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Adopting in Ashburn

What began in France moved to Washington, DC and then the suburbs. Let the adventures in Ashburn continue.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Petit Fours - Essaye 1

My first try at making petit fours tonight was mostly successful.

First - a petit fours (French for "little ovens") are small, individual cakes. Think fancy-shmancy bakery style individual cakes that have fondant (icing that is sculpted or laid on as opposed to spread on with a knife).

The chocolate cake, made from scratch, rose and came out of the pan without breaking. It is moderately moist (oven temperature was too low, so it took a long time to cook) and not at all burnt. Unfortunately, it is only a 50% success because the cake is too big. Tomorrow I need to make them in the same size pan, but use two pans for the same amount of cake so they are thinner and therefore bite size.

As a note, I cannot just cut the big cake into smaller pieces, because then there are lots of crumbs, which mess up the icing.

The other major part of the petit fours is the icing. I decided to go with a ganache (a pourable icing that is basically melted chocolate and enough cream to make it liquidy). These are for a baby shower and so we wanted to go with a white exterior and chocolate interior. I tried a white chocolate ganache. Everything went to plan, and I didn't have to double boil the chocolate or anything. The kicker is that it does not cool "white" so much as clear.

So, right now I have giant chunks of chocolate cake with a white chocolate glaze.

But, the extra good news is that I did attempt an uncooked fondant (this is much easier than a cooked one because you don't need to monitor the exact temperature of the mixture). This came out stunningly. It tastes yummy (courtesy of my almond extract) and looks great (four different shades of pastel). I practiced rolling it between wax paper, and I should be able to use this tomorrow to either completely cover the mini cakes (I'll need to quadruple the recipe though) or just cut out miniature flowers, bottles, and other baby-style things from the batch I have in there now.

Tomorrow's to-do:
  1. Call boss and tell her that petit fours a la Heather are a go (with warning and an invite to confirm the round two product is what she was expecting).
  2. Make two types of ganache with milk/bittersweet/dark chocolate to be used as an exterior coat or to dip the strawberries that will adorn some of the petit fours.
  3. Bake another cake that is much thinner.
  4. Make more fondant for decoration or wrapping.
All of that in addition to finishing my laundry, hanging the pictures in my room, scouting out an apartment for a friend, church, and hopefully hanging out with someone I've been trying to meet up with for months (they'll be watching the cake making). Oh yeah, and I have tons of HOBY stuff to do.

Sigh, these cakes are going to be delicious. They must be delicious!

Love always,
~Heather

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