Montag, 18. Februar 2013

Florentine biscuits

This evening I did some clearing of the kitchen storage spaces. Not something I like to do, but sometimes is has to be done. I have drawers loaded with baking ingredients, dried goods and these drawers tend to fall into a chaotic state just in a blink. Still getting worse whenever I peek into one of those. Today for example I found some nuts and seeds I did not use up properly, just some mere leftovers, due to some recipes calling for 125 g almonds, but bags are sold containing 200 g and such.What to do, I don't like to drop something into the bin which is still edible?! I decided on quick cookies, something without the need of much butter or eggs (have to restore these).

Florentine biscuits from leftovers
85 g  brown sugar
1 small tablespoon honey
70 g butter, salted
60 ml cream
100 g candied and dried fruits
150 g mixed nuts and seeds
25 g flour (1 tablespoon)

I chopped 70-80 g leftover nuts (almonds, walnuts) into slices, added 50 g peeled sunflower seeds (they were sold peeled), 35 g pine nuts  (just about 2 tablespoons), 2 tablespoons big sultanas, roughly chopped and candied orange peel of ½ bitter orange, diced into small cubes.
I heated up sugar, honey, salted butter and cream (for whipped cream), stirred until mixed welll and simmered this mixture until slightly amber coloured (maybe 4 minutes).
I added the nuts, seeds, candied peel, sultanas, 1 tablespoon flour and let this simmer a little more, while stirring until combined and glued together well (maybe 3-4 minutes).
With the help of 2 teaspoons I set little coin shaped heaps of this mix on parchment paper and flatted them with the back of the spoon, leaving as much space between the biscuits as possible.
I baked the biscuits at 190 degree Celsius about 8-10 minutes. They will spread a lot (trying to run away) building a very thin layer. One has to watch out for the caramel state: don’t ever let the biscuits get too dark. They should be quickly removed from the oven when the edges turn brown.
I let the biscuits cool down still sitting on the paper and baking sheet. As long as they are still hot it is possible to fix the shapes with an oiled round cookie cutter.
Meanwhile I melted some semi-bitter couverture (75 g also just leftover). I glazed the cooled down biscuits at the backside with melted chocolate, trying to paint a wave pattern. The cookies should be stored in an air tied container or they will lose their crunchyness really quickly.


Sissi hat gesagt…

They look perfect and certainly taste even better! My only two attempts to produce florentins ended up in a disaster: the sugar and cream layer, instead of staying creamy, was transformed into something tough and sandy (as if I overcooked it every time). I have never managed to achieve such good results and abandoned the idea to make them at home.

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

Yes, due to overcooking. I wish I could tell the right look and feel for a good cream caramel. I once ruined butter scotch fudge due to overcooking, the same result: sandy. Since this time I use a sugar thermometer for fudge making.

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

Sissi: I put some thought in this issue, don't know but this may help - sugar stages: if your sugar is overcooked you actually heated up the sugar base over 150 C - in sugar stages this is the crack stage. For Florentines the sugar stage in use should be the stage for caramel candies about 118-120 C I guess. I did not meassure it yet but I should. So never boil it but let simmer and stir at medium more low heat. Never use a big flat pan better use a heavy but small pot.

Sissi hat gesagt…

Thank you so much, Kiki. I must have overcooked the sugar... I will follow your advice and who knows maybe will succeed to make florentins for the first time!