I’m not a big fan of regular Florentines – there’s something about the combination of mixed peel and glacé cherries that’s not my thing – so I have made these versions a little different while still true to their basic structure and chewy, crunchy and chocolatey form. Ground star anise loses its flavour quickly, so I recommend that you buy fresh star anise and grind it using a spice grinder or pestle and mortar.
Put the sugar, butter and star anise in a pan along with the nutmeg, maple syrup and salt. Place the pan over a low heat and heat through until the butter melts, stirring with a wooden spoon, and then remove the pan from the heat and add the flour, cranberries and almonds. Mix this all together with the wooden spoon.
Once the Florentines have cooled, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Make sure that the base of the bowl does not touch the water as this may cause the chocolate to clump into a grainy lump. You can also melt the chocolate in the microwave in 40-second blasts, stirring well between each blast.
Using a palette knife, flip the Florentines over and drizzle the melted chocolate over the flat side of each one. Once you have drizzled all of the Florentines, leave them to set for a couple of minutes and then they are ready to serve.
© Lorraine Pascale, 2017. Images: © Myles New, 2017.