Despite the seemingly eponymous name, not much is known about these elegant treats except that Florentines do not hail from Florence. Although their origin is a mystery, the thin, crisp, and delicate nature of the caramelized almond delicacies suggests both French pastry technique and a place on the afternoon tea menu.
This recipe comes from The Official Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea Cookbook
Downton's Chocolate Florentines
For the Florentines
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- 1/4 cup Flour
- 5 tbsp. unsalted butter cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 1/4 cup sliced blanced almonds
For the Chocolate Glaze
- 6 oz semisweet chocolate finely chopped
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp. light corn syrup
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
- To make the Florentines, in a small bowl, stir together the zest and flour until the zest is coated. Set aside.
- In a saucepan over low heat, combine the butter, cream, sugar and honey. Cook, stirring, until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the almonds, followed by the flour mixture. The batter will be thick. Drop the batter by 2-teaspoon scoops onto the prepared pans, spacing the Florentines about 3 inches apart. Flatten each Florentine with the back of the spoon.
- Place one sheet pan in the oven and bake the cookies until they spread to about 3 inches in diameter, are bubbling vigorously, and are light brown at the edges, about 14 minutes. Let the Florentines cool on the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes Using a wide spatula, transfer them to the rack and let cool completely. Repeat with the second sheet pan.
- To make the glaze, combine the chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in a heatproof bowl placed over (not touching) barely simmering water in a saucepan and heat, stirring often, until the chocolate and butter are melted about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the glaze through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl. Let cool to barely lukewarm before using.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Dip half of each Florentine into the lukewarm glaze and place it on the prepared pan. Let stand until the glaze sets, about 30 minutes.