Laura’s little florentines make a delicious treat to package up as a gift or serve as a sweet treat at the end of a meal.
Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4.
Mix together the flaked almonds, chopped pecans, candied peel, raisins and flour in a bowl and set aside.
Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a small pan and cook on a low–medium heat for 4–5 minutes, until the butter and sugar have melted and the mixture has thickened to a syrupy caramel.
Remove the mixture from the heat, add the salt and tip in the dry ingredients. Stir well to incorporate until everything is evenly distributed and no streaks of flour remain.
Place the oiled cutter on the first baking sheet. Place 1 heaped teaspoon of mixture in the centre, and press it out to an even thickness. Remove the cutter and repeat until you have used all the mixture, spacing the rounds to allow them to spread during baking. (Bake in batches, if necessary).
Bake the florentines for 12 minutes, or until golden. Watch them carefully – if they are paler in the centre, they may be softer and chewy to eat; if they are over-browned, they will be too brittle. Once baked, remove the florentines from the oven and reshape, gently nudging them with the cutter, while still hot. Then, leave to cool on the baking sheets completely, before transferring them to a wire rack.
To decorate, place the two types of chocolate in separate bowls over pans of gently simmering water. Heat each to 45°C/113°F on the sugar thermometer, then remove from the heat and cool to 26–27°C/79°F-81°F, stirring continuously (this will take 10–15 minutes).
Place the bowls back on the pans of simmering water and heat the chocolates to 30°C/86°F, then remove from the pans.
Spoon the dark chocolate into the piping bag fitted with the fine writing nozzle and set aside.
Working quickly, dip the base of each florentine into the tempered milk chocolate to coat, leaving the tops uncoated. Place each coated florentine back on the wire rack, chocolate sides facing upwards.
Before the milk chocolate sets, pipe 5 thin lines of dark chocolate, about 1cm apart, over each milk-chocolate coated base. Using a cocktail stick, draw the dark chocolate lines back and forth to create a feathered effect. (You may have to dip and feather the florentines in batches to make sure the milk chocolate is still liquid enough to allow you to draw the cocktail stick through it.) Leave the florentines on the wire rack to set before serving.