Thursday, 21 August 2014

GBBO - Week Two - Florentines

So week two of the Great British Bake Off was Biscuit week - I decided to attempt the technical challenge of Florentines.  I found my recipe on page 98 of The Great British Bake Off: How to Bake The Perfect Victorian Sponge and other Baking Secrets.

As suggested I swapped in crystallised ginger instead of the mixed peel, but apart from that I followed the recipe exactly.  The first batch were a complete disaster, even after cooling until completely cold I couldn't prise them from the greaseproof paper.  I can't decide whether it was something wrong with the recipe or that I shouldn't buy baking paper from Home Bargains.  In the first batch I probably didn't chop my almonds finely enough, but I wanted I bit of a crunch to them and found it difficult to judge as the recipe asked for 'fairly finely'.

first batch
I decided that I'd have another go, so weighed out everything for a second batch (my this is an expensive recipe to go wrong!)  This time I just buttered baking trays and forwent the baking paper.  The second batch were marginally better: I chopped the almonds a bit finer and manage to spoon the mixture out more evenly.  They were still tough to get off the tray when they came out of the oven - most of them broke and I had one complete casualty.  I'm not sure they were baked for long enough, or maybe the oven wasn't hot enough as they certainly didn't crack but had a bend to them.  Perhaps I shouldn't of tried to bake two trays in the same oven?  I didn't even attempt to try and cover the backs with chocolate as they were just too fragile - they will be used a fancy ice cream topping.

second batch
Perhaps the recipe isn't quite right: alongside the fruit, the recipe calls for 25g plain flour, 75g butter, 75g golden syrup.  Looking up other recipes online the amount of flour seems low and there is no sugar, which can be found in other recipes.  I may have a go with another recipe, or I may just go back to baking cakes!

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