CHOCOLATE FLORENTINES – VEGAN & PALEO

Tis the season to be jolly!! Wahooooo!

I am so excited to start the Christmas countdown! This year will be extra special with my new little niece joining us for her first Christmas. I can’t wait to get crafting and wrapping up presents.

Trialling the  Paleo Christmas recipes ahead, I thought I would give raw chocolate florentines a go.  Usually, this would be down to my Auntie Caroline, however, seeing as she’s emigrated to the States I will take it upon myself this year.

I tried once before but wasn’t that pleased, however these raw chocolate florentines were a winner and didn’t last long. Always a  good sign..

Thankfully, the lovely people at Indigo herbs came to my rescue with some staple ingredients. Based in Glastonbury, they offer a huge range of top notch healthy ingredients delivered to your door!

I had used some Indigo herbs coconut oil previously for my coconut ice bites and was super chuffed when I got to choose 3 ingredients to play with. Especially to see the cacao is sourced from Peru and fair-trade. The packaging is really handy too with sealable tops.

This time I selected some raw cacao powder, raw cacao butter and premium dark maple syrup.

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As usual the delivery was super speedy which is always a bonus!

The raw cacao butter is a vital ingredient for delicious chocolate, you could use this for some white or dark chocolate bark to give as christmas presents this year! I have made chocolate before combining coconut oil and cacao butter but the more cacao butter you add, the richer the chocolate will be and also it’s little creamier to eat.

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To sweeten my florentines I used the Indigo herbs maple syrup, not just any old maple syrup. The dark richness adds such a lovely toffee like flavour. So very delicious! I can also imagine this working really well for a sticky toffee pudding.

These Florentines are perfect to make ahead and can be stored in an airtight container in a cool dry store. Wrap is some cellophane to make lovely person gifts for friends and family too!

Makes 12 florentines

Ingredients;

Florentines;

  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • goji berries (a handful)
  • Flaked almonds (a handful)
  • Dried raspberries (a handful)
  • Zest of one orange
  • Pistachios (a handful)

Chocolate;

Find a flat backing tray and line with greaseproof parchment. Preheat your oven to 165 degrees.

In a blender, add the ground almonds, melted coconut oil, chopped dates and maple syrup. Blend for 3 minutes to break down the dates and combine ingredients.

Using a tablespoon, scoop half a spoons worth of the mixture and use the back of the spoon to flatten this out on to the parchment in a circular shape. There will be enough mixture for around 12 florentines.

Sprinkle some pistachios, flaked almonds, dried raspberries, goji berries and a little orange zest onto each florentine.

Place into the oven for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden. Remove the parchment sheet onto a cool kitchen surface and allow the florentines to fully cool. They will set and stiffen slightly.

Whilst the florentines cool, prepare the chocolate.

For the chocolate, place some water into a saucepan and place a heatproof bowl on top. Ensure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl.

Add the grated cacao butter, cacao powder,  nutmeg, ground cloves, maple syrup and coconut oil. Gently reduce on a low heat until the ingredients form a silky chocolate.

Once you achieve this consistency, take off the heat and place in the fridge to cool for about 15 minutes.

Spoon the chocolate onto the back of the florentines and keep in a cool dry store to set. If the chocolate seeps through the florentines it will need to cool down a little more so it begins to thicken.

Enjoy!

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