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Petit Fours

Instructions for Making Petit Fours:

Begin by making your favourite pound cake recipe. I suggest a
moister recipe so that the petit fours will hold up a little longer.
Line a 12x18" jelly roll pan with baking parchment.

The recipe I was given makes a little more than the pan will hold,
so a small loaf can be made in addition. This is the recipe, but
I was not happy with it. I only provide it so that you can compare
it to your own and see amounts:

Pound Cake

1 cup butter
1 1/4 cup shortening
2 1/3 cup fine sugar
2 cups eggs (10 eggs)
4 1/3 cups cake and pastry flour

Cream butter, shortening and sugar. Add eggs slowly and cream well.
Add sifted flour only till incorporated. Bake at 350 F for approx.
35 minutes. Remove. When cool, cut the sheet in half, wrap and
freeze for 1 day.

(One full sheet makes approx 15 dozen petit fours.)

The next day, while still frozen, even off the surface of the cake.
Turn it over and remove the parchment paper. Leave the cake upside
this way. Spread a THIN coat of jam (raspberry) over this surface.
(Too much will ooze when cutting). Roll out marzipan on some
cornstarch or icing sugar to a rectangle that will fit your cake.
It should be no more than 1/8 thick. Roll it up as you would a
pastry, preferably on a dowel and cover the cake top. Smooth your
hands over the surface to expel air bubbles. Using your baking
sheet, slide the cake on and flip it over so that the marzipan is
now on the bottom. You will be working this way.

Using a sharp knife, cut strips approx. 1 1/4 inches wide.

From each strip, either cut squares, diamonds and triangles, etc.,
or use petit fours cutters (as you would use a cookie cutter) Petit
fours cutters are 1 3/4- 2 deep and approx. 1 in diameter. They
come in circles, ovals, hearts etc. Although extremely difficult
to find, they are apparently in the JB Prince catalogue (New York).
Not cheap either.

The petit fours are then placed well-spaced, upright on a wire rack
that has a clean baking sheet underneath.

Soft fondant or icing fondant is heated slowly in a double boiler.
It can be coloured in pastel shades or left white. A small amount
is poured into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Working
directly over each petit fours, make circular spirals over the top
moving out in wider circles allowing the fondant to drip down
completely covering the top and sides, Since the cake is cold from
being frozen, the fondant will set quickly.

Another method which goes faster but uses up more icing (although
it can be scraped and reheated in the double boiler) is pouring
slowly over each petit fours.

This seems like a fairly easy thing to do, but it is amazing how
often you will leave an open space somewhere on the four sides.
Keep checking because it will not look good if you have to go back
later.

Allow the petit fours to set. The tops can be decorated with piping
gel (cherries look nice) or on a white petit fours, colour a bit
of the soft fondant with pink. With a paper cone made from baking
parchment, cut a teeny tip. Draw a spiral over the top or zigzag
on an angle. Silver dragees are nice too. You may want to colour
code your shapes, so that the triangles all have the colour and
design etc.

Bonus: Any scraps of cake, jam and marzipan, especially if youre
using the cutters can be mixed with some buttercream and rum. Shape
into little balls or rounded cones. Dip in chocolate. Sprinkle
with gold flakes if desired.

These are professional petit fours as I was taught. I am considering
slicing the pound cake horizontally and adding a thin layer of
buttercream before I do the jam and marzipan thing. I think it will
add another dimension and keep them longer.

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