Saturday, October 20, 2012

Petit Fours

I took a much needed hiatus from working on the food blog to cultivate some of my other writing, I was met with both success and failure. But the one event that was able to roust me from the ever-growing pile of research material and crumpled failed attempts at poetry was the first birthday of my youngest niece, Sadie aka Sadie-bug. While I can side with those who believe that a birthday party for a one year old is bordering on the ridiculous, (It's not like they will remember it, right?) it wasn't for her benefit but ours. So there. In honor of our vivacious little girl we decided to throw a traditional English tea party. There were peanut butter and jelly tea sandwiches, sparkling white grape juice, and the "be-all-to-end-all" petit fours. Now, for the sake of ease and the fact that when my mother and I plan anything we go all out with lace tablecloths and china tea cups; we used a boxed pound cake mix and canned frosting. But the end result was fantastic! They were the hit of the party and made for a darling centerpiece.

Petit Fours

  • 1 Box of Pound Cake Mix
  • 1 - 2 Tubs of Vanilla Frosting, depending on the desired cake to sugar ratio
  • Royal Icing (recipe follows)
Mix the cake as per the instructions, but be sure and use a half sheet pan, spread the batter evenly with a rubber spatula and bake as directed. We found, after trial and error, that placing the cake in the freezer for a few hours helped with both the cutting and frosting later. After you have the desired shapes set out on a wire rack with plenty of wax paper beneath for catching any strays, the fun part, I mean the frosting, can begin. The frosting can be easily heated up in the microwave until it reaches the right pouring consistency. Place the cakes on a small spatula and slowly spoon frosting over the top, ensuring that all sides are equally covered. Allow them to set up for 4 hours or overnight. 

Royal Icing

  • 4-6 Tablespoons of cold water
  • 3 Tablespoons of Meringue Powder
  • 4 cups Powdered Sugar
Whip the meringue powder and sugar together, when they have been sufficiently whipped add the cold water one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. We divided our icing and added artificial coloring for decorating, just be sure that you go pastel with your colors and not neon. This is a proper English dessert after all...

After the decorating has concluded they may look something like these!

Bear in mind, my piping skills still leave something to be desired, but it was for little girls who were just going to eat them for the sheer fact that they were cake covered in sugary icing.

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