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2 May 2015

It's funny how evocative food can be. One bite can instantly transport you are back to a time or place that hasn't crossed your mind in years and yet, unknowingly, is still right there with you.

For me, banoffee pie takes me straight back to boarding school house lunches. I'm lucky enough to still call my group of school friends my best friends, but even so it's strange how wrapped up banana and toffee can be with in-jokes, nuances, dramas and teenage angst.

Florentines, meanwhile, will always make me think of a quintessential little bakery called Baines in my home town of Uppingham. Crisp, yet gooey, sweet and smothered in bitter dark chocolate, their florentines are not easily forgotten. If you ever find yourself in the area - Baines is well worth a visit.

I digress, but it's true that these biscuits are steeped in nostalgia for me. Luckily for you, they're downright delicious, with or without the sentimentalities. I've replaced the traditional dark chocolate with Green & Blacks Salted Milk Chocolate, which brings the perfect balance of richness and edge to the sweetness of the caramel.

You'll also need to find soft pieces of dried banana, as opposed to banana chips. I found mine in the childrens' snacks section of Sainsburys (not an aisle I frequent regularly and, while we're at it, who knew children's food was so pricey!?)

I'd love to hear what baking means to you, and the memories you associate with your favourite recipes. As always, you can reach me via the comments below, and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram via the widgets to the right.

50g caster sugar
50g golden syrup
50g butter
50g flour
50g dried banana pieces
75g flaked almonds

Begin by preheating your oven to 180C, and lining two baking trays with non-stick parchment.

Weigh the butter, sugar and golden syrup directly into a saucepan, then set over a gentle heat, stirring until the butter has meted. Take the pan off the heat, then add the flour and mix quickly to form a paste. Add in the banana pieces and the almonds, and mix through.

Spoon teaspoon sized balls onto your trays, spacing them well apart as the florentines will spread in the oven. You may wish to do this in two batches. Shape into round mounds, then bake for 8-12 minutes. The florentines are done when they have browned ever so slightly, and lacy round the edges.

Allow them to cool on the trays for a few minutes, then carefully lift onto a cooling rack using. Allow them to cool completely.

Melt the chocolate, then spread over the flat site of each florentine. Leave the chocolate to harden for 5-10 minutes, then use a fork to create the characteristic zig-zag pattern.

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  1. You're so right, food has such a powerful ability to transport you back to (usually) good times which provide very fond memories. (and yeah, young children's 'snack' food is really expensive for what it is)!
    Angela x

  2. How much flour do you use, I think you missed it off the ingredient list. I'm looking forward to making these...

    1. Thanks Alexander, good spot! I've update the ingredients list - and it's 50g. Let me know how you get on! L x

  3. These sound delicious. I love your take on the traditional florentine, something I've never been a massive fan of. I think I'd really enjoy your banoffee ones though!

    Jennie // Scarletscorchdroppers


    1. Thanks Jennie! I'm totally with you, and i've never been a fan of dried fruit. Hope you get a chance to give them a go! L x

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