How to make a gift of Florentines

It’s lovely to give or receive a home made gift. These little florentine biscuits wrapped in a cellophane bag and tied with a bow, make a perfect, quick to make present for a friend, neighbour or relative. They are a rich, delicious and perfect with a cup of coffee.

Ingredients

60g butter

50g caster sugar

2 tbls double cream

25 g dried cranberries

40 g flaked almonds

25 g mixed peel

25 g stem ginger – chopped

25g pine nuts

15g plain flour

100g plain chocolate

Making

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease 2 baking trays or I use silicone sheets

Melt the butter and sugar in a small pan. Heat gently and bring  to boil. Off the heat, add the cream

Add the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT the chocolate

Spoon small teaspoons of the mixture onto the baking tray spaced out as they will spread

Cook for approx 8 mins – take out and using a 5 cm cutter make them into a circle

Put back into oven for 2-3 mins till dark golden

Remove from the oven and cool on the tray for a few mins before gently lifting them onto the cooling tray

Melt the chocolate and coat the back of the florentines – drag a fork across the chocolate to create a wavy pattern

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Nell’s Dressing Gown

i bought some soft fluffy material about a year ago at a sewing event in Leicester. I thought it would make a lovely dressing gown for my 8 year old grand daughter Nell. I just about managed with the amount I had. it was he end of a roll so that was it.

I haven’t used this type of material before so I wasn’t prepared for the amount of fluff that comes off as you sew.. I used a zig zag stitch throughout as the material was stretchy. That worked a treat. It hasn’t put me off using this type of material again.

I use a McCalls pattern M6225. I am very pleased with the finished article. The instructions were easy to follow. I hope it fits her. What do you think?

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Gluten Free Christmas Cake

I usually make a Christmas Cake in October, using a recipe from the Delia Smith Complete Illustrated Cookery Course   This year I am trying out a gluten free recipe from the  River Cottage Gluten Free cook book. It has figs and prunes in it which is unusual and uses buckwheat and sorghum flours. The method is basically the same – soak the fruit for 24 hours and then make the cake.

I have made one to try out the recipe and if it’s ok I will make one for Christmas. It has to mature for a couple of weeks and then have a tasting by the chief cake tester. If it passes the test then I’ll make another one. Gluten free cakes can dry out quickly, but hopefully with top ups of brandy brushed on top, each week, it will be ok.

Update 16th October 2019

Well it was lovely and I’ve just made another one today. Not sure it will make Christmas though…

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