Saturday, 1 December 2012

Christmas Baking: Festive Soured Cherry Florentines

It's the first day of December.

Officially the start of Christmas.

A month of rituals, traditions, indulgence and celebration. And an awful lot of festive food.

I have been practising for the next thirty days and thirty nights of Christmas gluttony. Mince pies have been consumed on a weekly basis since they reappeared on the shelves back in September  I've replaced my standard lunchtime ham salad sarnie with one of those super duper turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings between two doorstop sized slices of bread monstrosities. I've been spreading brandy butter on my toast each morning. Wine has been mulled. And of course Sunday has been stirred.

And now we've reached the first day of December What Kate Baked is in full festive spirit. Think the John Lewis advert but with a whole family of snowmen tipsy on Christmas themed cocktails singing 'Jingle Bells' under the Christmas Tree.

This weekend I'm off to Bath Christmas Market to begin the festivities with some good friends, drink too much mulled cider and partake in a little Christmas shopping (as always, following the super-successful gift ratio of 1:2 in terms of present for someone else : present for me. Try it sometime).

And I'll be taking these along as little Pre-Christmassy gifts

Festive Soured Cherry Florentines
(Makes approximately 12 florentines)

60g softened unsalted butter

70g caster sugar
10g plain flour
60ml double cream
50g flaked almonds
30g finely chopped dried apricots
50g dried sour cherries
2 pieces drained stem ginger
100g dark chocolate

Silicone Christmas tree moulds

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4

2. Place the flaked almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 3-5 minutes 
3. Pop the butter, sugar and flour into a small pan and heat gently, stirring continuously until the butter has melted and sugar dissolved
4. Add the cream, a little at a time, stirring all the time to ensure the mixture remains smooth and silky
5. Add in the almonds, apricots, cherries and ginger and stir all the ingredients together
6. Spoon into the silicone moulds, flattening down each florentine with the back of the spoon as you go and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown in colour
7. Melt the chocolate in a small basin suspended over a pan of simmering water. Once melted spread on top of each Florentine. Set aside to completely cool

Baker's notes...

  • I used some lovely 60% organic ginger dark chocolate
  • Using the silicone moulds saves quite a bit of faff as you don't need to attempt to coat the underside of the Florentines with the chocolate
  • They do look a bit rough around the edges but hopefully after a few glasses of mulled wine no one will mind their appearance too much
  • I'd intended on taking a batch to Vanessa's Lets Make Christmas 2012 in association with Rococo Chocolates but unfortunately at the last minute I wasn't able to attend. But there is a virtual gift swap! Hurrah!
  • And this is also my entry for this month's Tea Time Treats


  1. Such a shame you weren't able to make it. Florntines are perfect at this time of the year and so is the sound of coating them in ginger chocolate. I do hope all your friends enjoy them and that you have a brilliant weekend in Bath. I am ashamed to say I have never been there even though I know I would absolutely love it if I did go. Have a mulled cider or two or three for me!

  2. absolutely the first day of christmas... I agree... gorgeous looking cooking there.. x

  3. They look lovely - I hope you have a great time at the Christmas markets with your friends, such a lovely way to start the festivities. I'm a great believer in your 1:2 ratio - I always seem to end up with presents for me....

  4. Gutted not to see you at LMC, especially as I would have hoped to get these in the swap. They look great. Hope Bath Market was fun.

  5. They are uber cute! oh how I love this time of year ;0)

  6. I have never seen shaped florentines before - it raises something tasty to something beautiful (and tasty!)

  7. These little florentines look beautiful and would make such lovely gifts! Christmas is simple the best! Great excuse to whip up all manner of festive treats!

    What a lovely blog you have here :) As fellow foodies, we can't wait to read more! New follower here :)

    Have a great week,

    Chloe & Sarah

  8. We really missed you on Friday, though I know these would have pushed my bark down the list. It's great that Vanessa is running a virtual swap, so we all get a chance to see these lovely biscuits.

  9. these are so very pretty. I also did not make it due to work. A gorgeous idea Kate.

  10. These look lovely and festive! Hope you had a great time in Bath - I love it at Christmastime. :)

  11. These just look so cute - beautiful!


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