Friday, 29 August 2014

Great British Bake Off - Florentines - Mary Berry Recipe

Well, the temperatures are heating up in the Great British Bake Off tent, but today's offering is Mary Berry's Florentines from Week 2 - Biscuits.  Here, they formed the Technical Challenge for the bakers, but it seemed the most important thing to know was how to temper chocolate.  That and correctly measuring out your ingredients.

Firstly, prepare and weigh out the nuts, flour and fruit.  I had some flaked almonds to use up, so used these instead of chopped almonds.  I chopped them into smaller pieces so the mixture would adhere together.  As I didn't have the amount of almonds required, I just used extra hazelnuts.  It is, however, just as I am typing this up, that I realise the recipe called for walnuts, NOT hazelnuts.  Ooopps.  Oh well, still tasted great.

Gently heat the butter, golden syrup and demerara sugar until the butter has melted.  The sugar does not need to dissolve.

Add the flour, fruit and nuts and combine.

You then need to divide the mixture into 18 portions and place 6 on each lined baking tray.  I have quite large baking trays, so will just use 2 next time.  The important thing is they need space to spread.

Pop into a preheated 180c static oven and bake for 8 - 10 minutes.  Mine took 8 minutes on the top shelf and 9 minutes on the bottom.  They need to be golden brown.  Just cooked enough, so they have a crunch as you bite in, but a chewy centre, but not undercooked, so they flop when picked up once cooled.

I don't think I would have won any prizes for equal sizing, but hey, I can work on that!  Whilst they were cooling on a wire rack, it was time for the chocolate layer.  The recipe is also found in Mary's Baking Bible, and here she suggests melting all the chocolate together, then spreading over the base of the Florentine and allowing to cool.  On Bake Off, the chocolate needs to be tempered, so half the chocolate is melted in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until it reaches 53C.  The remaining chopped up chocolate is then added to the bowl (now removed from the simmering water) and stirred until it melts and then cools to 26C.  For this you really need a proper sugar thermometer (now on my shopping list!!) as mine only went down to 50C.  So basically I judged it by whether I could make a zigzag in the chocolate once on the biscuit.

 Simply delicious served with a proper posh tea, in a not so posh but lovely mug!

I shared a few, but most got nibbled straight from the tin as they were so moreish.

I've also been making the most of the late summer fruit harvest. 
Damson Gin, which will mature until Xmas ......... hopefully!

Plus Cinnamon Baked Plums which I found on a great website - The British Larder.
Perfect with yoghurt, rice pudding, ice-cream.
Happy Baking!

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