Galaxy has been vegetarian for twenty years and a vegan 'dabbler' for six months. She loves exploring all aspects of alternative lifestyles.
The best tasting vegan florentines I have ever tasted.
Vegan chocolate florentines
Dark chocolate can be healthy.
In our house being a vegan doesn't mean you have to miss out on great food, not with recipes like this.These perfect little chocolate florentines are absolutely delicious, easy to make, crammed with nuts and dipped in vegan chocolate, I defy anyone to eat just one. I often make a huge batch and am lucky to have a half dozen left to cool down enough for me to eat one!
You can also use this recipe to make some larger cookies, they look really good on fancy plates at buffet parties. They make great home made gifts too, cook a batch and place them in a pretty box or wrap in cellophane and a ribbon. For some reason they seem to have a Christmas feel to them so are great at that time of year, then again, I think these are great at any time of year.
Dark chocolate also has some pretty good health giving properties too, it is anti inflammatory, and can help to lower high blood pressure. I save time when making these by putting all of the nuts in the food processor and blitzing until they are roughly chopped.
You can do this by hand, just spread the nuts out on a chopping board and run a sharp knife through them until you get the desired texture. It can be a bit messy as they have a tendency to fly all over the place if you are not careful. You can buy bags of mixed, chopped nuts and these work just fine too.
This is a good recipe to make with children, if you allow the sugar mixture to cool before getting them involved. They love stirring the mixture and as the nature of these florentines means they look better a little messy they don't need a steady hand to make them. The melted chocolate for dipping can still be used when it is quite cool, so kids can help decorated them as well. And eat them! Of course.
Preheat the oven to 160C.
- 125g vegan spread
- 120g soft brown sugar
- 120g plain flour
- 4 -5 good squeezes maple syrup
- 250g mixed dried fruit, cranberries, sultanas,candied peel
- 90g slivered almonds, keep some for decoration
- 180g pecan, hazelnuts, walnuts, roughly chopped
- 160g vegan dark chocolate, melted
- Place the sugar,maple syrup and vegan spread in a heavy based saucepan and heat very gently for about ten minutes then slowly bring to the boil. Be very careful at this stage that the mixture doesn't burn or the florentines will be ruined. As soon as the mixture starts to boil give it a good stir then remove it from the heat.
- Add the flour, dried cranberries, candied peel, sultanas, pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts. Stir all the ingredients together until they are well mixed. Leave the florentine mixture to cool for about ten minutes.
- Meanwhile, line two large baking trays with grease proof paper, take a desert spoonful of the cooled florentine mixture and drop onto the baking sheets, flatten each one a little with the back of the spoon. Place the florentines about half a flattened disc apart as they can spread in the oven. Sprinkle the slivered almonds over the top for decoration.
- Cook in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Take the florentines out of the oven and leave them to cool down.
- Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave, or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water,stir slowly to remove any lumps. When it is fully melted remove from the heat and allow the chocolate to cool down a little.
- Dip the florentines in the melted chocolate. You can either dip half the florentine or cover the whole bottom. I know which one I prefer! You can make these florentines with vegan white chocolate too, or try using a mixture of dark and white.
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Serves ten people four florentines each.
Variations on the theme,
I believe these wonderful little cookies will keep for a couple of weeks in an airtight tin. I can't swear to that as they don't last longer than ten minutes in my house. If you are not a vegan you can use milk chocolate to make these.
I have also made them a little more child friendly by leaving out the nuts and adding more dried fruit and chocolate chips. If you use milk and white chocolate to dip them in it's a fun idea to make zebra stripes on the florentines, kids love them!
However you make these, I know you will enjoy them.
© 2010 Galaxy Harvey
Galaxy Harvey (author) from United Kingdom on November 07, 2015:
Thanks Helen Morris, that sounds like a great idea, I have tried gluten free flour in this recipe and it does work just fine. Let me know how yours turn out.
Helen Morris on November 06, 2015:
Thank you. Will use almonds, cranberries and maybe apricots and shredded coconut on top and a gluten free flour.
Galaxy Harvey (author) from United Kingdom on April 16, 2010:
Yes, they are great little cookies.But beware, you really can't just eat a couple of them! I've ended up cooking two batches before now because I ate the whole of the first one myself!!
theherbivorehippi from Holly, MI on April 16, 2010:
!!! Oh my!!!! lol This will be one I will definitely have to try!!! YUM! Thanks for sharing!