Sunday mornings are for florentines

Beauty is a form of genius – is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts in the world like sunlight, or springtime, or the reflection in dark water of that silver shell we call the moon.
~ Oscar Wilde

Listening to an old Cirque du Soleil soundtrack now – and rapidly falling into a sort of brilliant milky way, if such a thing is possible to evoke from music – if I close my eyes, I can glimpse a million glittering stars in a pool of black silk, shoes sweeping across a polished floor, monkeys on a trapeze, costumes, music, masks, expressions, wide eyes, red lips, movement… I can smell smoke, I can visualise a troupe of dancers gliding gracefully across a carpet of confetti, I can taste a meringue, a cherry pie, a rich hot chocolate, I can see the torching of a crème brûlée… oh, at times like this, I love yielding to the invisible powers of music.

Anyway, I must just write quickly about these florentines and try to get some sleep before Monday morning rolls around once again, I want to be fully awake at work!

I’ve been quite inspired the last few days to bake for a few get-togethers/events – banana cake and brownies have been duly delivered, and what remains is something for French class tomorrow. I was very happy to chance upon David Lebovitz’s recipe for chocolate-dipped florentines the other day… it looked and sounded beautiful! I bought the necessary ingredients to make a double batch of it.

Orange zest, egg whites, sliced almonds, icing sugar, chocolate – oh what a combination of ingredients to put together! Mmmmm! Making the florentines was a breeze, the hardest bit being to efficiently lay spoonfuls of the mixture out in flat circles on the baking tray, and to watch them carefully at the 15 minute mark (they do go from being pale yellow to golden brown so quickly at that stage!).

I was glad for the cold wintry air flowing through the open window today, as it helped the cookies to cool quickly from the oven, and also to set the melted chocolate once I had coated the cooled florentines with it.

These are magic (thank you David Lebovitz!) The best way I can describe the process of making this: it’s like waving a wand and saying Bibbity-Bobbity-Boo, and watching the pumpkin swiftly become a coach. The florentines are, of course, your golden, sweet-soled dancing shoes. You’re off to the ball, my dear!

PS. Hamish has been visiting this weekend, yay – and we have all been eating sooooo much. Of note, we had a late brunch this rainy Sunday at Duke Carvell’s today before going CD shopping/meeting up with the others. For him: seared chicken livers with roasted beetroot and hazelnut; for me: picorino potato cake with poached eggs, chorizo, tomatoes. I really like their menu – it’s pretty evident that whoever wrote it has very good taste!

PPS. Also of note: hot chocolate with soy milk at Midnight Espresso tonight came flavoured with cinnamon and a coffee bean – dreamful.

PPPS. Promise this is the last one. Don’t miss Trade Aid’s jewellery sale… creative pieces for an excellent cause!

Duke Carvell’s – No. 6 Swan Lane, Wellington – Phone: 04 385 2240

Midnight Espresso – 178 Cuba Street, Wellington – Phone: 04 384 7014

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2 responses to “Sunday mornings are for florentines

  1. Three comments, all related to amazingness:

    1. Florentines taste amazing (thanks!)
    2. Soy/cinnamon hot choc also amazing
    3. I was amazingly surprised that I enjoyed “Brian’s Brew” (and I look forward to trying “Lucky VW” next time!)

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