Friday, September 3, 2010

Eat Me

Every year I host a croquet party.  We drink a lot of champagne and have an absolute blast.  The rules insist that we wear white (well, mostly), but I'll also allow for a wicked good Heathers or Alice in Wonderland croquet get up as well - how could I not?

We bring snacks to help settle some of that champagne, and this year, I am totally going Alice with my snack.  I have been fantasizing about "Eat Me," "Drink Me" treats for ages and I think this is just the year.  I'll make some cute little template for the champagne bottles and/or juices we use as mixers, and then I'll make some Eat Me cakes.  I'm thinking petit fours, but hot diggity dawg they're a lot of work.  I'm thinking I can definitely do fudge covered brownies (and who doesn't like chocolate?), but I really love the look of the petit fours since they remind me so much of the little cakes from the movies.

I saw Martha do petit fours once, but I can only find this one recipe and it's different than the one I watched.  Alas, this recommended cake and frosting recipe did NOT get rave reviews, so I hunted out a more traditional genoise and another frosting.  Some reviewers stated that the cake tasted bland, but I'm thinking that once I thin down my cherry or apricot preserves into a syrup to brush over the top and allow that to soak in, it will not be bland at all.  Another theme that came up in reviews was SIFT SIFT SIFT - then maybe sift again.

1 cup sifted cake flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 pinch salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 8 inch round cake pan. Line with parchment paper and grease it as well. Lightly flour pan and paper. 

Sift together the flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt onto a piece of wax paper. 

Place the eggs into a mixing bowl set over a pan of hot (not boiling) water. Add the 1/2 cup sugar to the eggs and whisk until the mixture feels warm (not hot) to the touch, about body temperature. Place the bowl onto a mixer and beat on medium speed until the mixture becomes pale yellow in color and falls off the end of the whisk attachment in long ribbons. Add the vanilla. Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the beaten egg and fold in. Continue to add the remainder of the flour, folding it in each time. 

Place about 1 cup of the batter into the bowl containing the melted butter and combine the butter with the batter. Add this back to the main batter and fold it in. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. 

Immediately bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 25 minutes or until the top is a light brown. Cool in pan on a rack about 10 minutes and then invert onto a rack. It is best to invert it again onto another rack so that it cools with the top up. Let cool completely before cutting or frosting. 

Um. . . her frosting didn't seem to be very boss either.  This helpful video had one that looks like it'll work: 
6 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 c water
2 tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp flavor (almond, vanilla, whatevs)
optional - coloring
Heat sugar, water and corn syrup to 92 degrees over low heat.  Remove from heat and add flavoring and any coloring if using.
Pour the fondant into a bowl and keep over another bowl of hot water (like a double boiler) to keep the frosting soft.

To make the petit fours, slice the cake into nice little squares and set on a cooling rack with wax paper underneath.  Spoon the fondant frosting over the top ensuring even coverage.  You can scrape the drippings off the wax paper back into the bowl to soften and reuse!  Or you can place the cakes onto a fork (or slotted spatula if they're bigger) and really glob the frosting on; let the excess drip off, and THEN put them onto the cooling rack.

This video was incredibly helpful and featured lots of good tips as well.  I'm thinking of doing my petits fours a bit bigger than is traditional (I think 1 1/2" square is the standard), just so I can ensure that I can fit "eat me" on top of them without it looking too crowded.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I haz never been invited