Monday, May 3, 2010
Chocolate Dipped Mandarin Florentines
David Lebovitz is a pretty rad guy.
Not only is he a world renowned desert and pastry chef, specialising in chocolate, but he has written no less than six cookbooks (one entirely about ice-cream! cue damsels fainting in awe all over the town). Better yet, he lives in Paris! And writes the most fantastic blog where he doles out tips on the best knives to buy, the best food markets, restaurants, cafe's and patisseries in Paris, and the most wonderful florentines in the world.
Florentines bought from bakeries are more often than not, the size of your face. It is a commendable feat to finish one up in a single sitting. Therefor I present to you a completely radical idea.... The Bite Sized Florentine. Don't freak out, I know it's different and a little strange sounding, but I promise you will like them. I also promise you will eat one every time you walk past the bowl.
I didn't have any oranges on hand, so I used mandarin zest instead. I was really pleased with the result, mandarin season is a grand time of year, the zest is a little something different than plain old orange. Make sure they are thoroughly browned through or they will not be crispy, and they must be crispy.
Chocolate Dipped Mandarin Florentines:
Adapted from David Lebovitz's blog
1 large egg white, at room temperature
1/3 cup icing sugar
1 3/4 cup blanched sliced almonds
a good pinch of flaky sea salt
grated zest of half a mandarin (washed)
Preheat the oven to 300F (150C).
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush very lightly with neutral vegetable oil.
In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients. Keep a small bowl of cold water and a fork near where you're working.
Dip your hand in the cold water before lifting each portion of almonds, and place heaping tablespoon-sized mounds of the batter evenly spaced on the prepared baking sheet.
Once you've covered the baking sheet, dip the fork in cold water to flatten the cookies as much as possible. Try to avoid having many gaps between the almonds. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown. Exact time will vary based on how large your cookies are. The authors recommend lifting the bottom of one with a metal spatula to check and see if they're cooked through. If they're not brown across the top and bottom, they won't be agreeably crispy.
Let cookies cool, then lift with a thin metal spatula and place them on a cooling rack until crisp.
To coat one side with chocolate, melt a few ounces of chopped dark chocolate in a clean, dry bowl, stirring until smooth. Use a brush or metal spatula to coat the underside of each cookie with a thin layer of chocolate. Let cool in a cool place or the refrigerator until firm. Once firm, store Florentines in an airtight container at room temperature.