Archive for the ‘Top Ten Christmas Ideas Our Favorite Christmas Desserts’ Category
Recipe for DACQUOISE WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE
DACQUOISE WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE is a perfect make – ahead dessert because it freezes well. The nutty meringue layers complement the creamy chocolate filling perfectly. Dacquoise is a French term for a cake made of layers of hazelnut-almond meringue, chocolate ganache, and cream. Ganache is also a French cooking term meaning a glaze, icing, or cream filling made with chocolate and cream. For Christmas DACQUOISE WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE is a great recipe because it can be tucked in the freezer well ahead of the big event and the taste is divine.
Ingredients for MERINGUES:
- 6 egg whites 6
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar 1 mL
- 1 cup powdered fruit sugar 250 mL
- ½ cup ground toasted almonds 125 mL
- ½ cup ground toasted hazelnuts 125 mL
Ingredients for CHOCOLATE FILLING:
- 8 square (8 oz/ 250 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate 8
- 1 cup whipping cream 250 mL
- 1 teaspoon vanilla 5 mL
- 1 tablespoon Cognac 15 mL
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 25 mL
Ingredients for CREAM FILLING:
- 2 cups whipping cream 500 mL
- ¼ cup sifted icing sugar 50 mL
- 2 tablespoons Cognac 25 mL
METHOD for DACQUOISE WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE:
Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (120 degrees Celsius). Line 1 large and 1 small cookie sheet with parchment paper and butter well with unsalted butter. Flour lightly. Trace two 8 – inch (20 cm) circles on large cookie sheet and one circle on small sheet. (Use three small cookie sheets if you do not have one large enough for 2 circles.)
MERINGUES: Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until light. Gradually add ½ cup (125mL) of the sugar, beating until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture is stiff. Combine nuts with remaining sugar and quickly fold into egg whites. Spread 1/3 of the meringue mixture on each circle and even the top as much as possible. Bake for 1 – ½ hours. Turn off heat and leave meringues inside to cool until dry, a few hours. When completely cool, remove from pans and peel off paper.
CHOCOLATE FILLING: Break or chop chocolate into small pieces. In saucepan, heat cream gently, and then stir in chocolate until melted and completely smooth. Beat in vanilla, Cognac and butter. Reserve ¼ cup (50mL) of this mixture for garnish. Cool remaining chocolate mixture to room temperature, stirring as it cools.
Beat chocolate mixture carefully just until thick and lighter in color. Do not overbeat. It should be stiff enough to pipe for decorating. Set aside.
CREAM FILLING: Beat whipping cream until light. Add sugar and Cognac and beat until stiff.
Assemble DACQUOISE WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE:
To assemble, place 1 meringue on serving platter. Spread with about ¼ of the chocolate filling in piping tube and pipe all over chocolate layer (use about half of the cream). If you do not have a piping tube, just spread the cream. Place second meringue layer on top and spread with ¼ of the chocolate filling and remaining cream filling in the piping tube as before. Top with third meringue layer. For a very pretty effect, rinse out piping tube and fill with remaining chocolate mixture. Pipe attractively over top of cake. Drizzle ¼ cup (50mL) reserved chocolate mixture over top. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving. (When the cake is finished, the top should have rosettes of chocolate all over with the drizzled chocolate over that. The sides should be open but rosettes of cream should emerge from between the layers.) Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Note: To freeze, place this dessert on a cookie sheet lined with foil; freeze it unwrapped, then wrap well. To defrost it, simply unwrap frozen, place on serving platter and defrost in refrigerator for a few hours.
GRAND MARNIER DESSERT SOUFFLÉ WITH CHOCOLATE CUSTARD SAUCE
There’s nothing more elegant than a light, puffy dessert soufflé and this Grand Marnier Dessert Soufflé with Chocolate Custard Sauce is definitely that. This is so good and makes a wonderful ending to a great holiday feast.
Ingredients for SOUFFLÉ:
- ¼ cup unsalted Butter 50 mL
- 1/3 cup All – Purpose Flour 75 mL
- 1 – ½ cups hot Milk 375 mL
- ½ cup granulated Sugar 125 mL
- ½ cup orange – flavored Liqueur (Grand Marnier or Cointreau) 125 mL
- 4 Egg Yolks 4
- 6 Egg Whites 6
- 3 tablespoons Granulated Sugar 50 mL
Ingredients for CUSTARD SAUCE:
- 1 – ½ cups Milk 375 mL
- ¼ cup granulated Sugar 50 mL
- 4 squares (4 oz/ 125 g) Bittersweet or Semisweet Chocolate, chopped 4
- 3 Egg Yolks 3
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla 5 mL
- ¼ cup orange – flavored Liqueur (Grand Marnier or Cointreau) 50 mL
GARNISH for Grand Marnier Dessert Soufflé with Chocolate Custard Sauce:
- 2 tablespoon sifted Icing Sugar 25 mL
METHOD for GRAND MARNIER DESSERT SOUFFLÉ WITH CHOCOLATE CUSTARD SAUCE:
Butter 2 – quart (2 L) soufflé dish generously and dust with sugar or ground nuts.
SOUFFLÉ: Melt ¼ cup (50mL) butter in large saucepan and whisk in flour. Cook mixture over medium – low heat until flour is cooked but not colored, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in hot milk and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Add sugar and cook a few minutes over medium heat.
Remove from heat; add liqueur and blend thoroughly. Beat egg yolks. Stir a little hot sauce into yolks, and then beat in sugar gradually. Continue beating until whites are stiff and firm.
Gently stir about 1/3 of the egg white mixture into sauce, and then fold remaining whites and sauce together. Gently spoon into prepared dish.
Half an hour before serving, place soufflé in preheated 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
SAUCE: While soufflé is baking or earlier in the day, prepare sauce. Heat milk in heavy saucepan, then stir in sugar and chopped chocolate. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Beat egg yolks together and stir in a little of the hot sauce. Return egg yolk mixture to sauce and cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until egg yolks thicken sauce slightly. Stir in vanilla and liqueur; cool. Sauce can be used warm or cold.
After removing soufflé from oven, immediately sprinkle top with icing sugar and serve. Spoon a little sauce on each serving dish, then place wedge of soufflé in the sauce. Makes 8 servings.
Note: The soufflé ingredients can be mixed a few hours before cooking and kept in a draft – free place. Then after main course dishes have been cleared, pop the soufflé in preheated oven, while you’re serving a salad or just relaxing with the remainder of the wine. Be sure to serve the soufflé as soon as it comes out of the oven as it falls quickly – guests should always wait for a soufflé; a soufflé can’t wait for guests! The sauce can be made ahead without any problem.
Recipe for CHOCOLATE MOUSSE IN WHITE CHOCOLATE CUPS
Chocolate Mousse in White Chocolate Cups is a very rich delightful dessert. White chocolate cups are very easy to make and look spectacular. We suggest using Lindt white chocolate because it has delicious bits of almonds in it but if unavailable, use another brand of Swiss white chocolate. These can be made ahead and frozen (defrost in refrigerator).
- 4 bars (3 – ½ oz/ 100 g) white chocolate 4
Ingredients for MOUSSE:
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate 125 g
- ¼ cup unsalted butter 50 mL
- 3 egg yolks 3
- 3 tablespoon Amaretto or other liqueur of your choice 50 mL
- 1 cup whipping cream 250 mL
Ingredients for GARNISH:
- ¼ cup toasted sliced almonds 50 mL
- Or shaved white chocolate curls
METHOD for CHOCOLATE MOUSSE IN WHITE CHOCOLATE CUPS:
Place white chocolate in top of double boiler and melt carefully over barely simmering water. To make each cup, spoon about 2 tablespoon (25mL) chocolate into foil fluted muffin cup and coat inside of cup completely. Place cups in muffin pan for support and freeze for a few hours. This recipe should make 12 to 16 cups so there will be enough for seconds if people want them. (Although you can use paper muffin cups, foil ones are easier to handle.) When cups are frozen, gently peel off foil and replace in muffin pan for support. Keep refrigerated or frozen.
MOUSSE: Melt bittersweet chocolate over barely simmering water as above and beat in butter. Add yolks, one at a time, and mix well. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir in liqueur. Whip cream until stiff and fold into chocolate base. Place mixture in piping tube and pipe into white chocolate cups. Sprinkle with toasted almonds. Refrigerate until ready to serve, and then remove from refrigerator for 5 before serving so chocolate cups are easier to cut into with fork. These are quite rich, so serve 1 per person and have the extras for seconds. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Recipe for PISTACHIO ROULADE WITH STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM
Roulade is a French culinary term for rolled. In this case a cake that might be commonly called a jellyroll cake. The strawberry filling is especially nice after a large Christmas feast. An alternate filling for this roll is the chocolate ganache used in the Dacquiose recipe, but bright red of the berries and the beautiful green of the pistachios make this cake particularly festive.
- 1 – ½ cups shelled pistachio nuts* 375mL
Ingredients for ROULADE:
- 5 eggs, separated 5
- ½ cup granulated sugar 125mL
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder 3mL
- Icing sugar
FILLING AND GARNISH:
- 2 cups whipping cream 500mL
- ¼ cup sifted icing sugar 50mL
- 3 tablespoons dark rum 50mL
- 2 cups fresh strawberries 500mL
METHOD for ROULADE:
Butter small rectangular jellyroll pan (approximately 10 – ½ x 15 – ½ inches/ 26 x 38 cm); line with parchment paper, waxed paper or foil. Butter again and dust lightly with flour. Set aside. Spread pistachio nuts on cookie sheet and roast for 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Cool thoroughly. Chop nuts to a fine powder with French knife, Mouli grater or very carefully in food processor (do not over – process or they will become oily instead of floury). Measure out 1 – ¼ cups (300 mL) ground pistachio nuts and reserve for roulade. Save the remaining ground nuts for filling and garnish.
ROULADE: Beat egg yolks with sugar until light and lemony. Combine 1 – ¼ cups (300mL) reserved nuts with baking powder and mix thoroughly; stir into egg mixture. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold gently into nut batter. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Bake in 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) oven for 20 to 25 minutes until top springs back and cake comes away from sides of pan slightly. Let it cool a few minutes. Sprinkle top of cake with a little icing sugar and invert onto tea towel. Gently remove paper and trim crusty edges. Roll cake lengthwise in tea towel and let cool.
Method for FILLING:
Beat cream until light. Add sugar and rum and beat until stiff.
To assemble, unroll cake and spread about 2/3 of the filling over cake. Hull and halve all but 5 or 6 berries (reserve these for garnish). Place halved berries over cream and sprinkle with some of remaining ground nuts. Roll cake up again gently and transfer to long serving plate.
GARNISH: Place remaining filling in piping tube and pipe decoratively down centre and along side of roulade. Place whole strawberries alongside and sprinkle remaining nuts on cream on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
NOTE: To freeze, wrap well before garnishing. To thaw, unwrap, place on platter and defrost for a few hours in the refrigerator.
*Many Middle Eastern stores and specialty nut shops sell pistachio nuts already shelled, which makes this cake quite easy to prepare. Otherwise, buy unsalted uncolored pistachios and shell them yourself (trying not to eat too many along the way). Although the effect is not as spectacular, you can substitute almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts.
Recipe for CRÊPES WITH PEARS AND CREAM
We love crêpes and this CRÊPES with PEARS AND CREAM recipe is so yummy. This elegant dessert can be prepared a few days in advance, then assembled and heated just before serving. Allow two crepes per person.
Ingredients for CRÊPES:
- 6 Eggs 6
- 1 tablespoon Granulated Sugar 15mL
- ½ teaspoon Salt 2mL
- 1 – ¼ cups All – Purpose Flour 300mL
- ½ cups Milk 125mL
- ½ cup Water 125mL
- 3 tablespoons unsalted Butter 50mL
Ingredients for FILLING:
- 12 large Pears 12
- 1 Lemon 1
- 1/3 cup unsalted Butter 75mL
- ¾ cup granulated Sugar 175mL
- 1/3 cup Pear eau – de – vie* or Brandy 75mL
Ingredients for TOPPING AND GARNISH:
- 1 ½ cups Whipping Cream 375mL
- 3 tablespoons sifted Icing Sugar 50mL
- 3 tablespoons pPear eau – de – vie* or Brandy 50mL
- 2 squares (2 oz/ 50 g) Bittersweet or Semisweet Chocolate, grated 2
METHOD for CRÊPES:
Beat eggs with sugar and salt. Beat in enough flour to make very stiff batter. Beat in milk and water until smooth. Mixture should be consistency of thin cream (add a little more milk if necessary). Cover batter with plastic wrap and let rest for 1 to 2 hours at room temperature or longer in refrigerator. Meanwhile, prepare filling.
METHOD for FILLING:
Peel pears and cut in half. Remove cores and cut each half into about 6 pieces. Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice over pears to prevent discoloration. In large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt unsalted butter and add pears. Turnover in butter to coat and sprinkle with sugar. Bring to boil; cook for 25 to 40 minutes over medium heat until pears are tender and mixture is very thick. If 30 minutes has passed and there is still a lot of juice in the pan, turn up heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is reduced and thickened. Add pear liqueur and let cool.
METHOD for CRÊPES:
Melt 3 tablespoon (50mL) butter in 8 – inch (20 cm) crêpe or omelet pan, then stir melted butter into batter. Heat pan well, and then pour about ¼ cup (50mL) batter into pan for test crêpe. If crêpe sticks, rub sticky spot with salt and oil. Try again. When pan is ready, pour about ¼ cup (50mL) batter into pan and swirl batter around just to coat bottom. Pour excess batter back into bowl. Cook crêpe about 1 minute and turn over. Cook a few seconds on second side. Remove from pan and continue to make crêpes until all batter is used. They can be stacked one on top of another. Wrapped well, they can be refrigerated for a few days. Makes about 20 crepes.
Assembly for CRÊPES WITH PEARS AND CREAM:
Use the 16 nicest crêpes. Spread about ¼ cup (50mL) of pear mixture along one end of least attractive side of crêpe. Roll up gently and place crêpes in 1 or 2 buttered casserole dishes. Cover with foil and just before serving, warm in 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
TOPPING AND GARNISH for CRÊPES WITH PEARS AND CREAM:
Whip cream until light. Add sugar and pear liqueur and beat until thick. Serve crêpes garnished with spoonful of flavored cream and sprinkling of grated chocolate. These can also be served with ice cream instead of whipped cream. Makes 8 servings.
*Pear eau – de – vie is a strong pear liqueur. Poire William is one example but Rieder, a Canadian brand, is far less expensive and quite good in this dessert. Rieder also makes a pear brandy but the flavor is not as intense.
Recipe for IRISH COFFEE MOUSSE
This rich Irish Coffee Mousse is a great dessert for a Christmas meal. It is elegant, rich in taste but not too heavy. This dessert looks fabulous presented in glass mugs, special Irish coffee glasses or wine glasses.
Ingredients for IRISH COFFEE MOUSSE
- Half a Lemon
- ½ cup granulated Sugar 125mL
- ¼ cup cold Water 50mL
- 1 envelope unflavored Gelatin 1
- 4 Egg yolks 4
- ¾ cup granulated Sugar 175mL
- ¾ cup extra strong Black Coffee* 175mL
- ½ cup Irish Whiskey** 125mL
- 1 tablespoon dry unsweetened Cocoa 15mL
- 2 cups Whipping Cream 500mL
- 1 – ½ cups Whipping Cream 375mL
- 2 tablespoons Icing Sugar 25mL
- 2 tablespoon Irish Whiskey 25mL
- 1 tablespoon sifted Cocoa or Cinnamon 15mL
METHOD for IRISH COFFEE MOUSSE:
Rub rims of 8 Irish coffee glasses or glass coffee mugs with lemon. Place granulated sugar in bowl and dip rim of each glass into sugar. Allow sugar – lemon mixture to dry on glasses while preparing the mousse.
MOUSSE: Place cold water in saucepan and sprinkle with gelatin; allow softening for 5 minutes. Place mixture over low heat and stir until gelatin dissolves. Set aside. Beat egg yolks with sugar until lemon – colored, then beat in coffee and softened gelatin. Return mixture to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Mix Irish whiskey with cocoa and beat into mixture.
Allow mixture to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent it from setting around side of bowl. (To do this quickly, place bowl in larger bowl of ice cubes.) When mixture is cool but not set, beat whipping cream until light and gently fold into thickened mixture. Spoon equal amounts of mousse into 8 prepared glasses. Refrigerated.
For garnish, beat cream until light, and then add sugar and whiskey Continue beating until stiff. Pipe garnish attractively on top of each mousse so that it looks like the whipped cream topping on Irish coffee. Sprinkle cream with sifted cocoa. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 8 servings.
*The coffee should be very strong, about six times normal strength.
**For a stronger liqueur flavor, use 2/3 cup (175mL) Irish whiskey. Although the most authentic way to prepare the mousse is with Irish whiskey, you can substitute other liqueurs and change the name accordingly. For instance, omit the Irish whiskey and use ¼ cup (50mL) Cognac and ¼ cup (50mL) Kahlua and call the dessert Spanish Coffee Mousse.
Recipe for LIGHT FRUITCAKE
In the English homes that we grew up in if there was dark fruitcake there always had to be a light fruitcake. This recipe was my mother-in-law’s. Unlike the dark fruitcake this was not made quite so early and it was not laced with rum. It was made about one month ahead of the holiday but I suspect you could make it even later. In our family were never in to icing our fruitcakes but it could have either an almond or royal icing on it.
INGREDIENTS FOR LIGHT FRUIT CAKE
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 cup Butter
- 2/3 cup Milk
- 1 tsp. Baking Powder
- 2 ½ cups sifted Flour
- 4 Eggs, separated
- ½ tsp. Vanilla
- 3 drops Lemon Extract
- ½ lb. Fruitcake Mix
- ½ lb. Green Glace Cherries cut
- ½ lb. Red Glace Cherries cut
- 2 cups blacked Raisins
METHOD for LIGHT FRUIT CAKE:
Cream butter and sugar. Mix in vanilla and lemon about 1 cup flour. Add egg yolks and beat well. Add milk and beat again. Add flour fruit, baking powder. Add floured fruits to creamed mixture. Mix well. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Spoon into one layer or 2 small loaf pans. Line with 3 layers of brown paper, greased. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Recipe for RICH DARK FRUITCAKE
My husband and I both grew up in English households where Christmas would not be Christmas without fruitcake. This traditional Christmas fruitcake has a wonderful taste. It is my Mother-in-law’s recipe. I think the combination of the grape juice and the chocolate contributes to its wonderful taste. It can be made well before Christmas – in October or November and popped into the freezer. Then early in December bring it out, poke some holes in it, sprinkle it with rum, and wrap it in cheesecloth. An outer wrap of aluminum foil will help to keep it moist. Every few days add a bit more rum. You don’t want to soak the cake – just sprinkle a bit over it. When you are ready to serve it you will find it moist and delicious.
Ingredients for RICH DARK FRUITCAKE
- 1 lb. Butter
- 1 lb. White Sugar 2 cups
- 1 lb. Flour 4 cups
- 1 glass Grape Jelly 6 oz.
- 1 square Chocolate, melted
- 1 tsp. Baking Powder
- 12 medium Egg Yolks, beaten
- Juice of 1 Orange
- 1 cup Grape Juice (or ½ cup Rum & ½ cup Juice)
- ½ lb. blanched Almonds slivered
- 1 lb. Pecans, halved
- 3 lb. washed seedless Raisins
- 1 lb. washed Sultana Raisins
- 1 lb. crystallized Pineapple, cut
- 1 lb. candied Red Cherries, cut
- 1 lb. Green Cherries cut
- 1 lb. candied Citron Peel, cut fine
- 12 medium Egg Whites, beaten stiff
METHOD for RICH DARK FRUITCAKE:
Prepare almonds and soak overnight in orange juice. Prepare fruit and soak overnight in grape juice. Sprinkle a little flour over fruit before adding to cake rather cream butter. Add sugar, small amount at a time then beaten egg yolks, jelly and chocolate.
Add flour then fruit, a small amount at a time, and then add nuts. Fold in beaten egg whites. Put in greased pans and bake at 275 degrees. Remove brown paper and cool. Wrap and store about 4 full hours in bread pan. Springs back slightly when done. Line pans with 3 layers of brown paper; grease the layer that will be next to batter. 4 coffee tins, 5 bread pans or 3 Christmas cake pans.
Full recipe makes about 15 lbs. (1/2 batch makes 3 bread pans nearly full)
Recipe for MOCHA MOUSSE ECLAIRS
These miniature mocha mousse éclairs are two – bite cream puff shells filled with an easy blender mousse that’s flavored with coffee and chocolate. Just a lovely little bite of sweet after a huge Christmas feast.
- ½ cup Water 125mL
- ¼ cup Butter 50mL
- ½ cup All – purpose Flour 125mL
- 2 Eggs 2
- 1 cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips 250mL
- 1/3 cup very hot strong Coffee 75mL
- 4 Eggs, separated 4
- 2 Tbsp Coffee – flavored Liqueur 25mL
- Icing sugar or melted chocolate chips
In small heavy saucepan, combine water and butter; bring to full boil. Add flour, all at once, stirring vigorously until mixture forms a ball that comes away from sides of pan. Remove from heat. Add eggs, one at a time, beating vigorously after each addition with wooden spoon or electric mixer until mixture is smooth and glossy. Turn dough into pastry bag fitted with ½ – inch (1 cm) plain tip. On greased baking sheet, pipe éclairs in finger shapes about 2 – ½ inches (7 cm) long. Allow enough room between each to double in size during baking. (To make tiny cream puff instead of éclairs, pipe or drop from spoon into 1 – inch/2.5 cm mounds.) Bake in 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius) oven for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius) and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until golden brown. Remove to racks to cool completely.
In blender or food processor, combine chocolate and hot coffee; blend about 30 seconds until melted and smooth. Add egg yolks and liqueur; blend at high speed for 30 seconds. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Thoroughly fold in chocolate mixture. Chill for about 30 minutes or until firm enough to fill éclairs.
Split éclairs in half lengthwise. Remove any moist bits inside. Fill with mocha mousse (easiest with a pastry bag). Éclairs stay crisp if filled not more than 1 hour before serving; to save time, you can fill your pastry bag with mousse and leave it in the refrigerator to fill éclairs at the last minute. Dust tops of filled éclairs with icing sugar or drizzle with a little melted chocolate. Chill. Makes about 20 éclairs.
Recipe for Rum Cakes
These small golden rum cakes, with a rich, moist sponge – cake texture, are deliciously glazed with buttery rum syrup. Somehow rum always seems to be part of the Christmas scene. Maybe that is because in North America we mostly have snow and cold weather creating the need for warmth. Rum is associated with that warm cozy feeling.
- ¾ cup Pecan Halves (optional) 175mL
- 1 cup soft Butter 250mL
- 1 cup Granulated Sugar 250ml
- 5 Eggs, separated 5
- 1 cup All Purpose Flour 250mL
- 1 tablespoon Baking Powder 15mL
- ¼ cup light or dark Rum 50mL
- 1 cup Granulated Sugar 250mL
- ½ cup Butter 125mL
- ¼ cup Water 50mL
- ½ cup light or dark Rum 125mL
METHOD for RUM CAKES:
Grease 20 to 24 medium – sized plain or fluted muffin tins (each about 1/3 cup/ 75mL capacity). If desired, arrange 6 to 8 pecan halves in bottom of each. Cream butter with sugar thoroughly. Add egg yolks and beat well until light and fluffy. Sift or mix together flour and baking powder; add alternately with rum to creamed mixture, beating lightly after each addition. With clean beaters, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Stir about ¼ of the beaten whites into batter to lighten it, and then thoroughly fold in remaining whites. Spoon into prepared pans, filling about 2/3 full. Bake in 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) oven for about 20 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then loosen cakes by running knife around inside edges of pans; remove from pans by inverting onto cake racks. (Bottoms of cakes are now the tops.) Place waxed paper under racks to catch drips from rum syrup.
Method for RUM SYRUPS:
In small saucepan, combine sugar, butter and water. Bring to boil; boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in rum. Spoon about half the warm rum syrup over “tops” and sides of cakes; allow it to soak in, then gradually spoon remaining syrup over. Cool cakes completely, then store, covered, in airtight container at room temperature. Makes 20 to 24 cakes.