Petit-fours are the new “big thing?”
That’s sort of what I read here.
Okay, I get why chocolate chip cookies, doughnuts and cupcakes became so trendy. But petit-fours?
The last time I had a petit-four was during the 1960s when I was the activities chairman for my sorority house and ordered petit-fours for when the alums were coming to see if the house and all of us undergrads were doing things properly.
To tell the truth, now that I am recalling this for the first time in over 40 years, those petit-fours were fabulous. They looked gorgeous and tasted oh so wonderful. I could pop a few into my mouth even now and although I wouldn’t relish a flood of memories of sorority life, I could spend some lovely thoughts on the memory of those tiny little cakes.
In case you aren’t familiar with them, petit-fours are mini cakes. Little rectangles (maybe 2-inches by 1-inch) or ovals, rounds, etc. of scrumptious layer cake, frosted in fondant and usually decorated with piped icing bells and ribbony effects and little dots and so on.
I am never going to make petit-fours. They are too labor intensive and it’s just too much trouble (but if you’re interested, you can find dozens of recipes online, including a decent sounding one from Land O’ Lakes (see below). Petit-fours are beautiful desserts for bridal showers and afternoon tea.)
The article raves about the petit-fours at Duane Park Patisserie in NYC’s Soho, so if you live anywhere near there you can try them for yourself.
I think I’ll check it out and maybe find some other store bought ones and see if they are as good as I remember.
These dainty icing-coated miniature cakes add a special touch to showers, open houses or teas. Try this easy Petits Fours recipe.
2:00prep time3:50total time
4 dozen petit fours
3 cupsall-purpose flour
1 tablespoonbaking powder
1 1/2 cupssugar
1/2 cupLand O Lakes® Butter, softened
6Land O Lakes® All-Natural Egg whites
1/2 teaspoonalmond extract1 cupmilk
1/4 teaspooncream of tartar
1 1/2 cupswater
1 cuppowdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoonalmond extract or vanilla3 dropsfood color, if desired
Candy flowers, if desiredFrosting flowers, if desired
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 13x9-inch baking pan; set aside.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Set aside.
Beat sugar and butter in large bowl at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until creamy. Add 1 egg white at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition just until mixed.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks 10 minutes. Loosen edge of cake by running knife around inside edge. Carefully remove cake from pan; cool completely.
Trim edges from cake; cut each cake into 24 (1 1/2-inch square) pieces.
Combine sugar, cream of tartar and water in 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a full boil (12 to 14 minutes). Cover; boil 3 minutes. Uncover; continue cooking until candy thermometer reaches (228°F. to 234°F.) or small amount of mixture dropped into ice water forms a 2-inch soft thread (15 to 20 minutes). Remove from heat; cool to 110°F. or until bottom of pan is slightly warm to touch (do not stir) ( 1 hour). Stir in powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon almond extract and food color, if desired.
Place wire cooling rack over waxed paper. Place 1 cake piece on fork; drizzle icing over top and sides of cake, making sure each side is covered. Place onto wire rack; let stand until icing is set. (If icing becomes too thick, reheat over low heat until thin consistency and easy to drizzle (2 to 3 minutes)). Garnish each petit four with candy flowers or frosting flowers, if desired.