Monday, 10 April 2017

Easter Egg Florentines with Cacao Nibs (A Borough Market Comission)

In this recipe I’ve given my favourite teatime treat, Florentines, a fun Easter twist. These make lovely gifts, presented in a little nest-like Easter basket or box. They are also great fun for kids to help decorate and are perfect to take to any school Easter fair.

You will need a small egg-shaped cookie cutter, which you can buy from many cookware shops or off the internet. A couple of fine nozzle piping bags are also handy for the chocolate decoration.

50g butter
50g demerara sugar
50g golden syrup
50g plain flour
25g glacé cherries, chopped
25g candied peel, finely chopped
25g almonds, finely chopped
25g pistachios, finely chopped
25g cacao nibs

To decorate:
200g dark chocolate drops (70% cocoa solids)
200g white chocolate drops

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

  1. Heat the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan gently, until the butter has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the flour, chopped fruit and nuts and the cacao nibs until combined.

  1. Place heaped teaspoons of the mixture onto the lined baking tray. It’s best to do this in small batches of around 5 Florentines at a time, as when they come out of the oven you need to act fast to cut them with your egg-shaped cutter while the mixture is still hot and soft.

  1. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and use your cutter to press firmly onto the biscuits to create Easter egg shapes. A sharp knife is useful to help you trim away the edges and a small plate popped on top of your cutter will allow you to press down firmly without hurting your hands.    

  1. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat the process until you’ve used all your mixture up.

  1. Once cooled, you can think about the decoration. Melt your chocolate in the microwave or in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Once melted, decorate as you please. Use a piping bag to create the dots and lines, or alternatively just spread your chocolate on or drizzle it over the biscuits.

Top Tip:

Chocolatier Louise Anderson from Rabot 1745 in Borough Market gave me a great tip on how to temper dark chocolate without a thermometer. Melt two thirds of your pack of chocolate drops in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure you don’t get any water in with the chocolate as this will make it go grainy). Do not stir. When you can see that it has nearly melted, then you can stir gently until smooth and entirely melted. Remove your bowl of chocolate from the heat, place on a dish cloth to absorb any water on the bottom of the bowl and add the remaining third of your pack of chocolate drops. Stir in gently until completely melted. To test, dab a little chocolate to your bottom lip - it should be slightly cooler than your body temperature.

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