Petit Four is a french word which means “small oven”. What is Petit Four? Formerly, it is known as a practice for cooking small pastries using low oven temperature. Nowadays,they are known as small cakes, biscuits, or desserts. These Petit Four are beautifully adorned to entice the guest after a dinner/ meal and best served with coffee or cocktails. These desserts can be in different shapes and have a size of at least 1-inch and about 1.5-inch to 2-inches in height. It should be bite-size, dainty, delicate and light.
Petit Fours (Butter Cake in White Chocolate)
FOR BUTTER CAKE:
2 ¾ cups sugar
¾ cup salted butter, softened
¾ cup shortening
2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup evaporated milk
¼ cup sour cream
PETIT FOUR ICING
6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F)
For Butter Cake – Wet Ingredients: cream the sugar, butter, and shortening until smooth then add in vanilla extract to flavor. Followed by adding one egg at a time, until fluffy. Set aside this first mixture.
Dry Ingredients: In another bowl, sift all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt). Fold the flour mixture and the evaporated milk to the wet mixture alternately.
Then, start to beat for 2 minutes on medium speed, then fold in the sour cream. Make sure not to deflate the fluffy texture.
Transfer the butter cake mixture onto a greased prepared mini mold. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (Please check earlier than 25 minutes, each oven type varies including the size of what you’re baking.)
Once done, remove from the oven and let it cool first. Un-mold each cake and let it cool/freeze in the fridge to set well. You need a firm butter cake when you dip it into the chocolate.
Notes: if there are no mini round molds, you may transfer the Butter cake mixture onto a lined sheet pan and cut it into small squares instead.
For Petit Fours Icing: Prepare a rack placed on top of a sheet pan lined with paper. This is where your chocolate dipped cake will sit on and drip.
Prepare a double-boiler: Glass bowl on top of a small pot of boiling water. Please use glass not metal. Bring a pot of water to boil, then place a larger glass bowl on top of it. Don’t let the water touch the bottom of your bowl.
In that bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar, water, corn syrup and extract. Keep whisking until smooth and slightly thick (it looks like it will stick on your butter cake when poured). It should be good when it reaches 33°C (92°F), if you have a thermometer.
Then, mix in the white chocolate chips into the syrup until melted. Then start dipping your mini cakes into the melted chocolate using a skewer or fork. You may need to work faster before your whole chocolate mixture starts to set. Alternatively, keep the mixture in the double-boiler with very low heat.
Take your mini cakes, and start dipping each cake using a fork and submerged it into the melted chocolate (you may also choose to skewer it). Then transfer into the prepared cooling rack to let it drip and set.
Once done, let it cool to set. Transfer into paper cup liners. You may decorate it with a pipe of whipping cream on top garnish with assorted fresh fruits like strawberries, grapes, raspberries etc.