This is not my recipe, but a family fave made by my wife, Kathy. She started with a recipe from a book and then changed things around as she felt fit and thus created her own. Please let me know if you like or even try this, and I will be sure to tell her.
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Florentines are classically made with flaked almonds, and for years Kathy had made them that way. Then our youngest was diagnosed as nut-allergic about 5 years ago, and so all the nut based recipes were stopped.
As these are always a favourite at family events, Kathy ingeniously replaced the nuts with a combination of cornflakes and rice bubbles and the world was good.
The recipe was further tweaked to swap out the classic sultanas for dried cranberries once at Christmas, and the difference is amazing. The sweet/sour cranberry taste jumps out and we have never gone back.
The bases of the Florentines are covered in chocolate as a finishing touch. I have not listed the type of chocolate, as you can decide per your own preference. What is important is you need to ensure you use a bar of regular chocolate you would normally enjoy to eat and not a cooking chocolate, or it will affect the final taste.
We usually have a combination of florentines with a good dark chocolate, some with milk chocolate and some with a white milky chocolate. This combo looks particularly good if you intend to have these on a platter to share, or in a gift box.
Also if you want this to be totally nut free there are nut -free chocolates out there which would be great to use.
Finally, one of the best parts of the making is the fact tins of condensed milk are sold in larger size than required here, the extra we usually have simply on bread, or stirred into a cuppa and is it oh sooo good !
Yield – 40-45 tiny, or 30 small, or 20 larger size
|120g||¾ Cup||Dried Cranberries|
|90g||2 ¼ Cups||Cornflakes|
|20g||½ Cup||Rice Bubbles – Puffed Rice|
|110g||½ Cup||Glace Cherries|
|160ml||¾ Cup||Sweetened Condensed Milk|
|120g||1 Cup||Chocolate – See notes on #Chocolate|
- Preheat your oven to 160°C, 325°F, Gas Mark 3
- Cut the Cherries in half and put into a large bowl with Dried Cranberries, Cornflakes, Rice Bubbles and Condensed Milk, mix well to combine.
- Prepare oiled and baking-paper lined trays, allowing 12 biscuits per tray. Silicone baking mats are great for this as they can be slid on and off the trays as required.
- Place heaped spoonfuls of mixture neatly and with a gap of 5-6cm or 2 inches around each Florentine on the tray. Ensure that the mixture is neatly piled into a circle with no loose pieces, as they retain their shape when baking.
- For tiny ones use a single teaspoon of mix
- For medium size use a single dessert spoon, spread to 3cm or just over an inch round
- For larger ones use 2 dessert spoons, spread to around 5cm or 2 inches round
- Bake for 6 minutes or until light golden brown, be careful not to overcook especially if making smaller ones.
- Allow to cool completely on the tray
- Melt the chocolate, and spread on the base of each Florentine.
- Allow to set at room temperature.
In a sealed container, these will last for only a couple of days at room temp, or can be stored for about a week in the refrigerator.
Try adding a tablespoon of finely diced, uncrystallised ginger pieces to the mix for a bit of zing.