I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

October 17, 2011


I was in the mood for crunch.

Not the savoury crunch of potato chips, or the virtuous crunch of healthy nuts, but something sweet and delicious that I could whip up in a hurry.

I've been thinking of making Florentines for a while now. Do you know those little biscuits- dried fruit and nuts, wavy chocolate patterned bottom, and usually popular around Christmas time? Yep, that's the one.

I've seen all types of these little babies, from fancy-pantsy artisan ones made with flaked nuts and expensive glace fruits baked into flat lacy discs, to big fat ones kinda like rock-cakes full of cornflakes and sultanas. I wanted a nice, family friendly, cheapish type version that was (of course) gluten and lactose free, so I fiddled around with a few and came up with my own version that I'm quite happy with, and they taste good too!

100grm Butter
1/2 cup Castor Sugar
1/2 cup Gluten free Flour
2/3 cup Flaked Almonds
2/3 cup Gluten free Cornflakes
2/3 cup Sultanas
2/3 cup Glace Cherries

Heat the butter and sugar together in a saucepan until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.

Add in the flour and stir it through thoroughly.

Add in the nuts, fruits and cornflakes,

and mix it all together until they're all coated.

Traditionally the mix would be placed on greased trays with room for spreading, but to make them tidy you have to tidy them up after baking so they are a nice uniform shape. I decided to make it easy for myself by placing spoonfuls in well greased patty cases instead to see what would happen.

Bake for 12- 15 minutes at 180* until a nice light golden colour, they will still be really soft, then let them cool in the pans.

Now, the issue I had with this is that even though I greased the pans, the little suckers stuck fast. The butter and sugar mix caramelises beautifully when baked, giving the Florentines their lovely crunch. I had to stick the pans back in the warm oven for about a minute so they would soften down enough to be able to loosen them with a spoon. Bugger.

I tossed a bit of leftover mix into a silicon patty pan to see if that was a bit better, and they were great! I let them cool totally in the pans and when they were done they just popped right out no problem. That's the secret!

For presentation if you're just making a few, cooking them flat on the tray would definitely look the best, but for bulk lots (or OCD tidy types) this method in the silicon works like a dream- I'll leave the decision up to you, but I like tidy every time!

Traditionally these little biscuits have their bases dipped in chocolate and a wavy patten marked on. I did a few just to show you how pretty they look, but really they're plenty sweet without it.

Easy to make, easy to up-market by just swapping out fancier glace fruits and other nuts for the cornflakes, and way too easy to eat! I think Florentines are a great biscuit for something a bit different from the everyday. The only downside is they're probably a bit better suited to coffee than tea.

So Dear Readers, are you a coffee or tea type of person?


  1. I'm all for coffee, though I ration myself to 1 a day as I'm caffeine sensitive.

    I love the sound of this recipe and can't wait to try it next week

  2. I haven't had a florentine for ages! Perhaps I should make these for Christmas. They're so pretty! :)

  3. I love any baked treats with corn flakes!! This looks SO good and not too difficult to make! Yummo~~ =)

  4. I have never had a florentine but would love to try. I am both, tea and coffee person.

  5. Those look seriously delicious! I am a coffee girl, although, just one a day! These would taste great with a steaming cappuccino.

  6. All these colourful nuts, cornflakes and fruits make these florentines so colourful! I'm neither a coffee or tea person, prefer wine, whisky or beer on a really hot day :)

  7. I'm a coffee type- and I've been craving florentines for days with my afternoon coffee- I've been making deconstructed little cairns of almonds, hazelnuts, chocolate and dried cherries- but now I've got no excuse not to make some. Thank you for the inspiration!

  8. oooh how delightful!

    I used to be a coffee person - but now I am loving white hot chocolates :)

  9. Oh yum! I love florentines although Im not big on glace cherries. Love that you did an OCD version lol I would totally do the same ;)

  10. Your Florentines are so cute!!

    I haven't made these since I was a kid, and yours look way nicer. I am absolutely OCD so I will be making them in the silicone for a perfect little circle biscuit, thank you so much for the tip :)

  11. I'm a coffee...no tea. Well usually coffee, but at the moment tea...can I have both with a florentine or three by the side?

  12. mmmm Florentines. Yours look very pretty :) I adore tea. I drink so much of it!! Loving rooibos at the moment. & I love coffee on the weekend, like out at cafes. We're spoilt for good cafe coffee in melbourne. Now Im totally craving a Florentine! hehe. Something about that crunch, you're right :)
    Heidi xo

  13. I learn something new everything I drop in for a visit :) I never knew these existed (I live under a rock mostly :) )

  14. Oooh florentines...yum! Seriously addictive!
    I am a coffee AND tea....have my cake AND eat it kind of girl! There is a time and place for everything. Nothing can beat that morning coffee hit...or that late at night comforting herbal tea.

  15. I was never a fan of these growing up as I hated nuts, but I think I could eat one now an my Dad certainly loves them. (I also have a half box of gf cornflakes that need to be used)Love the idea of making them in the patty pan tins!

  16. Yum, love florentines. I'm a herb tea kinda gal, funny I know (for someone that has spent most of her adult life working in cafes ;-)

  17. I need to have coffee every morning and have tea once in a while when I feel like it....

    These florentines are certainly good for both coffee and tea.

  18. I've never tried a Florentine before! Great combination of ingredients. And since you asked, I'd be dipping these in coffee :)

  19. I've never tried a florentine! This must be corrected immediately!
    I love coffee and tea equally, but drink tea more because I hate getting out the coffee machine every day.

  20. I was just in Melbourne for a few days for work and went to the South Melbourne markets. There was the cutest little chocolate shop that made mini florentines. They were so good!!

  21. Yum, Bec, I love Florentines. Glad they didn't stick to the silicon pans, although I've never had much luck with those myself. I still have to spray them to stop things sticking.

  22. Please stop. These are one of my all-time favourite treat, and you are undoing my self-hypnosis to not eat them every day! :)

    My faves are held together with a kind of toffee glue and topped with dark chocolate, but I would happily scoff several of your delicious version!

    Too late. Darn it. Now I want a florentine. :)

  23. Hello Readers Dear, sorry I'm tardy again this week, I'll get back on track I promise! I've had lots of running around trying to sort out my shoulder issues with surgeons and such at the moment. I'm glad you like the pretty little bites of crunchiness, but I had to hide mine- from me! As they were becoming a fixture with my after dinner cuppa every night. Too many goodies do not help with my diet. I am determined to be a bit fitter despite having m clipped wings. The surgeon described me as 'Plump' in his report, and he was being kind :) Here's too eating good things- moderately though :(

    Ista- Me too! I get all dry mouthed and shaky- and cranky and fighty too if I have too much. I just stick to weak decaff instead and I (and everyone else) am much happier :) Let me know how they go!

    Lorraine- They would be great for Christmas, especially tarted up with some fancy-pantsy glace fruits for style! :)

    Winston- They give them such a great crunch don't they? Really easy to make as well, but don't tell anyone! :)

    QuayPo- You should just for something different for a change. I think most people like to dabble in both as well :)

    Ina- Thanks! We still have customers who come in asking for a 'Cup-of-chino' instead of a cappuccino!

    Chopinandmysaucepan- But what about 7am in the morning, what do you do then? :)

    Tori- Great idea with the deconstructed goodies! Sometimes you just have to give in to the cravings though, let me know how they go.

    Lisa- Thanks! I'm sure Baby BBB loves them too :)

    Nic- You could certainly swap out the cherries with something that you like more. I feel much more comfortable if they're all the same size :)

    GourmetGetaways- Thanks! I like uniformity, the customers don't always understand that the product is the same weight and volume regardless if one is slightly smaller than the other. And it makes me feel better too :)

    Cityhippyfarmgirl- You may cetainly have them all, we pass no judgements here :)

    Heidi- I crave texture more than flavour sometimes, and I just need that satisfying CRUUNNCCHHH! I wish we had the same coffee culture here that you guys have in Melbourne... maybe someday when Canberra grows up a little bit?

    Msihua- You sure you don't take that rock around with you like a turtle shell? You manage to still get to a lot of awesome restaurants to eat under that rock :)

    Spice- I love a nice cup of (decaf)coffee in winter as it seems to stick-to-my-ribs more than tea, otherwise tea all day.

    Jas- You can just leave out the nuts and add extra gf cornflakes- they would be like awesome Honey Joys perhaps?

    Emma- I enjoy red teas, and love Licorice Legs
    tea too. Same with me and the cafes- I used to take my own tea to work and get laughed at as we sold so many!

    Tigerfish- As soon as I get up I call out "Tea Me" and the kettle goes on right away. My kiddies have been trained well :)

    Yasmeen- My favourite are the cherries! Coffee is the perfect choice :)

    JasmyneTea- They're very sweet! I have a snazzy De Longhi machine that we won as a prize and has to sit on the bench as it's huge, but it sadly gets much less use than the tea kettle :)

    Cassandra- Anything miniature is just so much cuter, and that way you feel justified in eating a handful too :)

    Amanda- I don't like silicon myself, I find that baked goods sweat a lot more in them, but sugary ones like this that set just popped out with no problem or greasing at all.

    Celia- I don't think self-hypnosis works, at least it doesn't for me, or I would be a lot slimmer! You'll just have to make and scoff some and get the craving out of your system for a while :)

  24. I know Florentines, but never made them myself. Yours look fabulous! :)

  25. I have made these florentines a few times and they are delicious. I make them dairy free as well by using Nuttelex instead of butter. I love florentines and was looking for a way to make them without using condensed milk. These are fabulous.