All posts by Gina

About Gina

Oxford Girl living in the North. Nearly a northerner as have lived in Kendal for over 25 years. Enjoys knife throwing, running, fell walking, snapping pics on my travels round the Lakes and being a domestic goddess. My Chocolate Brownies are legendary so I am told.

Escaping to Yorkshire for the night….

I visited the Black Swan in Helmsley about 4 years ago on a Sunday is the new Saturday deal. As I was on the mailing list a deal came through and thought why not.

Helmsley is a chocolate box village situated 23 miles north of York. Last time I was at the hotel, it was having a refurb so was interested to see the improvements. Continue reading Escaping to Yorkshire for the night….

Chocolate shortbread florentine

This improves with age a bit like me!!

300g plain flour
100g icing sugar
50g cocoa powder
250g soft butter cut into pieces
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla paste

For the florentine topping
Zest of 1 orange
60ml double cream
100g caster sugar
30g glucose syrup
60g butter
50g honey
100g toasted almonds
50g glacé cherries halved
50g mixed peel

Preheat oven to 160°
Place flour, icing sugar, cocoa and butter into a food processor (or rub in by hand) and pulse until breadcrumbed. Add vanilla paste and eggs and pulse until a dough forms. Press into a lined 18cm square tin.
Prick with a fork over the base, then bake for 20 mins or until firm. Take out the oven and increase the temperature to 190°.
To make the topping
Place cream and orange zest in a pan and bring to boil, turn off and leave to infuse.
Place sugar, glucose and 60ml water into a pan. Gently heat and leave to boil until caramel is golden. When golden, take off the heat, add cream, honey and butter. Stir well and then add the almonds, cherries and mixed peel.
Tip onto shortbread, spread mixture and then place in the oven for 15 mins.
Leave to cool then cut up and enjoy with a cuppa!