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Not As Good As Pork Cracklins

misadventures in cooking

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Petits Fours

Back in August, I took another class at All In One Bakeshop. I purposefully bypassed "Basic Petits Fours", which according to the course description were cut-outs from poundcake. I wanted to take advantage of the one titled "Classic Petits Fours". What I learned is that there is a very good reason - no, there are many very good reasons - that those lovely little cakes cost a fortune, whether you are having an event catered or you are simply admiring them behind the display glass at your favorite bakery: although we used excellent ingredients, real butter, eggs, and Callebaut chocolate, the real cost is the labor. And labor it is. Petits Fours are quite pesky.

The "Classic Petits Fours" consisted of 2 layers of frangipane cake, 2 different fillings (in this case chocolate and apricot), topped with a thin layer of marzipan, then iced with poured fondant (typically pastel) and decorated. This was a hands-on baking class, so we had to forego decorating time.

As we started, we went around the room introducing ourselves. Several pastry chefs, a culinary student, a woman with a wedding cake business... and me... ummmm... "one of these things is not like the others".

We each made a dozen little cakes. All of mine looked like crap. And I'm not ashamed to say that I was relieved when I looked around the room to find that all of theirs looked like crap too. It's a time consuming process and we were under a time crunch. That and the fact that the tables were a bit crowded; sometimes you'd nearly have an acceptable example of a petit four and someone would bump you. There went your darling baby cake.

Each of us left with a whole new appreciation for the value of a petit four. In addition to our finished dozen, the instructor encouraged us all to take home our "extras", so that we could see how much easier they were to work with after chilling (not to mention in the solitude of our own kitchens). I was so tired of them by that point that I nearly didn't. But I did and she was right and they were. Petits fours are still pretty much a pita though.

At least I had a couple that were presentable enough to photograph. Which was when I realized that my husband had taken our only camera on an out-of-town trip. Completely and utterly frustrated by that point, I threw them all in the freezer, and only just now remembered them. So today I blog.

{Speaking of frustration, All In One Bakeshop is holding a ROSES, ROSES, ROSES class. The description was tailor-written for me: "Still trying to master the buttercream rose? Do you dread making roses for your cakes and will do almost anything else not to have to do them? Is it still looking like a cabbage?..." Thank goodness I have something better to do that day.}


At 9/25/2008 4:39 PM, Blogger MikeW said...

it's a shame to have to freze things that should be eaten fresh, and it just so happens that I have quite the appetite.
Just sayin'

At 9/25/2008 4:49 PM, Blogger Amy said...

I'd rather not suffer the wrath of your dietician extraordinaire!

At 9/25/2008 9:13 PM, Blogger Ashley said...

Beautiful! I love petit fours!

At 9/27/2008 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it looks "pretty as a picture".

I think petits fours are elegant and very tasty..lol

Love you, Mom

At 9/30/2008 12:29 PM, Blogger Sheri said...

They look perfect!


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