makes 18 - 24
fat for greasing
3/4 cup (75 g) 3 oz plain flour (All purpose)
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
2 oz (50 g) margarine
1/3 cup (75 g) 3oz castor sugar
for the filling
jam, lemon curd or buttercream (made by blending 1/2 stick (4 Tbsp) 2 oz (50 g) softened butter with 90 g/3 1/2 oz sifted icing sugar (confectioners sugar), with vanilla to taste)
for the glace icing
3 1/4 cups (350 g) 12 oz icing sugar (confectioners sugar), sifted
few drops of vanilla essence
food colouring as desired
for the decoration
crystallized violets silver balls glace fruits angelica chopped nuts
1. Line and grease a 15 X 25 cm/6 X 10 inch rectangular cake tin.
2. Set the oven at 180°c (350°f) gas 4.
3. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and put in a warm place.
4. Melt the margarine without letting it get hot. Put to one side.
5. Whisk the eggs lightly in a heatproof mixing bowl. Add the sugar and place the bowl over a saucepan of hot water.
6. Whisk for 10 - 15 minutes until thick. Take care that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
7. Remove from the heat and continue whisking until at blood heat.
8. The melted margarine should be at the same temperature.
9. Sift half the flour over the eggs, then pour in half the melted margarine in a thin stream. Fold in gently. Repeat, using the remaining flour and fat.
10. Spoon gently into the prepared tin and bake for 30 - 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
11. Cut the cold cake in half horizontally, spread with the chosen filling and sandwich together again.
12. Cut the cake into small rounds, triangles or squares and place on a wire rack set over a large dish or a piece of foil. Brush off any loose crumbs.
13. Make the glace icing. Put the icing sugar in a small heatproof bowl.
14. Gradually stir in about 30 ml (2 tbsp) boiling water, to give a coating consistency which will flow easily.
15. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
16. Tint part of the icing with food colouring, if wished.
17. Using a small spoon, coat the cakes with the icing, pouring it over them and making sure that it coats the sides evenly all over.
18. Place the decorations on top and leave to set.
19. Serve the petits fours in paper cases.
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