Saturday, January 30, 2010

Baking Class Project: How to Make Petit Fours

Some of the Final Projects - More Coming!

My winter study baking class ended this week, and I'm definitely going to miss spending 4 hours in the bakeshop every afternoon.  I could not be more proud of my students and their super impressive final projects though - they were great!  The bakeshop even offered them all jobs after watching their progress over the past month.  

Our final class  was at my house this week. Everyone brought their goodies to share and discuss with the class.  Everyone left in a sugar coma.  Here's a look, and you'll be seeing them in a lot more detail soon.

First up, Vanessa teaches us how to make petit fours.


 I have always loved petit fours—deliciously tender cakes enrobed in elegant fondant and beautifully
decorated (and miniature, which makes them even better)—but have never had the courage to attempt
them myself.  So, I decided to give it a shot.  

The cake is the determining factor in the success of petit fours, and I consulted several cookbooks for a good sponge cake recipe that would be very moist, or even close to a pound cake consistency (my favorite petit fours of all time are hardly spongy—much more buttery—and I was attempting to match
that texture).   







I made the cake on the first of the three days that we spent working on the final projects, along with a light syrup to brush between the layers of cake when assembling the petit fours.  I cooled
the cake in the refrigerator overnight, weighing it down with a few extra jellyroll pans on top of a
piece of parchment paper, so that it would be slightly denser and easier to cut. 











I then brought the saucepan full of fondant over to the
workspace on which I was cutting the petit fours, cut my first petit
four from the pre-cut vertical strips, set it on a wire rack, and tried
to pour the fondant over the tiny cube of cake.  Unfortunately, the
fondant began to seize up almost immediately (probably due to the
cold air that was blowing near my workstation), refusing to enrobe
the whole cube, and setting rather inelegantly.  I tried several
methods of covering the petit fours, including dipping each side in
the fondant, trying to spread the fondant with a spatula, and simply
trying to pour so much over the top that it would eventually cover
all of the sides as well. 





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  1. I tried making these once, and had the same fondant issues. They weren't pretty, but at least tasted okay.

  2. that's what I am struggling with now.... the covering techniques. I have 2 of my mom-in-laws old cook books and a wilton cake book but the petit fours in it look like a rolled fondant is the cover not a poured fondant.... I have 1 or 2 from a dozen that look even and are covered.... but for an open house or wedding this is NUTS! and a lot of food waste...

  3. Yeah, the waste drives me crazy! It seems like the trick must be to make the poured fondant thinner, but I haven't tried it yet. good luck!