Cranberry, Orange and Dark Chocolate Florentines. Dairy-free. Vegan

For this month’s Suma Blogger’s Network entry, I though I’d share one of my latest treat obsessions – Vegan Florentines

Vegan Florentines

I’ve been dreaming about Florentines ever since I saw them on display in the patisserie shops of Venice and Florence a few years ago. I’d never seen anything quite like them before. They looked so dainty yet totally decadent with their dark chocolate bottoms! I was pretty sure that they’d be full of dairy and off limits to me, but I was excited about the thought of creating a vegan version one day.

This week I finally got round to a little Florentine experimentation in the kitchen.

Cranberry Pieces

After a quick internet search, I discovered that Florentines are typically made with cane sugar, honey, butter, candied cherries, candied citrus peel and almonds. Since I’m not a fan of the first 4 ingredients, and I know a lot of my readers aren’t keen on candied peel, I ended up subbing 5 of the 6 ingredients. The almonds stayed 😉

The cane sugar and honey was swapped for coconut sugar and maple syrup, which gave the Florentines a wonderful golden hue and caramel-like sweetness. Instead of candied cherries and citrus peel, I used dried cranberries and orange zest. This gave the Florentines a fresh, citrussy flavour which I absolutely loved. The butter was exchanged for non dairy spread or organic aroma-free coconut butter.

Vegan Florentines

I’ve done 6 trials so far this week, playing around with different ingredient ratios and combos. All have tasted delicious, but I was striving to bake a Florentine that was super thin with the traditional ‘lacey’ texture on the underside. By the 4th trial, I’d cracked it.

Vegan Florentines

Once cooled, I then added the classic Florentine wavy chocolate bottom.

Vegan Florentines

These Florentines are my new treat obsession. I absolutely love their texture – crisp on the outside, chewy in the centre with a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate bottom. Plus the flavour combination is so lush. The citrus zest gives them a wonderful lift while the dark chocolate makes them feel decadent.

Another great thing about this biscuit is that each one only contains 1 tsp of mixture which, in my eyes, makes it totally acceptable to go back for a second or third 🙂

‘M’ and Lil’ L seem to love them as much as me. I’ve made 72 so far this week, and there are very few left in the biscuit tin! I also took along a sample to my Tuesday night study class and they were a big hit!

Vegan Florentines

Unwaxed Citrus Fruits
Unwaxed lemons are widely available, but unwaxed oranges are a little harder to come by. In the UK, they are currently available in Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Tesco. If you’re only able to find waxed oranges, you’ll find tips online on how to remove the wax. The wax on citrus fruits often contains shellac (from the lac beetle) or beeswax, making them unsuitable for vegans. Organic citrus fruits are unwaxed, which makes them vegan friendly 🙂

You’ll find Suma products available to purchase in UK independent health food shops. You can also bulk buy many of their products from Amazon.

19 thoughts on “Cranberry, Orange and Dark Chocolate Florentines. Dairy-free. Vegan

    1. Oh Vicky these are so tasty! Definitely my number one treat at the mo 😀
      I’m looking forward to trying new flavours over the next few weeks, starting with crystallised ginger. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at making crystallised ginger using coconut sugar. I’m excited to see how it turns out xx

  1. These look amazing Sharon, really delish. My mum used to love Florentines, I’m tempted to make some on her birthday in March to remember her 🙂
    Pity I’ve just used up all of my cranberries today; neat swap for the cherries though.

    1. That would be such a lovely tribute to your dear mum ♥ Don’t worry about not have cranberries, you can sub with any dried fruits you have on hand. Dried apricots is another favourite of mine xx

  2. Wow 🙂 I used to adore Florentines, so I’ll definitely be making these! Love the ingredient subs you have made too. I’m thinking maybe some of my home made marmalade would be great instead of the peel too. Thanks for all your hard work experimenting and tasting!

    1. That’s amazing that you make your own marmalade! My mum always makes her own and it’s so much nicer than the shop bought jars. Rather than snaffling her jars every time I visit, I really should watch her make it one time and learn the family recipe xx

    1. Thanks Lauren! They’re so tasty! I’ve already gone through my freezer stash so I’m going to have to make more to share with my mum on Mother’s Day 🙂

  3. hehe that’s a lot of florentines to make in a week!
    They look so pretty too! Going to make these to pop into my daughter’s lunchbox I think 🙂 She would totally LOVE them!

    1. It was a lot of florentines… but they’ve all gone!!! I’ve even eaten the freezer stash. They’re just too tasty! 😛 I hope your daughter loves them as much as I do 😀

  4. I just can’t believe how good these look, and how much they look like regular Florentines- despite your subbing out so many ingredients. Thank you for this yummy recipe!!

  5. Wow Sharon, you have totally improved on the original recipe! I admire so much your dedication to getting your recipes just right. I’d be too scared to make these, i’d eat the whole batch 🙂 You put your Suma goodies to most excellent use! We are all impressed xx and well done on your half marathon btw, you deserve another florentine after that

    1. Thanks Amy! The Bath half training was made all the sweeter when I had these yummy treats to come home to 🙂 I’m looking forward to making another batch to share with my mum this weekend. All mums deserve florentines on Mother’s Day (that includes you! ♥)

    1. Hi Kat! I’m pleased you liked to flavour, but sorry to hear they didn’t spread for you. I’m planning on making some more batches this weekend for a birthday celebration so I’ll play around with the recipe and see what might stop them from spreading. I’ll be in touch again as soon as I have an answer xx

      1. Just realised the reason … I used almond flour … What a dafty! They are still crispy, chewy amazing though so thanks for the great recipe!

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