Easter

Poured Fondant Petit Fours Recipe

Pretty pink petit fours are the perfect dessert for spring tea parties, bridal showers and Easter gatherings. Admittedly, they are a bit of work, but the end result is well worth the effort.

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Yield: Approximately 12-15, 1 1/2 x 1 1/2- or 2 x 2-inch petit fours

Materials Needed:

  • candy thermometer
  • food processor
  • small-grid wire rack
  • parchment paper
  • pastry brush
  • decorative cupcake papers for display
  • ready-made rolled fondant (optional)
  • jumbo nonpareils (optional)
  • daisy fondant cutter (optional)
  • pearlized luster dust and soft paintbrush (optional)

Make the Cakes

Ingredients:

4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup seedless black raspberry jam
8 ounces marzipan (canned almond paste will do in a pinch)
confectioners' sugar, for dusting
shortening, for greasing pan

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease an 11 x 17-inch pan with shortening and line with parchment paper.
3. Using an electric hand mixer, beat eggs and sugar together at medium speed in a heatproof bowl until thoroughly blended.
4. Place bowl over a simmering saucepan of water, and continue to beat with hand mixer on high speed until mixture is thick and pale.
5. Remove bowl from saucepan and add vanilla. Continue to beat with hand mixer until mixture is cool and leaves a thick trail of batter on surface when beaters are lifted out.
6. Sift flour over 4-egg mixture and fold together with a rubber spatula until smooth.
7. Pour batter into prepared jelly roll pan and spread evenly with an off-set spatula. Bake until cake springs back when pressed in the center, 7-10 minutes. Check at 7 minutes (this cake is thin and can burn easily).
8. When cake is done, let rest in pan for a few minutes before removing.
9. Remove cake and cut into four even rectangles.
10. Place raspberry jam in microwave for 20 seconds to loosen, then brush the tops of cake rectangles with jam and stack them, one on top of the other, jam-side up. You may not have to use the entire 1/2 cup of jam.
11. Lightly dust work surface with confectioners' sugar. Roll marzipan into one large, flat piece, about 1/4-inch thick, then place on top of cake. Trim marzipan evenly around top of cake using a small plain-edge knife.
12. Cut marzipan-topped cake into 12-15 squares. (Some people like to freeze the whole cake before slicing so the pieces cut evenly. If you use this method, be sure to bring your cakes to room temperature before dipping them in fondant. If you dip frozen cakes, it will quickly lower the temperature of the fondant and cause it to harden.)
13. Set cakes aside and make fondant.

Make the Fondant

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup corn syrup
liquid food coloring
clear vanilla extract (or other clear extract such as almond, orange or lemon)

Directions:

1. Combine sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Stir well.
2. Place candy thermometer into mixture and place over medium-high heat.
3. Let mixture bubble until it reaches 238 degrees F. This is soft-ball candy stage.
4. When temperature is reached, remove from heat and transfer hot liquid to bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Do not process yet!
5. Clean candy thermometer and insert into hot syrup. Let cool to 150 degrees F, about 35-40 minutes.
6. Have a large bowl ready in which to pour fondant. Also, have a wire rack ready with a large jelly roll pan placed under it to catch excess fondant that falls off the cakes.
7. When thermometer reads 150 degrees F, add food coloring and flavoring, then process for 2-3 minutes until mixture has turned from a clear liquid to opaque.
8. Immediately pour fondant into a bowl for dipping.
9. Hold a cake square with your forefinger on top — the marzipan side — and your thumb on the bottom. Dip each side in the fondant and place marzipan-side up on a wire rack. Spoon fondant over the top of the cake and allow the excess fondant to drip off.
10. Give fondant one quick stir, then repeat process with another cake. Try to dip and spoon as quickly as possible. This fondant sets quickly, so halfway through you may need to heat it in the microwave to loosen it up.
11. Let fondant-covered cakes stand until completely dry. The bottoms of the cakes will be glued to the wire rack with fondant, so you will need a sharp knife to cut around the bottoms to remove them. Note: The bottoms of these cakes are rarely perfect, but no one will know when you place them in pretty cupcake papers.
12. If desired, use a daisy fondant cutter to make decorative fondant embellishments for the petit fours. Press a jumbo nonpareil in the center of the daisy cut-outs. Apply a dot of corn syrup or piping gel to the top of each petit four and place fondant flower on top. Brush with luster dust or edible glitter, if desired (Image 1, 2).

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