Florentine Butter.

I did a pudding stock-take in the kitchen last night, and quickly rediscovered the huge log of florentine butter I made at Recipease pre-Christmas. I must have produced a kilo of it at least – a squidgy brown mass of butter and sugar, mixed with chocolate, brandy, almonds and fruit. I poked my nose into the greaseproof paper. It smelled divine.

When it comes to food, I live in mortal fear of mould – and even eating things past their best makes me sad. So it seemed about right that, after over a month untouched in the fridge, the florentine butter should come out and meet its maker.

The question is, what does one do with a large lump of sweetened alcoholic butter? We don’t have any Christmas puddings left, so that option wasn’t available. Besides, I think it would have been too rich (I prefer cream or custard with my Xmas pud – not a ladle of thick brandy sauce). 

My common sense told me that florentine butter should not be had on its own; that something so fatty should probably be eaten in moderation, tempered with something more savoury. Still, I broke a chunk off and sucked it just in case. As I did this I started to wonder: if common sense is always right (which common sense tells me it is), then why did this pure fatty butter taste so good? The booze… the dark chocolate… the granulated lumps of sugar… I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn’t devouring a chocolate bar: I was filling my mouth with fat. Silly Pud-Hog! You can’t just eat butter on its own, can you? CAN YOU?

Unsettled by this crisis of right and wrong, I quickly thought up a solution. After all, what’s the most normal way to eat butter? On bread, of course! And so I popped a pitta in the toaster, waited until it was steaming hot, then cracked it open and filled it à la Pud-Hog: straining under the weight of florentine butter. Much more acceptable. Never mind the extra calories from the bread: if this is what polite society expects for its butter, then this is what I must do.

Still, as delicious as the combo was (like a warm Nutella sarnie infused with the spirit of Christmas), I must admit it felt weird to finish dinner with a sandwich. It just didn’t seem very… pudding-y. If the bread was swapped for biscuit, however, then that might float my boat a little higher. Mind you, even then, I can’t help thinking: this florentine butter’s about 95% fat. And that does seem like a lot…

Good thing there’s only a kilo to get through, I suppose.


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