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Monday, February 14, 2011

valentine petits fours

Valentine Petits Fours

Since nothing says 'I love you' like gourmet confections and because I had recently added petits fours to my arsenal of baking knowledge, I decided that this year's Valentine's treat would be white chocolate raspberry petits fours. This endeavor took up the majority of my weekend between baking and freezing and assembling and freezing and dipping and decorating and well, you get the picture. Time consuming or not, I'd make these little cubes of love ten times over. Their gorgeous presentation and undeniable deliciousness is worth the effort.

Petits Fours require careful planning in order to maintain one's sanity during their assembly. This is not a task that you want to undertake the day before your special event. What is great about this recipe is that each component can be prepared well in advance so your final dipping and decorating can be easily completed the day before or day of your special event.

Valentine Petits Fours

What you'll need:

  • Chiffon Cake; baked in layers of about 1/4 inch thick for approximately 5 minutes {easy trick - line baking sheet with parchment paper sprayed with cooking oil, pour batter, top with second sheet of parchment paper sprayed with cooking oil - freeze until ready to use to make removing parchment a snap}
  • Simple Syrup
  • Buttercream {recipe for amazing milk custard buttercream to follow}
  • High quality, seedless preserves/jam
  • Marzipan; rolled thin so that you can read a newspaper through it
  • Chocolate melts; mixed with enough high quality unflavored oil to reach desired dipping consistency

Valentine Petits Fours

Petits Fours Assembly: Layering from the bottom up

  • Cake brushed with simple syrup
  • Thin layer of buttercream
  • Cake brushed with simple syrup
  • Thin layer of jam
  • Thin layer of buttercream
  • Cake brushed with simple syrup
  • Thin layer of buttercream
  • Marzipan

Valentine Petits Fours

  • Freeze overnight, leaving the unsightly edges in tact to preserve cake.
  • Using a hot knife, trim edges and cut to desired shapes.
  • Return to freezer until ready to dip.
  • Dip in prepared chocolate melts and transfer to parchment paper; chocolate will set quickly thanks to the frozen cake.
  • Trim excess chocolate 'foot' with sharp knife.
  • Place in small baking cups to avoid fingerprints when picking up.
  • Decorate with marzipan, chocolate gum paste or piped chocolate.
  • Share with loved ones!

Valentine Petits Fours
Milk Custard Buttercream Recipe
Custard Ingredients:
12 ounces + 4 ounces sugar
4 cups whole milk
2 ounces corn starch

Custard Preparation: makes 5 cups
Put 12 ounces sugar in pan on stove with milk; stir well.
Combine 4 ounces sugar in bowl with corn starch.
Heat milk mixture on high until it comes to boil; stir occasionally.
When milk mixture gets warm, add 3/4 cups to corn starch mixture; make a slurry.
As milk comes to a boil, whisk in corn starch mixture.
Whisk mixture over heat until it thickens.
Pour onto sheet pan and store in refrigerator until cool.

Buttercream Ingredients:
12 ounces (3 sticks) butter
1 1/4 cup custard
Optional: 2 ounces of chocolate OR 1.5 ounces preserves OR 3 Tbsp vanilla

Buttercream Preparation:
Soften butter and whip on high with whisk attachment.
Once butter has significant volume, add custard slowly.
Add desired flavor.
Valentine Petits Fours


Shulie said...

Wow these are absolutely stunning Kimmie!! So professionally looking!! Happy Valentine's Day!!

smalltownoven said...

These are so well done and so beautiful! I wish I had been on the receiving end of your Valentine's treats.

SaraHKnows85 said...

wow! so so lovely! too scared to try:)

Debs @ DKC said...

Just stunning!

briarrose said...

Adorable and perfect!

Maggie said...

Work of stunning art! Beautiful photos. Great site.

Barbara said...

Such pretty cakes. So much work! They're probably ever so tasty, too. I bookmarked this post, but will I ever be brave and patient enough to make them? Probably not. Kudos to you!

Robyn said...

What a great post! I don't think I've seen a better tutorial outside of a prof culinary book. Great job. I love petit fours and now you've got me wanting them.


Cristina - Teenie Cakes said...

These little confections turned out so delicate and pretty. So intricate. Love the sound of the milk custard buttercream, that I must try!

Lovely blog! ;)

Kathleen said...

These look sooo yummy!!!!

Tiffany said...

These are so beautiful!! Great work :)

Sophia said...

I love Valentine's Day desserts, and yours looks so, so delicious! You should really consider submitting this to Recipe4Living's Valentine's Day Recipe Contest! You could win a GreenPan Stainless Steel Todd's Perfect Gourmet Cook Set!

Anonymous said...

Wow, lovely, so lovely. Could you share a recipe for chiffon cake?

Keep up the good work.


sweet road said...

I have been trying for years to make petit fours, but sadly never succeeded! Of course I'm the type to dismiss proper directions at times... I should have known the trick was to freeze them! It's so simple, I cannot believe I never thought of it! These look delicious, I am going to have to try them out for myself and ACTUALLY follow the directions...

Great post and I love your blog!

Good Gals Inc said...

SOOO Beautiful!!!

Charlie Bakes said...

These petit fours are so cute! I love how in the 4th picture you labeled which layer is which.
Charlie, 12 year old food blogger

Jenn said...

Wow, I am very impressed with these little petits fours! You are amazing and they look very yummy.

Anonymous said...

I have made petit fours 1 time and that was plenty for me they are a Work of Art

Caroline said...

Yay! I've been looking for a good petit four recipe for a LONG time now. The only question I have (because your directions are very good) is what recipe did you use for your chiffon cake? I want to make sure I make bite-sized perfection. :-)

Olivia said...

wow! they're so beautiful and YUMMMMMY looking.

Becky P said...

Can you please share a recipe for the simple syrup? Thanks!

Kimmie said...

1 part sugar to 1 part water - bring to a boil, stir until dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight jar or bottle.

Tory said...

These look amazing and I really want to try out this recipe this weekend, but I had a few questions about your directions. I was wondering how much chocolate and how much oil you used to create the mixture to dip the petite fours in because I don't trust myself to guess. I was also hoping to get your chiffon cake recipe since I have never made it before, but I saw that someone else had asked for that as well and I didn't see a response. Thank you! :)

aimeealysadc14 said...

love it!! :) this is the easiest tutorial i've seen for petit fours! :)) 

amanda said...

How do you make the hearts on top

kimberly.ann said...

Hi Amanda, I just mixed food gel coloring with marzipan and rolled it thin. You'll need to knead it well for the color to evenly distribute.

Julia said...

Is there a recipe for the chiffon cake?