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Chestnut florentines

John Wright has become a bit of a Chestnut flour bore, insisting that everyone puts it into every conceivable recipe. Certainly if you want your sauces, cakes, dumplings or biscuits to be sweeter and richer there is no better way. Commercially bought Chestnut flour is very expensive, but the forager laughs at such things – his or her Chestnut flour can be made at home and costs nothing.


Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas mark 3. Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment.

Put the butter, sugar and honey into a small saucepan and heat gently until everything has melted. Turn off the heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients.

Using a dessertspoon, drop small mounds of the mixture on to the prepared baking sheet, leaving plenty of space in between to allow for spreading. Bake in the oven for 8–10 minutes until golden. Leave the Florentines to firm up on the baking sheet until almost cold, then carefully lift off on to a wire rack.

I think these are lovely just as they are, but if you like you can melt the chocolate in a bain-marie (or heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water) and use to carefully coat the bottom of each Florentine; place them upside down on a wire rack to set. This can be a messy business, but there are worse things.

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  • 50g butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g honey
  • 25g Chestnut flour
  • 40g shelled Hazelnuts, coarsely crushed
  • 2 tsp double cream
  • About 20 Rosehips, carefully seeded and coarsely chopped

To finish (optional)

  • About 40g dark chocolate

This recipe is taken from...

River Cottage Hedgerow Handbook