Crisp and chewy biscuits studded with nuts and fruits, half dipped and drizzled in chocolate.
Ensure you have all your ingredients weighed and ready before starting, and they are positioned next to the cooker. You can place all the nuts and fruits together in one bowl if you wish.
Prepare a large baking tray with a non stick liner or baking paper. Get a metal spoon handy.
Put the butter, sugar and syrup in a non-stick (or heavy-based) saucepan and heat stirring constantly until melted (a wooden spoon is ideal for this).
Add the dates to the pan and press with the back of your spatula or spoon. They should start to break down and blend into the mixture.
Allow the mixture to start boiling and bubbling. It will start to become a darker colour and the bubbles will become bigger. Turn the heat off.
Immediately add the flour and mixed spice and mix in quickly ensuring they are fully incorporated. Turn the heat back on very low and keep stirring.
Quickly add the almonds, pistachios, currants and coconut. Stir well to get everything evenly distrubuted. Turn the heat off.
Moving quickly, use the metal spoon to drop spoonfuls on the baking sheet, with space between for spreading. If the mixture in the pan begins to set, turn the heat on low for 30 seconds whilst you use the remaining mixture. Run the metal spoon under the hot tap, then use it to press the mixture into rounds about 0.5-1cm thick.
Bake at Gas Mark 4 (350f / 180c) on the middle shelf for 10-12 minutes. The florentines should be turning slightly darker around the edges. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the tray, then peel off and finish cooling on a wire rack.
Prepare a space where you can set the florentines - either use the baking tray or a worktop, again lined with baking paper or a silicon liner.
Melt the chocolate in short bursts in the microwave (total time 30-90 seconds), and remove whilst there are still a few small solid lumps. Stir these in until you have a smooth chocolate. Dip the bottom of a florentine in the chocolate, smooth the bottom, then place on the prepared space and press down slightly to make the bottom flat. Repeat with all the florentines. Use the remaining chocolate to drizzle over the tops. Allow to set (they can be placed in the fridge if required).
Peel from the sheet and eat! Enjoy!