Petits fours is French, for small ovens. In the eighteenth century, cooks and pastry makers baked miniature confectionaries or appetizers in smaller ovens, next to the main ovens.
Serve these romantic Petits fours to your sweetheart on February 14th! They’re also perfect for that Valentine’s Day party, since they come in single servings.
Prep time: 40 minutes (for glazing & decoration)
Bake time: 30 to 40 minutes
Yield: 12 to 16 single-serving cakes (petits fours)
Ingredients for the Cake:
2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla
2¾ cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
2½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1¼ cups milk
Directions for the Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
2. In a large mixer bowl, mix butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until fluffy.
3. Beat for 2 minutes, scraping bowl with a rubber spatula occasionally.
4. On low speed, mix in the flour, baking powder and salt alternately with milk.
5. Pour the batter into prepared pan.
6. Place pan with batter on a rack positioned in center of preheated oven.
7. Bake the cake 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, place a pointed knife in center of cake to check for doneness – if knife comes out clean, the cake is done.
8. If the knife has batter clinging to it, bake the cake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes. Check cake once more by inserting knife in its center.
9. Let cake cool in pan on a kitchen counter or a wooden board.
10. When cake is cool, cut it into 12 to 16 equal pieces.
Note: each piece should measure 2 x 2 inches. Set aside on a baking sheet covered with parchment or aluminum foil.
Meanwhile, prepare the glaze and decoration for cakes-
Ingredients for the Glaze & Decoration:
2 pounds (32 ounce) confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons juice from fresh lemons
One 4.25-ounce tube green decorating icing (for leaves)
One 4.25-ounce tube red or pink decorating icing (for flower)
One rosette-shaped plastic cake decorating tip -and-
One flat-ended plastic cake decorating tip (both available at cake decorating supply shops or online)
16 cupcake papers
Optional: You can use color of your choice for flower decoration.
Directions for Glazing the Cakes:
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine glaze ingredients.
2. Beat on low speed just until blended; beat on high until smooth.
3. Apply glaze evenly over tops, letting the glaze drip on sides of cakes.
4. Set the glazed cakes aside to dry.
5. When cakes are dry, place a rosette cake decorating tip on desired color icing tube.
6. Squeeze tube to create a rosette or flower in center top of each cake.
7. Place a flat-ended decorating tip on green icing tube and pipe a leaf on each side of flower on center top of cakes.
8. Place cakes on flattened cupcake papers set on a serving platter.
9. Alternatively, place cakes directly on serving platter. Cover with tented foil until ready to serve.
Text and Photograph ©2016 Nancy DeLucia Real