Petit fours are traditionally a way for bakers to use up leftover ingredients, and were baked as the ovens were cooling at the end of the day. Today they are made in their own right by many home bakers. These small treats usually include a type of sponge cake and a filling, and are covered in icing with unique cake designs. This recipe, will produce a lovely treat for any party.
- Sponge cake
- Flavored syrup
- Marzipan (optional)
- Long serrated knife
- Measuring cup
- Cooling rack
- Baking dish
Preparing. These are traditionally made with almond sponge, but you can use pound cake or any flavor that will stand up to the process of filling, cutting, and decorating. Remember, they usually have a lot of decorations and detail so your choice must be durable.
Making the smalls cakes. Once it is baked and cooled, use a long serrated knife to split them into layers. Once finished, they will be approximately 1 inch wide and 1 1/2 to 2 inches high, but at this stage you are just cutting into layers. Do not cut it into tiny pieces yet.
Flavors and fillings. Soak in a flavored syrup. Generously brush it on using a pastry brush. They will soak up all of this flavor. Then, spread on the filling. You can use jam, buttercream frosting, lemon curd, or raspberry curd, as well as many other types of flavored fillings.
Choose the icing. White or dark chocolate glazes, poured fondant, or ganache work especially well because they give a smooth, shiny surface once they have dried. You can also top with a very thin layer of marzipan before adding designs or frosting, if you want a smooth and crumb-free surface for decorating.
Assemble.They are traditionally iced using a glaze frosting. The simplest way to complete the process is to glaze the entire top, and then cut it into tiny shapes. However, the sides of your tiny cakes will not be iced, and the will become stale quickly. Instead, once you have cut them into pieces, arrange them on a cooling rack set over a baking dish. Then carefully pour the warm glaze over and around each one, using a small spatula or knife to make sure you don't miss any spots.
Decorate. You can drizzle a little colored frosting onto the top, or use a frosting bag to make a more intricate design. You can also dust with powdered sugar.
You can make an endless array of shapes and flavors, a tray full of these small sweets will impress anyone. Serve them at your next party! They are a lot easier to make than they look.