Happy Easter! What could be better than a tiny pastel pink cake, small enough to hide in an Easter egg? That’s right, not much. I can’t get over how mini they are! #64: Raspberry Almond Petit Fours
Confession of the day: these are harder than they look! There’s a reason why they are so pricey at bakeries. Aren’t they adorable though? Why are mini versions of everything so much more endearing? I have so many questions.
Je ne parle pas français, so I’m sure that I’ve been mis-pronouncing the name of these pastel bites. The name “petit four” translates to “small oven” and they technically can be anywhere along the savory-sweet scale. The most common version today is a sweet cake layered with jam and frosting, coated in almond-flavored fondant.
They are perfect for the top tier of of an afternoon tea pastry tower. Pair with some dainty finger sandwiches and voila!
My original thought was to use light sponge cake, but the frosting is so heavy that it would compress the cake into a dense layer. Best to start with a sturdier cake that could hold up the jam and two layers of cream cheese frosting. This cake recipe was an enriched sponge cake that turned out closer to the consistency of a pound cake. It called for all sorts of ingredients I’m not used to using in yellow cakes, such as evaporated milk and shortening.
Did you know that shortening is 100% fat whereas butter is usually 85% fat and 15% water? Fun fact of the day.
I listened to a podcast this week that said European butter is generally better quality and flavor than American butter. It typically has a higher fat content and so far in my baking life, I’ve learned more fat = more flavor.
Ready for the sauna.
Oof this step took awhile. If you have a big, flexible cutting board, definitely use that. Otherwise, find yourself a friend and four spatulas and lift on the count of three!
Freezing it after sandwiching the jam and frosting made the cutting much easier! With the sweetness of the jam, a less-sweet cream cheese frosting helped balance it out. The layer of frosting on the top of the cake serves as a crumb-coat so the fondant will set smoothly when it’s poured over.
The fondant is most workable when warm. Enter the makeshift bain-marie! I ended up dipping them into the icing by hand and and letting them set on a cooling rack. Any of the fondant that drips through onto the parchment paper can be melted down and reused for the next batch of cakes. Gotta love efficiency.
Pinkies out. Happy munching!
Recipe from: https://rosebakes.com/how-to-make-perfect-petit-fours-recipe-tutorial/