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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sweet Treats Saturday: Petit Fours

Petit fours are the perfect Spring treat! I have a couple of petit four pans with assorted flower shapes so when I stumbled upon a new recipe for them, I thought I'd dust them off.  They can be pretty time consuming, but I did take a shortcut on this batch.  I decided to omit the strawberry filling as I didn't think they were large enough to fill.  As I was dipping them in the glaze, I realized I probably could have.  Next time I make them I'm going to try it with at least half.  I detailed how they put them together in the glaze stage at the bottom.

Yellow Cake (Petit Four base)
Recipe from King Arthur Flour

2 cups sugar
3 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, soft
1 1/4 cups milk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour your choice of pan(s): one 9" x 13" pan, two 9" round cake pans, three 8" round pans, or the wells of two muffin tins (24 muffin cups). You can also line the muffin tins with papers, and spray the insides of the papers.

1) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt.

2) Add the butter and beat with an electric mixer at low speed, until the mixture looks sandy.

3) Combine the milk and vanilla and add, all at once. Mix at low speed for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds.

4) Scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl.

5) With the mixer running at low speed, add 1 egg. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds.

6) Repeat this procedure with the second egg. Continue adding the eggs, scraping after each addition, until all 4 are added.

7) After the last egg is added, scrape the bowl once more, then beat at medium-high speed for 30 more seconds.

8) Drop small spoonfuls of the batter into the petit four openings, filling each about halfway.


9) Bake for approx. 10 minutes.

10. The cakes are done when it's golden brown around the edges and just beginning to pull away from the edge of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.

11) Remove the cakes from the oven and place on a rack to cool before removing it from the pan. 

So many little cakes!

Poured Fondant
Recipe from King Arthur Flour 

1 cup (5 ounces) white confectionery coating or white chocolate chips
4 cups (1 pound) confectioner's sugar or glazing sugar
1/4 cup (2 3/4 ounces) light corn syrup
1/4 cup (2 ounces) hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
food coloring


1) In a saucepan set over low heat, or in the microwave, melt the white coating or chocolate, stirring until smooth.

2) Sift the confectioners' or glazing sugar into a large bowl, and add the corn syrup and hot water, stirring till smooth. If you're using a mixer, set it on low speed so the icing doesn't become too aerated.

3) Add the melted coating to the sugar mixture, then add the vanilla and the coloring (if you're using it). If the mixture is too thick to pour, reheat it briefly over low heat, and stir in 1 to 3 tablespoons additional water. The mixture is easiest to work with, and pours smoothly, at about 100°F.

* I added the extra water when I felt that the mixture was thickening up, as well as in the beginning as it was a very thick consistency.  It still set and tasted perfect.
In the future, I may switch the vanilla extract with almond just to mix the flavors up a bit.

To coat the petit fours, I dipped them upside down into the icing, then rotated and let the excess icing drain while holding the cake on an icing fork (I don't own an icing fork so I just used a regular fork).  Then I set it on a separate grate (over a baking sheet) to drain.

You can also slice the petit fours in half once the cake has cooled, and spread a jelly filling between the layers.  Reassemble and dip in the icing.  Due to the small size and shape of the flowers, I omitted this step.

Resting on the icing rack. Letting excess pool off.
UPDATE: Just in case you were wondering where to get the floral petit fours pan.  I originally purchased mine at Williams Sonoma, but they do not currently carry it (I believe it is seasonal).  However, you can currently purchase it from Amazon or Sur La Table.

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