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Florentine Bars

Makes 16 bars

© by Nassima Rothacker

There is something wildly cheering about glacé cherries. Despite tasting nothing like the fresh cherries they once were, they are gloriously retro and their lurid colour never fails to entice. However, they could be swapped out for candied citrus if you have better taste than me or – for full retro effect – angelica. This recipe is more than just a foil for glacé fruit – the combination of caramel, almond and dark chocolate is a beautiful one, and a stack of these is sure to lift spirits.


  • Unsalted Butter 90 g
  • Caster (superfine) Sugar 90 g
  • Golden (light corn) Syrup 90 g
  • All Purpose Flour 90 g
  • Fine Salt ½ tsp
  • Flaked (slivered) Almonds 135 g
  • Glacé Cherries 90 g, quartered
  • Dark Chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids) 180 g, broken into small pieces

Cook it

  1. Preheat the oven to 345°F and line the base and sides of a 9 x 13 inch tin with baking parchment.
  2. Put the butter, caster sugar and golden syrup in a large pan over a low heat, until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. Increase the heat to medium and leave to cook until the mixture is foaming and just starting to darken in colour.
  3. Add the flour and salt to the pan and, working quickly, mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Add the almonds and cherries, then mix again to combine.
  4. Pour the mixture into your prepared tin, pressing it down to form an even layer that fills right to the edges. Transfer to the oven and cook for 15–20 minutes, until deep golden and bubbling. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.
  5. Once cooled, lay a sheet of baking parchment over the top of the Florentines, then flip upside down, remove the tin and peel away the original paper, so that the flat side of the Florentines is facing up.
  6. Bring a pan of water to a gentle simmer and set a snug-fitting heatproof bowl over the top, ensuring that the water in the pan doesn’t touch the base of the bowl. Add the chocolate to the bowl and heat until melted, stirring occasionally. Pour the melted chocolate over the Florentines and use a palette knife to smooth it out in an even layer. Leave to partially set for around 30 minutes (not in the fridge), then use a serrated knife or fork to create a wiggly pattern on the chocolate.
  7. Once the chocolate has fully set at room temperature (not in the fridge), use a heavy knife to cut the slab into bars or triangles.


SHELF LIFE: Wrapped in airtight packaging, this will keep well for two weeks.

SUBSTITUTIONS: Try swapping the cherries for dried banana to make banoffee Florentines. Pistachio slivers work well in place of some or all of the almonds, too.

HOW TO POST: Carefully stack 6–8 Florentine bars on top of each other, then wrap tightly in cellophane and tissue paper. These should go at the top of a mixed box or be posted alone in a well-fitted box.

Recipe adapted slightly from Sweet Deliveries: Over 60 Cakes, Cookies and Other Treats to Send by Mail by Lucy Burton © 2022 with permission of Welbeck Publishing Group. Photography © 2022 by Nassima Rothacker.