Cherry and Coconut Florentines

The delicious combination of tasty fruit and nuts smothered in a sticky sweet honey and crowned with delicious Montezuma chocolate make Florentines the perfect afternoon treat. Although the name suggests they originate from Florence, there is still no evidence to support this, but we’re pretty sure such a stylish piece of confectionery must have been created in Italy! Wherever the Florentine roots lie, this quick and easy recipe can be enjoyed worldwide. We have used British based chocolatiers Montezuma to provide the chocolate base for these discs, as we believe their top quality confectionery is the crowning glory to these delightful biscuits. In fact, Montezuma has now become the leading family run chocolate makers in the country so why not smother it on top for that added luxury. To keep your Florentines deliciously crisp, do not store alongside cakes or moist cookies. The best method of storing is to separate each Florentine with greaseproof paper and seal in an airtight container. This way, you can enjoy these delectable desserts for up to 3 days, if you can manage to wait that long!

Florentines

Ingredients

140g light muscovado sugar

100g clear honey

200g salted butter

100g desiccated coconut

140g flaked almonds

300g sliced glace cherries

4 tablespoons plain flour

250g Montezuma dark or milk chocolate

Method

Preheat the oven to 200’C (180’c fan / gas mark 6).

Melt the light muscovado sugar, butter and clear honey in a large pan and place it over a low heat.

Once the sugar has completely dissolved, fold in the desiccated coconut, flaked almonds, plain flour and sliced cherries.

Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper (roughly 40 x 30cm).

Pour out the Florentine mixture onto the paper and spread evenly and thinly.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden.

Leave to cool and firm.

Melt the Montezuma chocolate in a bain-marie or in the microwave, but be careful not to burn!

Take a second large tray and line with greaseproof paper.

Flip the cooled Florentine mix onto the second tray then spread the melted chocolate over the top.

Once the chocolate has set, stamp out shapes using cookie cutters, et voila!

Top tip – if the cookie cutter is too sharp on your hands (due to the Florentine being quite hard) then just sit a plate between the cutter and your hand and push down to cut out perfectly even circles.