Bake #2 | Florentines

In case you're not up to speed, this is the second post in The Great Blogger Bake Along series. Read about it here.

Do you guys know what Florentines are?! Because I don't think I'd ever seen one before watching them on The Great British Bake Off. Let me tell you about it.

The Challenge

Florentines aka lace cookies. Make sure they come out nice and flat, and crisp with small lace-y holes. Cover the backs with tempered chocolate and a zig-zag to finish the look.

The Outcome

YUM! Not only were these really pretty easy, they were TASTY. They're crisp, but caramel-y and the blend of nuts, fruits, and chocolate was sublime. I loved these and they did not get sent to Tom's office since we gobbled them all up!
I had never tempered chocolate before, and I think I managed to do it right, but it was taking such a long time to cool so I walked away to come back and try and get the zig-zags in later, but by then I was too late! So mine are zig-zagless. It was also fun and interesting to make our own candied orange slices. My mom and I each did a different method for that, but both turned out fine and mine was much faster than hers (here's the recipe I used). Also, you needed "golden syrup" for this bake, and I simply ordered mine off Amazon, but my mom actually made her own! She had one that failed, but got it right in the end. Though, she did say she'd buy it next time because it wasn't really worth the effort.

Would either of us bake this one again?

Yep! Definitely. It's a perfect little treat and one I'd gladly make for a gathering as something sweet but not overly-so.

Here's the glamour shots...

I'm bummed I missed the boat on the zig-zags in the chocolate, but clearly it didn't stop us from eating them ALL!

Here's my mom's report:

"Florentines are not a cookie I would ordinarily have been drawn to try. Which is why this challenge is fun. It reminds me of a book club. You are asked to read books you might not naturally choose, but are often pleasantly surprised. This cookie pleasantly surprised me.

It required two ingredients common in the UK, but not here. I discovered that golden syrup is easily made, so I went for it. I was very pleased but, joked that it would probably cool as hard as a rock. An hour later this is what it looked like.

I would not be defeated.  My second attempt proved successful. It was to simmer for 45 minutes and the first time I had the temperature set too high.  A very LOW simmer was required.

Next it was candied orange. It was a long process and frankly orange zest would have been just fine to my way of thinking.   

Regarding the chocolate coating, I cheated and used semi-sweet chocolate chips melted. I worked in a candy store and know how to hand temper chocolate and was uncertain where to buy a piece of untempered chocolate. Demerit on that. Once all the ingredients were gathered they went together very quickly and baked according to the directions. Parchment paper is a MUST!

The cookies have many lovely flavors that blend beautifully. They are crunchy, and a delicious paring with coffee or tea. In some European countries they are a popular Christmas cookie. I would bake them again (if I didn't have any almond biscotti on hand)." 

Woohoo for Bake #2! Join us next week for BREAD. Don't forget to hashtag your photos with #JoyLynnBakeAlong for a feature!

Wednesday, April 19th
Bake #3: Ciabatta