Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Semi-Homemade Petit Fours

Unfortunately, we did not take our group photo until three teams had already left. . .
Yeah.  I totally used store bought cake for my croquet treats.  And you know what?  So what.
I tried to find a bakery that would just sell me a quarter sheet cake or something, and not only did it confuse the hell out of them, but it was pretty damn pricey.
A quick search for "quick and easy petit fours" brought me to a recipe by Miss Paula Deen, and hallelujah!  Not only did I not have time to bake a cake from scratch, but I didn't have the time I thought to frost them - I didn't let them dry long enough before I had to leave.  Not only were they too soft for me to do any further "eat me" decorating or package them all up (I could only bring about half so they wouldn't touch), but I was half an hour late to my own damn event.
However, once croquet was over (and the next day), they were PERFECT.  I thought the frosting was too sweet at first, when it was still soft, but once it solidified, it made an awesome little cake.  Soft frosting or not, they seemed to be a hit at croquet.
Now, finding a pound cake in regular loaf form would've been way too perfect, so of course I could only find a bundt version, and I'm sure you can imagine how fun and easy it was to try to cut that into perfect little cubes.  A fun thing came from this though - I made whole little slices of cake as petit fours too and they turned out great.

Petit Fours 
1 loaf pound cake - about 1 pound, top crust removed, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
2/3 cup cold water
1 egg white
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 boxes confectioners' sugar, about 1 pound, sifted
preserves of your choice (cherry or apricot would be great, I used  Bonne Maman cherry preserves)
Almond extract - I'm guessing I used about 1 tbsp
3 dyes of food coloring
2 forks
Something cute, for garnish and design

Arrange the pound cake cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze until firm, 4 hours or overnight. I froze my entire cake and then cut off the dark parts and cut it into cubes.  This worked incredibly well, BUT - if your cake comes back to room temperature before you frost it (which it will unless you freeze it again), it's crumb city and your frosting will get all clogged up which doesn't leave you a very nice, smooth frost job.
I then cut my cubes in half (lengthwise) and put a dollop of warmed up cherry preserves (to thin them out a little).  Use less than you think you need, since it will ooze out the sides.  A small dollop - maybe 1/4 tsp seemed perfect for the little bites.
They look like little crustless pb&js:

In the top of a double boiler, dissolve the gelatin in 2/3 cups cold water. Add egg white and corn syrup. Whisk. Add confectioners' sugar and whisk until well blended and not too thick. When mixture reaches 110 degrees F. (warm to the touch) divide the icing among several bowls and add your preferred food coloring to each bowl. Mix well.

Line counter or baking sheet with waxed paper. Place a cooling rack on top so the excess frosting can drip down and away and land on the wax paper below; then your cakes won't have bloopy, gloppy frosting puddles attached to the bottom.
Rest your cake on one fork, and use a spoon to pour frosting all over cake - work fast, this stuff thickens quickly (but you can reheat it if you need to).  Make sure the cakes are completely covered.  Use second fork to help move the frosted cake onto the rack to dry.  Do this for remaining cubes, using the various colors of frosting (rinse your forks when moving between colors, unless you're hoping for tie dye). When completely dried, place a dab of frosting onto the top of the cube to stick your cute little decor item.  OR, you can pipe little designs if you're good at that.
I was going to make Alton's royal icing to write "eat me" on mine.
Try to ignore the crumbs you can see in the tops.


Quinn said...

You are SO Sandra Lee.

Rogue Designs said...

Wait til you see my next tablescape!