Spiced Sesame Orange Florentines with Cashew Nuts & Fleur de Sel
Cookie Swap 2005
I recently discovered how easy it is to make Florentines. All you need to get started is the basic recipe and then you can experiment with different nuts and flavours.
3/4 cup of Bakers Sugar
1/4 cup of Honey
4 tablespoons of Butter
1/4 cup of Creme Fraiche
Grated Zest of Half an Orange
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/3 cup of sifted plain flour
2 handfuls of hulled white sesame seeds
2 handfuls of raw cashews, chopped into small pieces
Large pinch of Fleur de Sel
2oz dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place nuts and seeds on a baking tray and toast until they are golden brown (about 10 minutes). Put sugar, honey, butter, creme fraiche, orange zest and ginger into a heavy saucepan over a low heat and stir until butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring from time to time. The mixture should thicken and darken slightly. Stir in the toasted nuts, seeds, flour and the fleur de sel. Place half-tablespoon-sized dollops of the mixture on baking trays lined with a slipat or non stick parchment paper. Be sure to leave plenty of room for the cookies to spread. Bake for about 8 minutes until the florentines are evenly dark and golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray to cool and harden. Melt the chocolate and then pipe drizzles over the surface of the cookies. Once cool, keep in an airtight container
Regular cream can be substituted for the creme fraiche. Golden syrup can be substituted for the honey. Experiment with your favourite nuts. Fred prefers a version where I use only flaked almonds (no orange, ginger, salt or sesame seeds). The smaller your nut pieces, the more evenly your cookies will spread, but don't go so far as crumbing the nuts, I think that might look ugly. My oven has an element on the bottom, and I find that if I try to bake these cookies on the bottom shelf they burn around the edges. Therefore I have to cook them in two batches in the centre of the oven. If you have to do the same thing, try and keep the remaining mixture warm, over a very low heat, so it doesn't harden too much. Impromptu piping bag: For super drizzling action, put your melted chocolate in a plastic bag and cut off a tiny corner to make a hole through which you can finely pipe the chocolate drizzles on to the cookie.
PS. These cookies were baked for a joint virtual cookie swap organised by Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess and Alberto of Il Forno for Sugar High Friday #14 and Is My Blog Burning #21, respectively.
|Archive Alert! Around this time last year, I was Baking cookies like crazy for a charitable cause. Click here to see how much money we made in November 04.|
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