Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A New Recipe (and a Parrot Cameo)

melted 72% dark chocolate for florentines
 I have a big magazine habit.  Mostly interiors mags, but several times a year the habit expands to include food mags too.  Especially at Christmas time.  I like to try something new a bit before the holidays, to trial something to make and take to some outing or event.

This time, I found something in ABC Delicious, December 2012 edition Cranberry Macadamia Florentines.  They looked amazing in the photos in the magazine and I had most of the ingredients.  I decided to do half with white chocolate and half with dark chocolate (the recipe did them all with white chocolate).

I've never made these before, it was not that difficult, but there were a few steps and you pour the buttery-sugary base into a baking tray and then after it bakes a bit, you put dried cranberries and chopped macadamia nuts over the bubbling base and cook some more.    The base is a toffee like one, and it tastes good.

It all needs to cool a bit when it comes out, then you use a small round cookie or biscuit cutter to cut the florentines out. This part is a bit fiddly, because the base has to be cool enough not to be a molten mess, but still warm so its toffee character is not hardened too much to cut into rounds.

After they are cut out, you chill them in the fridge.  While you melt the chocolate.  I tried dipping the florentines in the chocolate but found it quite messy (a lot of chocolate also on bottom of florentine). I used a spatula to spread the melted chocolate on half the florentine instead and found this to work well for me.  After the chocolate hardens a bit, you pop the tray with these back in the fridge to let the chocolate cool and harden some more.  (best to remove them from fridge 30 minutes or so before serving).

Close up shot of the Cranberry Macadamia Florentines
on vintage pink chintz plate
The florentines passed a taste test with flying colours.  Ian liked the dark chocolate on them best.  I took a plate of these to a Bernina Club meeting later that night and they got very nice reviews.  They make an impressive looking dessert and make a special treat, good for when you want one really nice not too big thing to serve.

And below, two shots of one of the Adelaide Rosella parrots that has nested here at our house.  This may be the mother bird.  I don't have a good enough zoom lens to get a better quality photo, and she won't let me get too close when she is sitting in the tree.  She and her partner seem to take turns doing a watch duty across from the nesting box.  Ian has seen them perched on the little landing he put outside and below the hole doorway to the box.

now looking to the left, one of the Adelaide Rosellas
Nice orange colour on chest, yellow neck, banded
blue tail and wing feathers, and subtle blue
cheek coloration
The baby birds have not emerged yet, but must be getting closer to that stage.  They flap about in the box a lot and this week have begun to make little chirpy and tweet noises.

Watching the nest box, from tree opposite

close up of the nest box Ian made and tied
to our roof gable.  The parrot parents
like to perch on that landing


  1. I bought this month's delicious too and saw that recipe. I'll have to give it a go now that you have roadtested it with success!
    So nice to see your parrots and to hear that the fledglings are still in the nesting box that Ian made. We have Eastern rosellas that nest in one of the pencil pines out the front :)

  2. Hi Marieka....yes, do try that recipe out, its nice :) Ian called these parrots Lucky Parrots. I thought they are lucky because they are auspicious (and grace us with luck by choosing to be here) He thinks lucky because they have enjoyed good fortune from our finding them, then getting removed from the hot roof space, and getting a new nest box built and put up for them ! I wish we could get them a hollow in a tree, but I hear that such parrot housing is in high demand (very competitive !).