GBBO 5 Technical Bake #2: Mary Berry’s Florentines
This week the Great British Bake Off technical challenge from Mary Berry was Florentines. In the special land that is my brain their name is always sung to the tune of Clementine by Mark Owen. Not because I’m a fan, it’s just stuck in my head that way.
I have only ever really experienced florentines in the form of Thomas J. Fudge ones (which are good). If the contestants has been paying attention to these when doing their shopping, they would have known that there should be wiggles in the chocolate on the back. As usual with my baking I’ve taken shortcuts in order to create my Great British Fake-off. This time it was using a fruit, nut and seed mix from Waitrose rather than measuring out all the fruit and nut separately and also melting the chocolate in the microwave.
This was attempt number 2, hence the slightly sparse fruit & nut content. Batch one spread LOADS, but were actually rescued by some careful trimming and rewarming to be rather good. I decided to wait until the next day to do the chocolate and thought they needed a bit longer in the oven as they were still slightly chewy. So I popped them in….and forgot them until the stench of burning sugar filled the house. This, dear reader is why this blog is a learning journal rather than an example of excellence. I mess up so you can feel better about yourselves. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway.
Mary Berry’s Florentines
50g demerara sugar
50g golden syrup
50g plain flour
If you’re using my shortcut:
125g of mixed fruit nut and seed mix from waitrose, roughly chopped (the seeds make it a finer mix naturally)
If you’re following Mary:
25g dried cranberries or glacé cherries, finely chopped
50g candied peel, finely chopped
25g almonds, finely chopped
25g walnut pieces, finely chopped
200g plain chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Line three baking trays with baking parchment or silicon sheets.
Measure the butter, sugar and syrup into a small pan and heat gently until the butter is melted.
Remove from the heat and add the flour, nuts, fruit etc. to the pan.
Stir well to mix.
Make 18 florentines by spooning six teaspoonfuls of the mixture on to each of the prepared baking trays, leaving plenty of room for them to spread during cooking.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden-brown.
Leave the florentines to cool before lifting onto a cooling rack using a palette knife (if the florentines have been baked on greased baking trays, then allow them to harden for a few moments only before lifting onto cooling racks to cool completely). If the florentines become too hard to remove, then pop them back into the oven for a few minutes to allow them to soften.
Either carefully melt chocolate in the microwave OR if you’re doing things properly….
Set a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, without letting the bowl touch the water. Temper the chocolate by breaking half of the chocolate into the bowl.
Stir until the chocolate reaches a melting temperature of 53C/127F.
Meanwhile, finely chop or grate the remaining chocolate.
Carefully remove the bowl from the pan, add the rest of the chocolate and stir gently until the chocolate has cooled to 26C/79F.
Spread a little melted chocolate over the flat base of each florentine and leave to cool slightly before marking a zigzag in the chocolate with a fork. Leave to set, chocolate side up on a cooling rack.
Store in an airtight container.