WITH the season of gifting just around the corner, why not think about baking a few sweet treats for a special someone?

Florentines feel very festive with their nuts and dried fruit, and the dark chocolate dip makes them a very elegant and grown-up addition to a cup of tea.

Not only are they absolutely delicious, but also deceptively robust meaning they can be easily packaged up in a cellophane bag and decorated with a ribbon – practical and pretty!

Serves 12


30g unsalted butter

75g soft light brown sugar

30g plain gluten free flour

50g double cream

75g flaked almonds

50g mixed peel, chopped

75g glacé cherries, chopped

25g chopped walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts

200g dark chocolate


1. Preheat your oven to 180c/GM4.

2. Line two baking trays with parchment or silicone baking sheets.

3. In a pan set over a low heat, melt together the butter, sugar and flour.

4. Add the double cream into 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.

5. Stir in the almonds, chopped nuts, mixed peel and cherries until evenly distributed and everything is coated in the caramel.

6. Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes, this will allow it to cool slightly and prevent over spreading in the oven.

7. Place tablespoons of the mixture on to the baking sheets, spacing well apart. Flatten each mound slightly and then bake for 6-8 minutes until golden all over and the edges are beginning to darken.

8. Remove the trays from the oven. Using the back of a spoon gently push the lacy edges of the biscuits towards the centre to create a more circular shape. Be very careful not to touch the biscuits at this stage as the sugar will be extremely hot.

9. Allow the biscuits to cool completely on the trays.

10. Once cool, melt the chocolate in a jug in the microwave, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.

11. 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. Use a fork to create the traditional wavy pattern on the underside of each biscuit and then allow to harden completely.

Victoria is the author of This is Gluten Free and owner of 2 Oxford Place on Gillygate