Nougatine and honey buttercream petits fours

Nougatine and honey hearts.
Nougatine and honey hearts. Photo: Murdoch Books

A recipe from the Good Food collection.

Ingredients

Sponge

125g (1 cup) plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

55g (½ cup) ground almonds

125g (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened

230g (1 cup) castor sugar

4 eggs, separated

1 tsp natural vanilla extract

170ml (⅔ cup) milk

Honey buttercream

100g unsalted butter, softened

40g honey

1 tsp natural vanilla extract

200g icing sugar, sifted

Nougatine

65g sugar

65ml liquid glucose

65g unsalted butter

65g chopped blanched almonds

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 20cm × 30cm baking tin and line with baking paper. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Sift the flour, baking powder and ground almonds onto baking paper. Cream the butter and 145g (⅔ cup) sugar in a bowl using electric beaters until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, then the vanilla. Fold in the flour mixture and milk until just combined. Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until foamy. Add the remaining sugar and beat into soft peaks. Stir a tablespoonful of the egg white into the sponge mixture, then gently fold in the rest. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until firm to the touch. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool.

2. To make the buttercream, beat the butter, honey and vanilla until pale and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

3. For the nougatine, combine the sugar, glucose and butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Boil, until the sugar caramelises. Add the almonds and shake the pan to coat. Pour onto the baking tray and cool. Transfer to a food processor and process until finely chopped.

4. Slice the sponge into three horizontal layers. Place one layer on the remaining prepared tray and spread with one-quarter of the buttercream. Top with another layer of sponge then spread with another quarter of the buttercream. Top with the last layer of sponge then freeze for 30 minutes or until firm. Use a 4cm heart cutter to cut out 24 shapes. Spread the sides of half the petits fours with half of the remaining buttercream. Spread the tops of the remaining petits fours with the remaining buttercream. Coat the sides and tops with nougatine. Serve chilled.