These lacy vegan florentines are as delicious as they are pretty - studded with fruits and nuts and coated in dark chocolate, they make a lovely homemade gift.
🍴Why you will love this recipe
The delicate and jewelled Florentine biscuit is thought not to be Florentine, that is from Florence, at all - and more likely to originate in France. But wherever they stated out, these biscuits are very easy to make, beautiful to look at and incredibly more-ish.
The combination of slightly sour dried cranberries, citrussy orange zest and dark chocolate is an absolute winner. There's no way you will be able to stop at one!
I tend to make Florentines at Christmas time - they make such a lovely homemade gift, and are delicate enough to still be welcome at a time of year when we're all drowning in mince pies. But in fact they are totally teatime-appropriate all year round, don't wait until December to have a go at these little beauties!
📝 What you need
Flaked Almonds are lightly crushed with your fingers to get perfectly delicate slivers of nut. At a push you could finely chop whole blanched almonds instead, but it is the texture of these almonds that really makes the biscuit, so do find flaked if you can.
Dried Cranberries are deliciously sweet-sour and just what is needed alongside the dark chocolate and syrup. You could use any dried fruit, but cranberries are the very best.
Dark Chocolate can be as dark as you like here - just check the ingredients to make sure it is dairy-free.
Wholemeal Flour is whisked into the vegan butter, almost like a roux. A plain white flour would also work fine, as would a spelt flour.
👩🏽🍳 How to make your Vegan Florentines
For a full, printable recipe with ingredients and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this page 👇🏼.
Crush the flaked almonds with your fingers, and finely chop the cranberries. Grate the orange zest.
In a small saucepan, melt the vegan butter and add the demerara sugar and maple syrup, stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from the heat and whisk in the flour, followed by the almonds, cranberries and orange zest.
Drop teaspoon-sized blobs of mixture onto lined baking trays, well spaced apart. Wet your fingers and push each blob of mixture into a round shape and flatten out. Bake for 10 minutes then set aside to cool and set.
When the biscuits are completely cool, melt the dark chocolate in the microwave. Spoon onto each biscuit and spread right to the edges with a knife. When the chocolate is beginning to set, use a fork to create a wavy pattern. Leave at room temperature for the chocolate to completely set.
🔪 Top Tips & FAQs
If you prefer to use less chocolate you could pipe or drizzle melted chocolate over the biscuits instead, Jackson Pollock-style.
Whilst I've seen many florentines being cut to a perfectly circle with a pastry cutter, I prefer the frilly edges of a naturally-shaped biscuit. Follow the instructions to shape the blob of mixture with wet fingers before baking, and your florentines should end up pleasingly round.
If they are kept in an airtight container they will keep for 2-3 weeks, there is nothing that will go stale so these are great for making ahead.
Yes - you can freeze them successfully in an airtight container or bag, though the chocolate may lose some of its shine.
My blogging friend Sharon has recently released an excellent vegan cookbook, Bit of the Good Stuff. It is subtitled "over 100 plant-powered recipes for all the family to enjoy", and it does exactly what it promises - the recipes are quick and easy, and those I've tried have been a hit with all the family. Hearty and delicious suppers that are packed with flavour and don't taste in the slightest bit "free-from" anything, alongside sweet treats and 3-year-old friendly snacks and breakfast ideas which have been very popular in our house.
Sharon has kindly agreed that I can share this vegan Florentines recipe with you below. Many thanks!
🍽 If you liked that...
.... you might also enjoy these vegan recipes from The Veg Space:
Vegan Florentines with Cranberry & Orange
- 30 g flaked almonds
- 30 g vegan butter / block margarine
- 30 g demerara sugar
- 30 ml maple syrup
- 18 g wholemeal flour
- 30 g dried cranberries
- 1 orange
- 100 g dark chocolate check it is vegan
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan) / 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.
- Crush the almonds between your fingers to break them up.
- Finely chop the cranberries
- In a small pan, gently heat the dairy-free butter. Once it has melted, whisk in the sugar and syrup. Remove from the heat and whisk in the flour.
- Stir in the almonds, cranberries and zest. You want to get the mixture as uniform as possible so that the florentines spread evenly as they bake.
- Drop six rounded teaspoons of mixture onto one baking sheet. Be sure to space them out to give them plenty of room to spread. Add another six teaspoons to the second baking sheet.
- Using damp fingers, press down on the florentines to flatten slightly and shape into circles.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes, or until the edges of the florentines have browned. Leave to cool. (They will be very soft when they come out of the oven, but they will firm up as they cool).
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave - starting with 1 minute, then in 10 second bursts until it has just melted. Leave to cool for a minute or two until it thickens slightly.
- Using a knife, coat the bottom of each florentine. When the chocolate has started to cool but before it sets completely, wiggle a fork across it to form a wavy pattern.
- Leave the florentines at room temperature until the chocolate has fully set, then transfer to an airtight container.
Free 4-Week Vegan Meal Plan
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For more quick and easy vegan recipes take a look at my latest book Vegan in 15.
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