( MAKES 24 )
People always love a little sweet treat at the end of a cocktail party. In the absence of strawberries, slices of fresh pineapple make a good platter for those who prefer a fresher lighter sweet treat.
- Preheat oven to 160°C fanbake and line 2 oven trays with baking paper.
- Place the butter, sugar and water in a pot, bring to a boil then cook over a high heat for 2 minutes, swirling a couple of times so it heats evenly. Don’t stir it. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then stir in the mascarpone or cream cheese and vanilla. Add almonds and peel and stir to evenly combine.
- Whisk the egg white until it begins to froth, then fold into the almond mixture. Arrange tablespoon-size spoonfuls on prepared trays and spread out thinly with the back of a spoon. Bake until golden (about 15 minutes). Allow to cool and harden on the trays.
- Melt the chocolate using short bursts in a microwave or in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Spread a little over the underside of each florentine, then place chocolate-side up on a cooling rack. Leave for 10 minutes before swirling the prongs of a fork through the chocolate to create a wave pattern. Once fully set, store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 2 weeks or chill.
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