I love the concept of petits fours - I love that you can get creative with them, that its bite sized finger food, and that they are so darn cute. Again, this recipe is from Martha Stewart (I’m obsessed!) and trust me - they are soooo devine! Recipe as follows:
6 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 Cup cake flour
3/4 Tsp. baking powder
1/4 Tsp. salt
1 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup almond paste (my market carries this in 7 ounce packages, since 8 ounces = 1 cup, a little more than half the package will be good)
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 Tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 Cup milk
1/2 Cup strawberry preserves, pulsed in a food processor
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a buttered and floured 12-by-17 inch rimmed baking pan, lined with parchment paper. Butter and four the parchment paper and sides, tap out the excess flour:
1. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl and set aside.
2. Put 3/4 Cup sugar and almond paste into a standing electric mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachement. Mix on medium speed until the almond paste is broken up into little pieces throughout the sugar. Add butter and mix on medium-high speed until it is pale and fluffy:
3. Mix in flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with milk. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
4. Put egg whites in the clean bowl of the standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachement. Whisk on medium-high speed until foamy. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 Cup sugar, and beat until soft peaks form:
5. Fold in one third of fluffy egg white mixture into batter with a rubber spatula. Then, gently fold the rest in.
6. Spread evenly onto the prepared baking pan:
Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. In the meanwhile, prepare the strawberry preserves by pulsing 1/2 Cup in a food processor. Also prepare the sugar glaze:
2 Cups confectioners Sugar + 1 1/2 Tbs. Milk. Depending on the temperature of the day and the environment, add more or less milk so that it is a ribbon like (on the runny side) consistency. Remember: you can always add more, but you can never remove the milk! so start off slowly and add little by little. Also add VERY LITTLE pink food coloring.
7. LET COOL COMPLETELY. Unmold using another large baking sheet and remove the parchment paper.
8. . Spread the processed strawberry preserve over the side of the cake that had the parchment on it (basically, the bottom of the cake). Cut the cake in half horizontally and vertically. (like a plus sign+). Refrigerate for 1 hour.
9. . Cut cake into 1 1/2 inch squares. Transfer to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour sugar glaze over each petit four. This part is tricky, and I haven’t quite pour a lot of glaze of the individual petit fours so that it oozes slowly down the sides of the cake coating the top and the sides. Also use a spoon to pour the glaze over the borders so that the sides do get covered with icing. You can reuse the glaze that falls to the bottom, just give the icing a good stir after each reuse. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes and decorate to your desire.
Special thanks to my sister who is master at fondant and gum paste - she made the flowers but you can pick up some already made gum paste flowers at your local crafts/bakeware store.
They have layers of flavor and the cake is so, so , so moist. Its delicate but bursts with almond, buttery, sugary flavor. This recipe yields about 30 petits fours so its perfect for a baby or bridal shower!
Keep these pretty little ladies refrigerated!