I make no apologies for using dried cranberries in yet another recipe. I love them! They are are one of my favourite dried fruits. The do seem to go incredibly well with pecans too, making them a favourite combination of mine. The Ginger in these pecan, ginger and cranberry florentines compliments their flavours further making these little biscuits a perfect treat.Last weekend I shared these lovely little biscuits with my friend from Polytechnic, Nicola who now lives in Australia. Living on different sides of the world, we don't get to see each other that often but when we do we take off where we left as it it was just yesterday. Meeting up last weekend for the first time in a couple of years, these pecan, ginger and cranberry florentines seemed the perfect treat to share with a bottle of bubbly.
What I like about florentines is that while technically you would probably call them a biscuit they are in many ways more of a chocolate. They are not too sweet and are perfect for having with a cup of tea, an after dinner coffee or as we did with a bottle of bubbly. Nicola really liked the addition of ginger. She recalls us making Florentines at Polytechnic and said she remembers them as being fiddly, so she hasn't made them again since. Shame on you Nicola they really are not that difficult and they are so delicious they are worth the effort anyway. Tasting these one she admits to being keen to make them again after all.
Florentines do tend to spread a lot when you bake them, so use a dessert spoon or teaspoon when placing them on the baking sheet, making sure you leave plenty of room for them to spread. Now they may not be well behaved and spread into perfect circles. Not to worry. As soon as you take them out of the oven, use a lightly oiled round cookie cutter, placed over each florentine and gently nudge the mixture into a neat circle using a circular movement. Allow to cool before removing from the baking sheet. If you are new to making Florentines you may find it easier to cook in small batches. Don't forget to line the baking sheet with baking parchment, that way you will have no fear of them sticking.
Traditionally Florentines are spread with chocolate, marked with a wavy pattern. I tempered some chocolate and spread a thin layer over each biscuit. I then go back and spread another thin layer on top marking each one into waves a fork as I do so.
These will make a lovely addition to your Christmas Fare and they make a fabulous gift. You could make mini ones as petits fours.
Step by step
Pecan, ginger and cranberry florentines
- 50 g butter
- 75 g golden caster sugar
- 2 tbsp double cream
- 1½ tbsp plain flour
- 40 g dried cranberries finely chopped
- 40 g stem ginger chopped
- 125 g pecans
- about 225 g milk or plain chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 180℃/170℃fan/gas mark 4 (350°F). Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with baking parchment.
- Place the butter and sugar in a small pan and heat gently until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream.
- Stir in the flour, cranberries, ginger and pecans and mix well.
- Place spoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, allowing plenty of space for the biscuits to spread.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until pale golden. While the cookies are still hot use a greased circular cookie cutter to pull the edges of the cookies in to form neat circles.
- Allow to cool completely before removing from the baking sheet.
- Break the chocolate into pieces and place ¾ of it in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Stir until until melted.
- Remove from the heat and add the remaining chocolate. Stir until melted.
- Allow the chocolate to cool slightly then spread a thin layer onto the backs of the florentines and allow to set.
- Spread a second layer of chocolate over each florentine then use a fork to mark squiggles in the chocolate with a fork and allow to set.