The Great British Bake Off is now well underway and week two saw bakers making savoury biscuits, Florentines and 3D biscuit scenes. The first time I ever saw a Florentine was when was 15 and working my Saturday job in a bakery - for £1 per hour. You could be mistaken into thinking that working in a bakery from a young age was where my baking interest stemmed from, however, the only time I came into contact with any cooking was when someone ordered a bacon sandwich and I would have to go out the back and fry it in the sandwich press.
I never actually tried a Florentine for a good few years afterwards, I was a little wary of them back then, probably something to do with the fact that barely any were ever sold and when we closed up at the end of the day they would go in the cupboard ready to be sold on the Monday, so goodness knows how many times that tray of Florentines had been in and out of that cupboard.
According to Mary, Florentines should be crisp, but I quite like the chewiness of my version. They hold their shape but don't 'snap' in two - maybe a few more minutes in the oven would do it. Despite the lack of snap my Florentines barely lasted a few hours, with the kids and their friends inhaling them.
Florentines - makes 12
50g golden syrup
50g caster sugar
50g plain flour
50g flaked almonds
150g milk or dark chocolate
- Add the syrup, butter and sugar to a saucepan
- Heat on a low heat until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved
- Stir in the flour, almonds and sultanas and mix well
- Line a baking sheet with non stick paper or silicone sheets
- Spoon heaped teaspoons of mixture onto the baking tray, spaced well apart
- Bake in a preheated 180C oven for approx 8 minutes
- Leave to cool for 10 minutes on the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool fully
- Once fully cool, melt the chocolate in the microwave on short bursts
- Coat the underside of each florentine with chocolate and allow to set
I quite fancied all of the savoury biscuits that the bakers made on the show last week, and they would be great on a Christmas cheese board. I played it quite safe with my cheddar and herb biscuits, made with mature cheddar cheese and fresh rosemary and lemon thyme from the garden. Now these definitely did have a snap, and were very buttery and moreish, a bit like a cheese straw.
Cheddar & Herb Biscuits - makes approx 18 biscuits
100g plain flour
100g cold butter
100g mature cheddar cheese, grated
1 tbsp chopped fresh herbs - I used rosemary and lemon thyme
- Rub the butter into the flour
- Mix in the cheese & squeeze together in your hands to form a smooth ball of dough
- Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes
- Roll out on a floured surface to approx 3mm-4mm thick
- Using a cutter, cut discs from the dough, re rolling as necessary to avoid waste
- Place on a greased baking sheet
- Bake in a preheated 200C oven for approx 10-12 minutes
- leave to cool on a wire rack
Savoury and sweet biscuits together would have made a lovely afternoon tea, however shortly after this picture was taken the biscuits were all snapped up by the kids, and taken to a friends house for a bake off taste test of their own.
Take a look at all the other Great British Bake Off inspired bakes in The Great Bloggers Bake Off on Mummy Mishaps.