Florentines…

A little something no Santa can resist...

 

A Christmas staple in my family is the humble florentine… I’m not sure whether it’s particularly Christmasy but I know they are my Dad’s favourite and that’s reason if any to make them during the festive season… A couple of weeks ago my husband and I finally graduated from Theology… It was a weekend of mixed emotions… excitement at finally finishing… relief as the assignments slowed down to a light trickle… and reticence at what the future would hold… Ultimately it was our family that got us through… their continual encouragement… optimism… and general cheerleading meant we could enjoy the weekend the way we intended even if the prospect of packing up our house loomed once the ceremonies were over… I think it was Saturday lunch when Nan whipped out the florentines… and they were an allround crowdpleaser… the crunchy cornflakes and bitey nuts smothered in a crisp sweet coating… the addition of dried fruit with the glistening cherries add a definite hint of Christmas cheer… and who can resist something that is smothered in chocolate!

 

 

Christmas reminds me of the blessing of family… this recipe comes form my nan.. with adaptations and I hope it reminds you of family traditions and recipes that you bring out at Christmas and share!

Happy Baking!

 

Florentines
Adapted from Nan’s recipe.

Ingredients:
3 cups cornflakes
100g cherries
1 1/2 cups mixed fruit
110g sliced almonds
1 tin condensed milk
200g good quality dark chocolate

Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Add tin of condensed milk and stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
4. Spoon mixture on to baking sheets lined with baking paper. HINT: If you use a large soup spoon you can fill the spoon, drag it up against the side of the bowl and then hold upside down onto the baking sheet and get a nice shape. It gets a little sticky so make sure you have a finger or teaspoon handy to scrape out the extra.
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Don’t be afraid to leave them a little longer as you want them to be crunchy and crisp. Under cooking you’ll end up with a chewy biscuit that can sometimes fall apart.
6. Break the chocolate into a heatproof jug and melt in the microwave.
7. Using an offset spatula spread chocolate liberally over the flat side of the florentines.
8. Refrigerate until set.

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Jammy goodness…

This week I’ve been doing an awful lot of baking… I’ve been home alone a bit.. attempting to write a 15,000 word honours thesis… which is very challenging considering I have the house to myself and an abundance of food lying around just begging to be a part of some new and delicious baking adventure! Call it procrastination… I call it an investment in my overall mental health… it’s pretty tough keeping yourself and a looming 15,000 words sane…

Luckily, my mother-in-law asked if I wouldn’t mind baking some treats to put in her freezer for when visitors pop round and the like… So I thought I’d do a few tasty and freezer friendly slices…. One of these, a favourite of mine… Not quite sure what it’s officially called… But the slice with the cakey base and jam and coconut on top! Apparently it’s an Aussie slice, quite patriotic really… But unfortunately I can’t just stick to a regular recipe… I had to make it a little bit fancy, so I decided to make my own mixed berry jam to go in the middle..

I generally find store bought jam to sweet anyway and there was a pretty funky looking packet of frozen berries in the freezer that needed to be highly processed in order to be edible… so JAM! It was very tasty.. and very quick! I hope you try it! Plus you can make jam drops with the left overs.. Feeling patriotic yet?

Quick and Easy Jam

Take a packet of mixed berries, or berries of choice, frozen is easiest! Empty into a saucepan and add 1/2 cup sugar (You’ll probably want more because I like a tarty little jam). Stir it up and bring to the boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, until it’s all cooked and gooey. Take a 3 tablespoons of cornflour and mix with about 1/2 cup of cold water, use a fork to get rid of all the lumps. Stir it into the simmering jam mixture, you should feel it thicken quite quickly. Keep stirring for about a minute then take of the heat and let cool.

Happy Baking!