WALNUT SPONGE PETIT FOURS

Ingredients (For Sponge):

  • Butter, 250 gms;
  • sieved icing sugar, 250 gms;
  • walnuts, finely chopped to a powder,250 gms;
  • lightly beaten eggs, 250 gms;
  • flour, 25 gms;
  • rum, 25 ml.

For Icing: Sieved icing sugar, 200 gms; thin sugar syrup, 2 tbs.

For Decoration: Chopped nuts; glace cherries.

Method: Beat the butter and icing sugar together until the mixture turns light and creamy in texture. Mix in the walnut powder, eggs, flour and rum. Spoon the combination into small greased tin moulds, or turn it into a lightly oiled 8-inch square tin lined with butter paper.

Bake in a pre-heated oven (180oC/Gas No. 4/350oF) for about 10 minutes, if you use small tins, or for approximately 20 minutes when you use a large tin. The cake should turn golden and firm to the touch. Let it cool for five minutes before placing it on a wire rack to cool. Cut the large cake into neat 1-inch squares.

To prepare the icing, combine the icing sugar with enough sugar syrup to produce a `coating’-consistency icing. If too thin, the `glace’ icing will flow off the petit fours; if too thick, it won’t spread evenly. Use icing to coat the small cakes. Decorate as desired with chopped nuts and glace cherries. Set aside the petit fours until the icing sets. Serve in small paper cups.

Variations: Vary the nuts in the sponge or alternatively use desecated coconut instead of the nuts. Make a coffee nut sponge with 1-2 tsp of instant coffee dissolved in a few drops of boiling water. To make coffee icing, add this coffee `essence’ to the icing. Instead of adding sugar syrup to the icing, experiment with orange juice/rum.