heat, melt the butter and sugar until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, place the dried fruit and nuts in a bowl, along with the zest. Add the flour and coat evenly. Stir in the melted butter and sugar, making sure everything is well combined.
Place one heaped teaspoon of the mixture onto a baking sheet and flatten without gaps. Continue until you have 8 mounds on each sheet. Leave about 3 cm between them, as they will spread out as they cook.
Bake for 7-8 minutes, until golden brown, then leave to cool on the sheet.
While these are cooling, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water, and stir occasionally until melted.
Once the Florentines have cooled, carefully remove them from the tray. Then, with a teaspoon, spread the bottom of each one with chocolate. Once completely set, store in an airtight container.
Dominique’s love affair with food started as a child. Growing up in the Middle East to a Thai mother and British father, she was surrounded by flavours and cuisines from many different cultures. She has always loved trying new foods and began experimenting in the kitchen from an early age. Now living in London with three young hungry children, she spends more time cooking than ever! Find out more about her over on her Instagram @thehungrywoolf
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