We’re completely thrilled to be publishing a beautiful gluten-free baking book by Victoria Hall at the end of this month and are celebrating the release with a bundle giveaway in partnership with Real Foods!
Simply answer the baking question below for your chance to win This is Gluten-Free by Victoria Hall and a selection of Real Foods ingredients needed for making Victoria’s delicious gluten-free Florentines.
Selling a huge selection of naturally healthy and ethically sourced ingredients, Real Foods are one of Victoria’s favourite websites for buying gluten-free flours and other baking ingredients, such as nuts, seeds, chocolate, dried fruit and more. This brilliant baking prize bundle includes Doves Farm all-purpose gluten-free flour, Equal Exchange dark chocolate and If You Care baking parchment; as well as light brown sugar, flaked almonds, chopped walnuts, mixed peel, glacé cherries and a re-usable cotton organic bag from Real Foods with beautiful artwork by Edinburgh Sketcher.
The competition closes on Tuesday 31st January and there will be one lucky winner. Good luck!
Florentines are not quite a traditional cookie, more a suspension of nuts and fruit in a crisp but ever-so-slightly chewy caramel. Swathe the underside of these discs in dark chocolate and you have yourself a very elegant addition to your cup of tea. As robust as they are pretty-looking (thanks to being set with both caramel and chocolate), once completely cooled, they can be easily packaged up in a cellophane bag, decorated with a ribbon and given as a gift. My mum, in particular, would thank you for them.
From start to serve: 1 hour l Prep: 10 minutes l Bake: 6–8 minutes
30 g/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
75 g/ ⅓ cup soft light brown sugar
30 g/2½ tablespoons plain/all-purpose gluten-free flour
50 g/3 tablespoons double/heavy cream
75 g/¾ cup flaked/slivered almonds
25 g/3 tablespoons chopped walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts
50 g/3 tablespoons mixed peel, chopped
75 g/¾cup glacé cherries, chopped
200 g/6½ oz. dark/bittersweet chocolate
2 baking sheets lined with baking parchment or silicone baking sheets
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.
In a saucepan set over a low heat, melt together the butter, sugar and flour. Add the cream to the pan, a little at a time, stirring after each addition. The mixture should be smooth and caramel in colour when you remove it from the heat.
Stir in the almonds, chopped nuts, mixed peel and cherries until evenly distributed and everything is coated in the caramel.
Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes; this will allow it to cool slightly and prevent over-spreading in the oven.
Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, spaced well apart – they will spread to about 10 cm/4 inches in diameter. Flatten each mound slightly, then bake in the preheated oven for 6–8 minutes until golden all over and the edges begin to darken.
Remove from the oven. Using the tip of a spoon, gently push the lacy edges of the Florentines towards the centre to create a more circular shape. Be very careful not to touch them at this stage, as the sugar will be extremely hot.
Allow to cool completely on the baking sheets.
Once cool, melt the chocolate in a jug/pitcher in the microwave, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir to combine until molten and smooth and then coat the underside of each Florentine with a good layer of chocolate, setting upside down on a wire rack to cool.
As the chocolate begins to set, use a fork to create the traditional wavy pattern on the underside of each Florentine and then allow to harden completely before serving. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
This recipe is taken from This is Gluten-Free by Victoria Hall. Available now to pre-order.