When Not in Florence…

If you’ve been read­ing Eggs On The Roof for a while, you’ll know that I’m crazy about Italy. It’s true that I went off it briefly when cov­er­ing the Itali­an elec­tions for BBC radio — I got pro­posi­tioned by the lead­ing politi­cian I was inter­view­ing and when I turned him down he pushed me out of his car into the middle of a busy round­about. But that aside, Italy is pretty per­fect.

I’ve just spent the week­end in a part of Italy I’ve nev­er seen before. It’s daft word-asso­ci­ation, but Lake Como always makes me think of Perry Como and once I start think­ing of croon­ers in car­digans I decide I’d really rather go some­where else. But this week­end I put that right — and how beau­ti­ful it was.

The low cloud and steady rain gave the land­scape the feel of Scot­land without the midges. But we timed the rain showers to coin­cide with cap­puccino breaks, lunch breaks, din­ner breaks and cock­tail breaks. We didn’t get wet at all, just a little plump.

On our final day, we enjoyed the won­der­ful spec­tacle of a bride stran­ded on the pave­ment, appar­ently look­ing for trans­port. She didn’t seem to mind at all.

Watch­ing the stran­ded bride from our cafe table, I thought sud­denly and inex­plic­ably of the day that my mum brought home a large florentine bis­cuit from a posh Lon­don cake shop. It was in a crisp, white paper bag and it seemed to me to be the most exot­ic, mys­ter­i­ous and soph­ist­ic­ated thing I had ever seen.

I had a yearn­ing to make florentines when I got back from Como. Itali­ans may shud­der at the inac­cur­acy of my ver­sion because I’ve left out the vivid green and red can­died fruit. The bis­cuits I’ve devised taste pre­cisely the same as that magic­al florentine from all those years ago. Italy may have some shock­ingly sleazy politi­cians, but let’s face it, so does every­where else. But only Italy has florentines.

Florentines

200g mixed nuts. I used equal quant­it­ies of cashews, hazel­nuts, pecans and almonds

100ml double cream

25g unsalted but­ter

85g sug­ar

100g milk chocol­ate and

50g dark chocol­ate, melted (you can adjust the bal­ance of milk to dark chocol­ate if you prefer, but my child­hood florentine was most def­in­itely more milk than dark)

Spread the nuts on a met­al oven tray and toast them at 180 degrees C for about five minutes. Don’t let them burn. Tip them into a plastic bag and bash them vig­or­ously with a rolling pin. Think of a pred­at­ory Itali­an politi­cian if it helps.

Leave the oven on while you melt the but­ter in a sauce­pan and stir in the sug­ar. Add the cream and bubble briefly. Stir in the crushed nuts and mix well. Line two met­al bak­ing trays with bak­ing parch­ment and spoon dol­lops of mix­ture onto the paper. Keep them very well spaced out. You should have enough for around 12 florentines. Bake them in the oven for no more than 8 minutes — they burn eas­ily. Don’t be alarmed if the circles run into each oth­er — mine did. Just push them back into shape with the back of a spoon and allow then to cool for a few minutes. They should set, although they will still be a little del­ic­ate at this stage. Turn them over so the flat side is point­ing upwards and with a tea­spoon coat them with the dark and milk melted chocol­ate.

This part is really import­ant. They have to have wig­gly lines on the back. I have no idea why, they just do. When the chocol­ate is semi-set, sculpt the wiggles with a fork.

 

If You are engaged in pur­chas­ing medic­a­ments online, now may be the when to do so. So the next mat­ter is where can you find inform­a­tion that is reli­able. You can get such info fast and con­veni­ently by going online. There are many ill­nesses such as schizo­phrenia which have no cure. One of the most pops medi­cine is Via­gra. What about com­par­is­on between Cial­is versus Levitra and ? Nearly each adult knows about . Oth­er ques­tion we have to is . The symp­toms of sexu­al dis­orders in men include lack of sexu­al fantas­ies. Not­with­stand­ing sex is not vital for good sound­ness, it’s cer­tainly good for any­one. So if you are exper­i­en­cing erectile prob­lems, it is essen­tial to see a cer­ti­fied doc­tor imme­di­ately for a com­plete med­ic­al test­ing. Cer­tainly, online phar­macy can hands-down help you for solv­ing your all per­son­al dif­fi­culties.

22 thoughts on “When Not in Florence…

  1. My best friend was mar­ried in the Eng­lish church on Lake Como and arrived for the wed­ding by boat … so maybe the bride is wait­ing for her boat to arrive!
    It was just like your pic­ture. And the wed­ding party attrac­ted quite a crowd of onlook­ers.

  2. The bride was cer­tainly beam­ing very hap­pily, but she looked very incon­gru­ous amongst all the tour­ists in shorts. Your best friend’s wed­ding must have been won­der­ful. An Itali­an wed­ding sounds ter­ribly glam­or­ous to an Italy-lov­er like me.
    Charlie

  3. Lovely pho­tos. I’m still edit­ing all my pho­tos from my wedding/honeymoon in Tuscany last month. I love all things Itali­an too.

  4. I have no idea what the lines are for, but they’re etched into my memory — I’m glad you know what I’m on about…

  5. And Florentines are the one thing I always bring back from the UK. Have always wanted to try mak­ing them too, and your use of mixed nuts is a real take.
    I remem­ber the ones in paper­/­cel­lo­phane-fron­ted bags in our loc­al little (private) super­mar­ket. Now replaced by Fudges. But they had the wig­gly lines, you got them down to a tee!

  6. It’s so sat­is­fy­ing to hear your reac­tion to the wig­gly lines, Zoeh. There’s some­thing about those wiggles!

  7. Did that really hap­pen? Oh now, why doesn’t it sur­prise me of an Itali­an politi­cian?

    This post has brought back such won­der­ful memor­ies of Italy. Liv­ing in Mil­an, it was the nicest thing to drive up to the lakes and we did it often, try­ing to vis­it the lakes and islands, one more beau­ti­ful than the next? Your pho­tos are simply beau­ti­ful.

  8. Okay, I am embar­rassed to say, but I was so swept away by your evoc­at­ive pho­tos of Italy and Lake Como and all my memor­ies that rushed to the fore­front, I skipped the recipe! I love florentines but have nev­er made them before. Yours are fab­ulous! Hmmm now I am temp­ted to try…

  9. Hi Jam­ie and thank you so much. I’m very envi­ous — liv­ing in Mil­an must have been amaz­ing. Italy is a won­der­ful coun­try, although the politi­cian in the round­about scuffle prob­ably went on to even great­er pro­fes­sion­al suc­cess. x

  10. ps Jam­ie, my chil­dren ate all twelve florentines between last night and this morn­ing. And I only have two chil­dren…

  11. Alto­geth­er a lovely post. Great pho­tos and deli­cious-look­ing florentines. You have made them sound much more straight­for­ward to make than I ima­gined.

  12. Just dis­covered your blog, and I’m very glad I did 🙂
    I’m very sorry you had to deal with a sleazy politician…most Itali­an politi­cians make feel ashamed I’m Itali­an!
    I nev­er had a florentine, but yours must be deli­cious, with all those nuts and the chocolate…mmm

  13. Hi Cristina Thank you so much for com­ment­ing and a big wel­come to Eggs On The Roof. I love Italy enough to ignore the sleazy politi­cians. It’s a beau­ti­ful coun­try.
    Charlie

  14. LOL — I thought I was the only per­son who thinks of Perry Como and his cardies when Lake Como is men­tioned!! Clearly not. I am amazed I got to the end of this post — my eyes kept return­ing to “pushed me out of his car into the middle of a busy round­about” — surely this is worth a post on its own, if not a mini-series?! I have always had a com­plete weak­ness for florentines — yours look fab­ulous. Thank you for shar­ing.

  15. Glad to hear that I’m not mad when it comes to Perry Como word asso­ci­ations. As to the sleazy politi­cian, it’s one of those events that seems even worse as time goes by!

  16. What a truly ter­ri­fy­ing reflec­tion of Itali­an polit­ics, but a great story now you’re at a safe dis­tance
    I love Florentines, my Pa who is restrained around sweet things (unlike his wife and daugh­ters) can’t res­ist them either. Yours look amaz­ing

  17. Hi oxslip
    It really was a bizarre exper­i­ence, but luck­ily I escaped unscathed by either the politi­cian or Rome’s crazy traffic.
    I’m so pleased you like the look of the florentines.
    Charlie

  18. Pre­cioso blog, mara­vil­lo­sas foto­grafi­as y estu­pen­das recetas, ademas de interes­antes artic­u­los. Saludos desde Mad­rid.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *