This healthy florentines recipe is so simple to make and utterly delicious. It is a perfect combination of toasted almonds and dark chocolate. And these sugar free florentine cookies are also gluten free and dairy free. What's not to love??
Despite their Italian sounding name, it is thought that florentine biscuits actually originated in France, although they are widespread across many countries now. Classic florentine biscuits are a mix of caramelized nuts, sometimes with added candied fruits, and usually dipped in chocolate. Some florentine recipes contain flour, and most are baked in the oven.
The inspiration for this healthy florentines recipe was my stovetop granola where clusters of oats are held together with a mix of coconut oil and a small amount of honey. This is the basis for these nutty florentines. Flaked almonds are lightly toasted in coconut oil and honey until they become golden and sticky, then coated with dark chocolate. The recipe is gluten free, and can easily be made vegan if you use maple syrup instead of honey and vegan chocolate. And the florentines are made on the stovetop, so there's no need to bake them. Which means that they are ready to eat more quickly:)
What you'll love about the recipe
- Delicious, chewy, crispy and moreish, these sugar free almond florentines are very satisfying
- An easy-to-make, no-bake treat
- There's just 4 wholesome ingredients in these healthy florentine cookies. Almonds, dark chocolate and coconut oil are all a source of good nutrients
- Naturally gluten free and flourless. You might also like to check out this post with other gluten free tea-time treats.
- You can also make dairy free florentines if you use dairy free chocolate (most good quality dark chocolate is dairy-free, but do check!).
- Perfect as an easy homemade edible gift
- Flaked almonds. The hero in this lovely almond florentine recipe. Flaked almonds are usually readily available next to the baking ingredients in supermarkets, or in health food stores. Using flaked almonds will make it easier to achieve a good shaped, flattish biscuit. Almonds are a great source of healthy fats, protein, fibre, magnesium and vitamin E.
If you love almonds, you might also like these healthy biscotti, made with ground and whole almonds.
- Coconut oil is a healthy fat, and adds a lovely richness to these dairy free florentines. If you use non extra virgin coconut oil you won't notice a coconut flavour. With an extra virgin oil, the flavour will be more pronounced. You can also replace the coconut oil with an equal amount of butter, or another healthy oil if you prefer.
- Honey. These low sugar healthy florentines need a small amount of honey to achieve the required stickiness to hold the biscuit together. For vegan florentines, maple syrup will also work well.
- Dark chocolate complements the flavour of the toasted almonds perfectly. Dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa solids is also good for your health. It's rich in iron and antioxidants and flavanols. If that sounds too good to be true, take a look at this BBC article to see some evidence about why dark chocolate is good for you. If you are making vegan florentines, make sure your chocolate is vegan too!
If you want to add a twist to your healthy florentines, try adding some finely grated orange zest, or a sweet spice such as cardamom. You could either add this to the almond mixture, or to the melted chocolate if you prefer.
You could also add seeds or dried fruit such as cranberries to the almond mixture.
How to make healthy florentines
The process for this recipe is very simple. Gently melt the coconut oil and honey together, preferably in a non stick pan.
Add the flaked almonds, and allow them to toast slightly in the melted oil. They'll start to go a lovely golden brown, but do watch them very carefully and keep moving them around, as you don't want them to burn. If they go too dark, they will start to taste bitter. When they are golden, remove from the heat.
Place eight spoonfuls of the caramelized almonds on a silicone sheet or greaseproof paper on a tray. Once they have cooled slightly and are not boiling hot, use your fingers to flattened them and squish them into a neater shape. Pop the tray in the fridge. As the florentines cool, they will firm up.
Whilst your florentines are cooling, melt the chocolate. The best way to melt chocolate is over a pan of boiling water. Find a heatproof bowl that sits on top of the pan, so that the heat is not in direct contact with the chocolate. As soon as the chocolate starts to soften, stir well and remove it from the heat.
Then spread the melted chocolate onto the base of the florentines, using a knife or the back of the spoon. Leave to set for as long as you can resist...
Store the chocolate florentines in a fridge in an airtight container. They'll keep well for a few days.
Frequently asked questions
A traditional florentine is made with a lot of sugar or golden syrup. Some recipes even have cream in them. However this healthy florentine recipe is made with just a little honey, and healthy fats. And the key ingredient is almonds which are a good source of vitamin E.
One of these healthy florentine biscuits has 157 calories. The combination of nuts, coconut oil and dark chocolate makes them very satisfying.
Yes! These dairy-free florentines are made with coconut oil. Or you could use another healthy oil for cooking such as rapeseed oil or nut oil. But remember to use a dairy-free or vegan chocolate.
Other healthy chocolate recipes
All these recipes are quick to make, no-bake and gluten free.
- Chocolate energy balls - delicious little chocolate bliss balls packed with nutrition
- Healthy chocolate coconut truffles - rich squidgy dairy free truffles
- Homemade dark chocolate slab - ideal as an edible gift
- Healthy rocky road with popcorn - an easy gluten free rocky road recipe
For an even easier chocolate and almond treat, try these cocoa dusted almonds. They are ideal for a healthy edible gift, or keep them for yourself;)
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a rating and/or comment at the bottom of the page. Your feedback and questions are much appreciated.
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- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 100 g flaked almonds
- 80 g dark chocolate
- Melt the coconut oil and honey together over a low heat.
- Add the flaked almonds, and gently stir constantly for 5-10 minutes until the almonds are golden brown. Take care as they will burn easily.
- Place 8 spoonfuls of the mixture onto greaseproof paper or a silicone sheet. Shape into flattened circles whilst warm, pushing the mixture together with your fingers. Place in the fridge to cool.
- Melt the chocolate in a basin set over a saucepan of boiling water. When it's nearly melted, remove from the heat. Spread the melted chocolate over the base of each of the florentine biscuit. Chill in the fridge, then enjoy.
Please note nutritional information is for guidance only