Thursday, October 26, 2006

Petits Fours

Jeanne over at Cook Sister is hosting Sugar High Friday this month: petits fours. Now this is a challenege to my cookery skills because as you may have noticed that I don't really do little and pretty things, though I do try. But the picture of four little gorgeous cakes on her website made me think I could at least have a try. So last Friday I did a little research in Waterstone's to make sure I was thinking of the right things (the Larousse was one of the only books to have any petits fours in it) and on Saturday morning I rifled through a selection of my cook books to find suitable recipes to make tiny edible delights. I came up with lemon creams, chocolate tarts (from Gary Rhodes' Sweet Dreams) and meringues (just a standard recipe). I duely bought all the ingredients I didn't have and set to in the kitchen on Sunday morning. By the time I sat down at 1 o'clock I was exhausted but seemed to have created what I thought of as petits fours - the lemon creams may be slightly larger than anticipated because they spread in the oven but nevertheless a good effort. However, the slightly more slap dash approach I normally employ will be back in service soon, much less stressful if you don't care how big your biccies are going to be.

Lemon creams
I can't remember where the recipe for these came from but I have it scawled down in a note book along with vienese whirls and vegie burgers

110g unsalted butter
60g caster sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon
140g self raising flour
30g ground almonds

for the filling
40g unsalted butter
85g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Cream together the butter and sugar and then fold in the lemon rind and almonds. Mix in the flour to make a stiff dough. Roll out to 3mm and then cut out 5cm diameter circles. Chill for 5-10 min and then bake for 7-10min. Cool. For the filling blend together the sugar and butter and then use to sandwich together the biscuits.

Chocolate tarts

For the pastry
225g plain flour
pinch of salt
150g butter
75g cater sugar
1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk

In a food processor put all the ingredients except the eggs and whizz until you have fine breadcrumbs. Then add the eggs and whizz briefly to combine. Work everything together and put into the fridge for about an hour. Then roll out to 3mm and cut rounds out to fit a small bun tin to make mini tart cases. Then bake at 200°C for 15min. Cool.

For the filling
200g plain chocolate
100ml milk
150ml double cream
2 whole medium eggs

Melt the gently chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl. Heat the milk and cream until boiling. Then pour the milk/cream mixture into the eggs whilst beating. Then add all this into the melted chocolate. It'll go very thick. Then spoon a little of this mixture into each tart case and bake them at 100°C for 20min. Cool.

This recipe size makes lots and lots and lots, I ended up making many little ones and one big one when I felt I'd had enough of making little ones. The big one needed 45min to set the chocolate mixture and about 25min for the pastry.


Jeanne said...

Hi Melissa

Wow - I'm deeply impressed. Not one but *three* types of petit fours! They all look fab :-) Thanks for joining in this edition of SHF!

Brilynn said...

It looks like you had no problems with these, they're great!

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