Preheat the oven to 350
degrees F (177 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the
oven. Butter a 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pan and line the bottom of
the pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Place the hazelnuts on a
baking sheet and bake for 15
minutes or until fragrant and the skins begin to flake. Remove from
oven and place the hot nuts in a dish towel. Roll up the towel and let
the nuts sit (steam) for 10 minutes then briskly rub the nuts in the
towel to remove the skins. Let cool
and then coarsely chop. Set aside.
To toast the almonds and
brazil nuts: bake for about 8-10 minutes or until lightly
browned and fragrant. Remove from oven and let cool before
chopping coarsely. Set aside.
Rinse and dry the
candied fruit and glace cherries and place in a large bowl, along with
the nuts. Add the flour and spices (if using) and stir until all the
fruit and nuts are coated with the flour.
In a small saucepan,
warm the sugar and honey over low heat until the sugar has completely
dissolved. Add the honey mixture to the fruit and nut mixture and
stir to combine. Spread into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake
in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and
bubbly. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Once the Florentine has completely cooled, melt the chocolate and vegetable oil in a heatproof
bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Spread the melted chocolate
over the Florentine and let set before cutting into small wedges. Will
keep for about a week in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature
Serves 12 - 14 people.
Ferrigno, Ursula. La
Dolce Vita. Mitchell Beazley. London: 2005.