Baked Goods & Sweet Treats Recipes

The Not So British Bake Off: Week 2 (Biscuits)

As you might remember from last Monday, I’ve started my new series of baking along with the contestants of the Great British Bake Off Season 5. This week the theme was biscuits. I decided to take part in the technical challenge, so I made Mary Berry’s Florentines. Although, I tip my hat to Mary Berry I made some changes to her recipe (the ones the contestants used) to reflect my personal flavour preferences. I have to say, no wonder it was the technical challenge. Making florentines proved quite tricky! I made mine a bit big, so next time I know- smaller teaspoons!

Keep an eye peeled for the guest judge in today’s post and catch up with last week’s instalment if you missed the winner. (Spoiler: it was me.)

cover of florentines
(Adapted from Mary Berry’s recipe)

1/2 cup of flour (about 55 g)
3 1/2 tablespoons of butter (50 g)
1/4 cup of packed light brown sugar (50 g)
2 1/2 tablespoons of golden syrup (50g)
1/3 cup of glace cherries, finely chopped (50g)
1/2 cup of almonds, finely chopped (50 g)
1 (heaping) cup of plain chocolate chunks (200 g)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line your cookie sheets with baking paper.

Add your butter, sugar and syrup into a small pan and stir until the butter is melted. Be careful not to burn your sugar. Remove it from the heat and add in the flour, cherries and almonds. Stir until evenly mixed.

This dough should make about 18 florentines, so you might want to spread them across a few cookie sheets as the cookie will spread as it is baking. Place spoonfuls of about a teaspoon full on your sheets.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies should be golden brown. Let them cool on the tray before attempting to remove them.

While the cookies are cooling, melt your chocolate bain marie. Spread a light layer of chocolate of the bottom of each cookie and allow them to cool slightly before making the signature zig-zag markings with a fork. Leave them on a cooling rack, chocolate side up until they are set.
golden syrupfeeding cookie dough
Trying to convince Sam to eat some cookie dough.

batterwatching ovencookies coolingchocolate meltingspreading chocolatemaking patterncookie on platemary berry eating cookie
My long-time family friend Mary Berry. (She’s been to the salon since last week.)

not star baker

Pretty disappointed, but there’s still time to get back up to the top.

me eating cookiecookie good
Florentines are good!

Stay tuned next week for the Not So British Bake Off: Week 3 (Bread)

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  • Robert @ablogbyrobert

    Not only am I now craving Florentines for breakfast, but I foolishly went to check out last weeks instalment and now I want that pistachio & white chocolate swiss-roll too!

    • Haha, thanks Robert! I found florentines really tricky! The most difficult cookie/biscuit I’ve made to date! x

      • Robert @ablogbyrobert

        Oh really? Maybe I won’t attempt them in that case! lol. I didn’t think they looked too difficult. You must’ve just made it look easy 🙂

        • I’m sure you could handle it! I had two problems – first I don’t have a thermometer so I didn’t temper my chocolate really well. Once you’ve melted it you need to cool it really slowly so that when you put it on the florentine it doesn’t ooze through the other side. The second problem I had was on the first tray I made, I had no idea how much they’d spread. So the first few florentines were monster sized! x

  • This is the cutest thing ever! Florentines sound so hard but yours turned out great 🙂 they definitely look delicious! Loving this series!

    • Thanks so much Carly! I really found them tricky! And when I watched the show they seemed so easy! I was wrong…. x

  • I love florentines but I cannot imagine making them. How did they taste?

    • They tasted great! I when I watched the episode, I thought, meh, that’s not going to be that difficult. But it really was! x

  • Heehee, love. And those look amazing! x

    • Ha, thanks love! They certainly didn’t look like the winners on the show, but they still tasted goooodddd. x

  • Haha I am loving this series! I have actually never heard of florentines, but they sound and look amazing.

    • They are super crunchy and delicious! I had never heard of them before watching the episode. It must be a European thing! x

  • I love florentines! I wouldn’t have even thought about attempting them though. Were they tasty?

    • They were so tasty! I thought I might not like them to be honest. Sometimes I think fruit in cookies can be boring. Oh how wrong I was! x

      • yeah, cherries especially I get funny about in things. They do work well with chocolate though so makes sense!

  • So I thought they were something totally different but they look yummy!!

  • I love the British bake Off – and Mary Berry!! Your Florentines look pretty good to me!

  • Oh yum! I have got to bake some of these! I even have some Golden Syrup left that my grandma gave me (I rarely use it because it’s just soooo sticky!).

    Love your face in the first pic. Hahaha.

    • We’ve had the same tin of golden syrup in the cupboard for ages. In fact, when I pried it open, I even wondered, “Does golden syrup go off?!” But I decided to risk it 🙂 xx

  • Marielle

    So when I saw the title, I was expecting fluffy American biscuits for some reason. . .hmm curious about how that word changed. . . who knows. But those look delicious!

    • I just did some rudimentary searching for you. And the general gist of things seems to be that Americans started using the term “cookie” after the War of Independence. I shall look into this some more! x

      • Marielle

        Haha, thanks! That’s interesting – Maybe it started out like “freedom fries”. . .except it wasn’t lame so it caught on 🙂

        • Haha it sounds like it might be super similar. I wish cookies were called “freedom biscuits” it would make me chuckle a bit every time I ate one… x

  • haha oh my these photos are hilarious! I had never heard of Florentines before, I have to say! And sometimes baking is a bit hard, I find it’s so much like chemistry, we have to really follow the balance to get the perfect result!

    • Exactly! This is why Sam doesn’t bake. He likes to cook without following any recipes, just by taste etc, and that’s much harder to do when you are baking! x

      • My boyfriend is the same – he hates following recipes! Which stresses me out when he tries to bake, he’s like ‘I think it’s this amount I need…’

  • Love all of your photos! And I have never heard of Florentines before, but they have Chocolate on them so they can’t be bad!

    • I hadn’t had them before either! I guess they are a pretty traditional European cookie, but man. They are delicious! x

  • hah. I love this little series! I’ve never had Florentines before but now I really want to try them!!

    • I’d never had one before either! (To be honest I’d never even heard of them!) But they were super delicious! x

  • I love this series, I think it’s such a great idea to bake one recipe from the show each week! Out of curiosity if you had chosen to do the 3D showstopper challenge what would you have made?!

    • Haha, I did think about this. (The only reason I didn’t do it was that I couldn’t justify spending 4 hours baking plus picture taking time.) Just for context- I am pretty obsessed with pandas. I even have the same special stuffed panda bear since I was little. So if I was going to have done the showstopper I would have done pandas in a bamboo forest 🙂 x

      • Hahaa yep, sounds like you are quite obsessed with pandas! Although I must admit, it sounds super cute! Although Paul would probably end up snapping the head off!

        • I’m not sure if I should be embarrassed or proud. It’d break my heart if Paul did that! (I’m sure he would too!) x

  • Words cannot express my love for these posts. Biscuits…. Confusing American expats for hundreds of years…

    • Thank you so much! Ha, definitely! In our home we have a my biscuit vs your biscuit dichotomy. x

  • Haha! You’re so cute!

  • I’ve never seen this British Bake Off you speak of, but I feel confident in saying they’re really missing their mark by not having you as the host.

    • Hahaha thank you! That should be my new life goal. And by that I mean, maybe I should start an internet campaign on twitter. I think maybe they’d respond…. If you get a chance to watch it on the internet you should! It’s kind of like Masterchef, but only baking with amateurs, and it’s more cutesy and funnier 🙂 x

  • Haha oh man, you are too cute!

  • Ashley Angle

    Looks good! I don’t think I’ve had anything like this before!
    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  • You are just too cute!

  • You’re too cute! and I might have to try these Florentines!

  • I can’t believe you got MB to come back! she’s such a busy lady. you must be REALLY good friends 🙂

  • Haha I love this post. You look so cute!

  • Wow.. look at all of your comments! You go Amanda! Do you have a sheet hanging up for a sweet backdrop? Love it. I love how ambitious you are with these recipes!

    • Hehe thanks Haley! The real show is filmed inside this beautiful twee tent so I take one of my old girly sheets up for pictures 😉 x