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French Bonbons

This is another winning recipe from the 1945 Women’s Institutes Home Cookery Book. No doubt the French name was intended to give
an exotic appeal, but they are not extravagant with ingredients and they certainly are delicious. Demonstrated at the 2011 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.


  • Sponge Drops

  • 1 egg

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 tsp cold water

  • 85g flour

  • ½ tsp baking powder

  • 85g caster sugar

  • Meringue Tops

  • 1 egg white

  • 1 tsp cold water

  • 1 cup caster sugar

  • 2 tbsp flaked almonds

  • Filling

  • 4 tbsp jam or lemon honey

  • 1 cup cream


  • Sponge Drops:

  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 200ºC and line 2 baking trays with baking paper or grease them lightly.

  • 2.

    Bring the eggs to room temperature. (The quickest way to do this if they are in the fridge is to put them in a bowl, and cover with hot water from the tap, and leave for 10 minutes)

  • 3.

    Sift together the flour and baking powder.

  • 4.

    Put the whole egg, the egg yolk and the cold water into a bowl with the caster sugar and beat with an electric beater for at least 5 minutes until pale yellow and fluffy. The mixture should fall in ribbons from the beaters and remain on the surface for a few seconds before sinking.

  • 5.

    Sift the dry ingredients onto the egg mixture and fold through care fully using a metal spoon.

  • 6.

    Drop the mixture in very small circular spoonfuls onto the prepared trays, trying to keep them all the same size. You could also use a forcing bag with 13mm plain nozzle and pipe out tiny mounds.

  • 7.

    Bake for 5–6 minutes until just golden. Leave on the tray for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container until you need them.

  • Meringue Tops:

  • 1.

    Line two baking trays with baking paper or grease them lightly. Allow the oven temperature to reduce to 150ºC.

  • 2.

    Beat the egg white with the cold water until stiff peaks form, and then beat in the caster sugar a spoonful at a time. Keep beating until you have a stiff and glossy meringue.

  • 3.

    Put the mixture in small spoonfuls on the prepared trays, trying to keep them all the same size – or use a forcing bag, as for the sponge drops.

  • 4.

    Distribute the flaked almonds over the top of the meringues – just a few on each.

  • 5.

    Bake for about 1 hour until the meringues are quite firm through and the almonds are a lovely golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and store airtight until you need them.

  • To Serve:

  • 1.

    An hour before you intend to serve the bonbons, set out some paper cases on a flat serving plate – a pavlova plate works well.

  • 2.

    Put a sponge drop into each case, top side down. Put a small spoonful of jam or lemon honey onto each, and follow with a more generous spoonful of unsweetened whipped cream. (You could also fold the jam through the cream for a one-stage filling process.) Balance a meringue on top of each and dust them with icing sugar.

  • 3.

    Makes about 36 Bonbons

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