Petit Fours


Petit Fours

Dessert Sinsations  & Design
Barbara O’Hara

These delicate little cakes require a covering of fondant. While O’Hara makes her own, it is incredibly difficult to do. You can buy fondant by the sheet from baking supply stores. When you get to the syrup stage of the meringue buttercream you will need a candy thermometer.

3/4 cup egg whites (from about 6 eggs), at room temperature
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 1/2 cups fresh raspberries, puréed and strained to remove the seeds
Meringue buttercream
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
5 egg whites, large
Pinch cream of tartar
1 lb cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. In a bowl, combine the egg whites, milk and vanilla and mix until well blended. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt and sift into a bowl. Add sugar and stir until mixed.
3. Cream butter, then add the wet ingredients in two additions, scraping the bowl down in between. Total mixing time should be about three minutes.
4. Place batter into pan and swirl in strained raspberry purée. Bake about 25 minutes or until skewer comes out clean when immersed into thickest part of the cake.
5. Let cake cool in pan. Loosen rim and remove onto greased wire rack. Wrap in cling film and put in refrigerator until firm.
6. Cut cooled cake into petit four shapes of your choice, watching for evenness.

Meringue buttercream
1. Over medium heat, bring sugar and 1/3 cup water to a boil. Stir occasionally until syrup reaches soft ball stage at 238˚F on your candy thermometer.
2. In a bowl, beat egg whites on low until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat on medium high until stiff, but not dry.
3. With mixer running, pour syrup in a slow, steady stream into egg white mixture. Beat on high until stream is no longer visible.
4. Add butter piece by piece. Add vanilla and beat 3-5 minutes until smooth. If mixture curdles, keep on beating. Spread on petit fours. Refrigerate until buttercream is firm to the touch.

To decorate
1. Roll out fondant on a surface dusted with icing sugar.
2. Carefully pick up fondant and place over petit four. Cut to fit and smooth with a fondant smoother. Decorate as desired.

Yield 12 servings