Sunday, August 17, 2014

Great British Bake Off Technical Bake (5.2)

Week two of season 5 of The Great British Bake-Off brings florentines.

I must admit, here, that I actually had a practice run yesterday - I went to visit the Ballerina, the Maharajah and their daughter Princess Smiles. The Ballerina had arranged an excellent programme of activities that included making tart tatin and florentines. I am firmly of the opinion that both are better made, for the first time, with company.

Florentines are certainly an easier technical bake than tuiles, especially if you are not blessed with heat-proof fingers. However, they have their own foibles. I had excellent advice from Pigling about how much they spread, but noted that the addition of an extra tablespoon or two of flour can take the florentines from this: 

To this:

The thicker, less holey florentine (with the additional flour) is also more receptive to its chocolate backing, and less likely to allow the chocolate to ooze through.

Recipe: Mary Berry's Florentines

    50g/1¾oz butter
    50g/1¾oz demerara sugar (I replaced this with light brown sugar, because I don't have any demerara!)
    50g/1¾oz golden syrup
    50g/1¾oz plain flour (an extra tablespoon or two makes the florentines slightly thicker and less lacy - your call)
    25g/1oz dried cranberries or glacé cherries, finely chopped (I used dried morello cherries)
    50g/1¾oz candied peel, finely chopped
    25g/1oz almonds, finely chopped
    25g/1oz walnut pieces, finely chopped (I omitted these, and made up the weight with almonds and cherries)
    200g/7oz plain chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C (fan)/350F/Gas 4. Line three baking trays with baking parchment or silicon sheets.
2. Measure the butter, sugar and syrup into a small pan and heat gently until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and add the flour, chopped cranberries or cherries, candied peel and nuts to the pan. Stir well to mix.
3. Make 18 florentines by spooning six teaspoonfuls of the mixture on to each of the prepared baking
trays, leaving plenty of room for them to spread during cooking.
4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden-brown. Leave the florentines to cool before lifting onto a cooling rack using a palette knife (if the florentines have been baked on greased baking trays, then allow them to harden for a few moments only before lifting onto cooling racks to cool completely). If the florentines become too hard to remove, then pop them back into the oven for a few minutes to allow them to soften.
5. Set a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, without letting the bowl touch the water. Temper the chocolate by breaking half of the chocolate into the bowl. Stir until the chocolate reaches a melting temperature of 53C/127F. Meanwhile, finely chop or grate the remaining chocolate. Carefully remove the bowl from the pan, add the rest of the chocolate and stir gently until the chocolate has cooled to 26C/79F. (The chocolate needs to be REALLY thick to stop it oozing through the florentines)
6. Spread a little melted chocolate over the flat base of each florentine and leave to cool slightly before marking a zigzag in the chocolate with a fork. Leave to set, chocolate side up on a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.

This is being entered into  My GBBO Bakealong and the Great Bloggers Bake Off


Jenny said...

your Florentines look good - the chocolate is so shiny! i love the fact that you had read what Pigling Bland wrote about her florentine making experiences!
thank you for linking up x

talesofpiglingbland said...

Good shout about the flour.'s been too easy so far - I dread to thin what's next.

Beckie said...

The camera flash seems to have added extra shine to the chocolate - although I did try to temper the chocolate, I broke my thermometer halfway through!

Isn't this week bread week? I'm scared!