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Monday
May092011

Ottolenghi's Almond Orange Florentines

Alright cupcakes, week 2 of restaurant week, how are you holding up?  Are you taking water breaks?  Stretching frequently?  Refueling every hour?

Just a suggestion, but scones and lemon chess pie are pretty fabulous for fueling.

And now, we're heading abroad!  Yippee!  Wahoo!  Grab your passports!  

Er, well...your pretend internet passports...or, um, something.

Whatever, just use those imaginations we know you have.

So there's this place in London that's pretty much impossible to walk by without stopping in.  For anything really.  They make breakfast.  They make lunch.  Dinner, snack time, coffee time, dessert time.  

Seriously, any time of day, any moment at all, you can walk by Ottolenghi and somehow, for some reason, find yourself ordering something to satisfy that craving you never knew you had.

Until you walked by of course.

It's really just not physically possible to not stop in.  There's a magnetic pull.  Believe us, we've tried to walk by.  Like many, many, many times.  

But the power of Ottolenghi is just too great.  The piles of meringues and brownies in the windows have nothing to do with it.  We swear.

And then...then there are the florentines.

We reason with ourselves a little.  We say "Self, this is the third time you've been to Ottolenghi.  Since 10am.  Maybe you should show a little restraint.  Just a coffee.  A frothy, milky one."

But then we see the stacks of these almond orange florentines sitting on the counter, so thin, so crispy with just the faintest whisper of chocolate coating.  

And so we say "Self, let's do the whole restraint thing next time."

Ottolenghi's Almond Orange Florentines
Makes 20-26 cookies
Adapted from Ottolenghi

Print Recipe

Vegetable oil
2 cups sliced almonds (without skins)
Zest of 1 orange
2 egg whites, room temperature
2/3 cup confectioner's sugar
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment of silicone mats and brush with vegetable oil.  Fill a small bowl with cold water and set aside.

in a large bowl combine almonds, orange zest, egg whites and confectioner's sugar and gently mix to combine.  Dip your hands in the water and pick up about 1/4 cup of the almond mixture and place on the prepared baking sheets.  Using your hand or the back of a fork dipped in the water, gently flatten cookies.  You want the cookies to be as thin as possible without having gaps between the nuts.  The florentines should be about 3-4 inches across.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the florentines are golden brown all over (cooking time will depend on the size of your cookies).  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely the the baking sheets before removing.

Once cooled, if you'd like to spread chocolate on the bottom of your florentines, melt 7 ounces of bittersweet chocolate in the microwave on 30 second intervals.  Stir until smooth and using a offset spatula or a pastry brush, coat the bottom of each florentine with a thin layer of chocolate.  Place on a rack chocolate side up and allow to set.

Store florentines in a airtight container for up to 5 days.

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Reader Comments (19)

Stunning cookies, ladies!

Once I saw the almonds, I knew I was hooked. Can't wait to try these out!

Oh my goodness. These look divine. I love the short ingredient list, the hit of citrus, and how different they are from everything else I've seen lately. Okay, basically I love everything about them!

Oh, my this look absolutely wonderful, and orange and chocolate (and almonds!) go together so well.

~Brenda

These look so fancy! I really, really want to make these. Can't wait to try them out!

May 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

These sound so amazing! Love the photos as well! Yum!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

These look so light and delicate. I bet it's hard to stop eating them once you start!

Those look gorgeous, and what a perfect flavor combo. Lovely!

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCookiePie

Just made these and they are beautifully crunchy and delicious! Healthy and super easy to make, thanks for the recipe post!

May 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSC

Oooh, they look good, and so pretty. I've got a bottle of orange blossom water knocking around my kitchen - do you think I'd be able to add that to the almond mixture to give them a more orange-y flavour, or would it be overkill?

October 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElle

Hi Elle - We don't think that would be overkill at all...we're huge orange fans - especially with chocolate!

October 26, 2011 | Registered CommenterBlue Eyed Bakers

I totally missed something here...You said to use about 1/4 cup of the mixture and drop onto the sheet then flatten. I did that and got 9 large cookies. How do you get 20-24 out of this recipe? What did I do wrong?

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSonja

Hi Sonja - We probably should have been more specific! We used a very loosely gathered 1/4 cup of the mixture to make the cookies - so perhaps it's easier to say that the cookies we made were about 3 inches in diameter. Although - a massive florentine doesn't sound too terrible to us!

January 16, 2013 | Registered CommenterBlue Eyed Bakers

The flavours are wonderful but it was starting to get too dark on the outside and not done enough in the middle. Will definitely try them again and make them smaller :)

January 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSonja

Uhh, just made these.. in fact, still have more baking in the oven! Delish!!! Light and crunchy!! I made them for my husband because of his gluten allergy.. I'm only hoping he gets home in time before I eat them all!! Plus, SUPER easy to mix a batch and bake! I think they'd go delightful with a strong cup of coffee.. perfect morning!! :)

April 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristin

Not a fan of orange....any other ideas??

September 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKelley B

Have you made these ad frozen them? If so, how long do you think they will keep in the freezer?

November 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth J.

Hi Elizabeth! We've never tried to freeze these - they never last that long in our house! But it would definitely be worth trying!

November 11, 2013 | Registered CommenterBlue Eyed Bakers

Made these yesterday and they were divine! I converted the cups to grams (and might have made an error with the amount of almonds) so didn't get quite as many Florentines out of the mix as indicated in the recipe but no matter, they were beyond delicious. I brushed them with melted chocolate - super easy and not messy at all. I love these way more than the traditional Florentine. The orange zest really gives that super hit of flavour, then there's the crisp, caramelly almonds and the thin coating of chocolate. These look very sophisticated but are ridiculously easy to make. I'll definitely be making these again especially to "bring a plate of something" occasions. Thank you!

August 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnnella

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