Decadent mini desserts
Place teaspoonfuls of florentine mixture on the baking trays; space them out as they will spread a little when cooking. You will need to work quickly and not allow the mixture to get cool and sticky.
Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until they are golden brown. Keep an eye on them after eight minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool – they will harden as they cool.
Meanwhile, melt 100grams of the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. When the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 50 grams until it has also melted – this is a little trick I picked up and it should give the chocolate a nice shine. Spread a thick coat of chocolate on the flat base of the Florentines and set aside to cool and set.
You should get about 20-24 florentines from this recipe. Hide in an airtight container .
Makes 12-18 – depending on the size of your Madeleine tray
55g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
40g ground almonds
1 tbsp orange blossom water – grated rind of a small orange may be substituted.
150g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
Icing sugar to dust
Preheat an oven to 190 degrees/gas 5. Lightly brush the Madeleine moulds with a little melted butter. Beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until thick and pale.
Sieve the flour into a bowl and stir in the almonds and salt. Stir the orange blossom water into the melted butter.
Using a large metal spoon, incorporate half of the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, then fold in half the butter, and repeat with the remaining dry mix and butter. Allow to rest for half an hour, then spoon the mix into the Madeleine moulds so they are about three-quarters full. Bake for eight to 10 minutes until lightly coloured. Tip out onto a wire rack to cool.
These are best eaten warm, but may be stored in an airtight container for a day or two. Madeleines freeze well. Serve with a dusting of icing sugar.
Photographs: Shane O’Neill
Food styling: Paula Ann Ryan