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