Saturday, May 11, 2019

Pink Champagne Petits Fours

The phrase 'good things come in small packages' couldn't be more true for the classically delightful bite size confections, petits fours.
While these dainty treats can be complicated and time consuming to make, I whipped up an easier, if not completely authentic version with store bought cake mix and splash of pink bubbly. I made mine just in time for Mother's day, but they make an elegant grown-up treat for teatime or any special occasion or celebration.
Rather than purchasing a large bottle of champange for this recipe, I bought a box of the small individual bottle sizes (using two) so, heaven forbid, no champagne went to waste and I have a mini bottle left for gifting with the petits fours.
Starting with a pound cake mix, I simply substituted the liquid in the instructions with pink champagne, or in this case, technically a less expensive California sparkler, baking it in a rectangular 9 x 13 parchment paper lined pan.
Once cooled, I iced the top lightly with a simple buttercream. This step is optional but creates a smoother and more opaque finish for the glaze.
Simple Frosting 
2 cups confectioner's sugar
 1/2 cup butter
2-3 tbsp's champagne
I omitted vanilla so as not to detract from the champagne flavor

I then popped the iced cake in the freezer until icing firm. I removed from freezer with parchment paper, turned upside down and sliced into long strips. I trimmed a bit off the the bottom to make shorter and more even and cut into squares. 
I saved the trimmings in the freezer for a future recipe- a trifle maybe?
Then back in the freezer while I make the glaze.
Icing glaze
3 cup confectioners sugar
5+ teaspoons Corn syrup
5+  teaspoons champagne
pink food color
Blend ingredients except coloring together until smooth and glossy. 
Add small amounts of extra corn syrup and champagne in turn until desired consistency if icing is too thick and more sugar if too thin. 
You can divide icing in separate containers and create various colors of pink and reserve some white for decorating

This gets a bit messy. I set squares on wire racks set over wax paper on a cookie sheet to catch drips and spooned glaze over cakes, making sure to cover sides.
Chill until firm and glossy
Since I ran short on glaze, on some cakes I just drizzled pink splashes across the tops which still made a lovely little treat.
You can accent as desired with swirls of different shades of glaze, sprinkles, or candies.
Serve with pink champagne. 
 or give as a gift with a mini bottle of bubbly

Variations on a theme
Classic petits fours consist of layers, so if desired, cake squares can be stacked with a layer of frosting, lemon curd or raspberry jam in between. Unfortunately my last attempt at layers resulted in some wobbly, collapsing and less than picture perfect too tall cake towers, so this time, I omitted the filling and kept it deliciously short and sweet.

Short on time? Use a store-bought pound cake and skip the frosting step. Simply slice chilled cake into small squares, or cut into fun shapes with cookie cutters and ice with glaze as above. 
See link below

Have fun with flavors. Using an orange cake with the champagne and adding orange extract and coloring makes a refreshing mimosa inspired petit four.

I made a similiar recipe on my Jane Austen Tea Party post, using doilies and cake color spray for a lace effect

Petit Four Fun Facts
Petits Fours is french for little oven. Before modern temperature control, chef's often used coal burning ovens resulting in roughly two temperatures - very hot 'grand four' for dinners, meats and large breads and 'petits four' - when the oven was cooling when they would bake small individual sized treats. 
Thus the name petit four was born.

There are many varieties of petits fours including both sweet, and savory, salĂ©, although today the name is mostly synonymous with the elegant sweet treats

Petits Fours were a must on 19th century tea tables and have made a resurgence in recent years with the growing popularity of home baking.

For more history on Petits Fours pop over to
The Petit Four story

Merci to our Sweet Readers for Stopping by
and Happy Baking!