These dainty biscuits are delicious with coffee or as petits fours after dinner – parcel them up prettily and offer them as a thank-you-for-having-me. We’ve used crystallised ginger and orange, but flaked coconut, raisins, glacé cherries, dried cranberries, chopped hazelnuts or apricots are delicious too.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Place the butter, sugar and syrup in a small pan and cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the flour, almonds, orange peel and crystallised ginger. Stir until well combined, taking care not to break up the flaked almonds.
Using a 1tsp measuring spoon, place 24 equal mounds of the mixture onto the lined baking trays, spacing the mounds well apart. (Using a measuring spoon will help you get evenly sized biscuits.) Bake for 10 minutes, until golden brown, then remove from the oven. If you want neat edges, use the round cutter to push any uneven edges into a neat circle, while the florentines are still warm on the baking trays.
Leave the florentines to cool on the trays for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Turn the florentines upside down on the wire rack and spread the chocolate over the bases. Leave them to set at room temperature for 5-10 minutes, then use a fork to make ripples in the chocolate. Leave the florentines to set completely.