Peppermint Petit Fours
Petit Fours…or, if I’m being honest with myself, more like snack cakes like you would find at the grocery store isle with all the Little Debbie’s. These little guys were a trip and a half and I’m not completely there yet. But I want to take you on my petit four journey so here we are! This is your warning that if you are here for perfection, skip this post. If you are here for a fellow home baker trying to get better, then read on!
Petit Fours; commonly they’re tiny cakes wrapped up in chocolate or fondant. Mine ended up being bigger than “tiny”, more like, a-couple-big-bites-sized. These things are outside my comfort zone. I feel so confident with bread and pastry. I can nearly always whip out anything I’ve attempted feeling proud with what I ended up with. Cake is a whole other story though!
Nine times out of ten I wouldn’t pick cake if presented with other dessert options. The fact that I’ve had the hardest time with my favorite type of cake, a classic English sponge, just makes it even lower on my bake list. But! On my Instastories (@sariahseb) you guys spoke, saying you like peppermint, and so does my husband, I don’t like it most of the time, so I figured let’s just pull out the stopes and make PEPPERMINT CAKES! Let’s rip that comfort right out of here!
So here are my very well tested, not QUITE perfected, tips on how to make peppermint petit fours.
-Lightly frost and refrigerate your small sandwich cakes before attempting to coat them in chocolate. This will help you have a smoother finish.
-Know that the chocolate will point out any bump or crevasse in your cakes. Either make them perfectly smooth or be okay with it. Your choice!
-Peel the parchment paper off the bottom of your sheet cake before cutting. You’ll want to just cut on the paper, but this will help your pieces not stick…YAY!
-Use a very sharp knife to cut your pieces of cake. PLEASE.
-Put frosting into a piping bag or plastic Ziploc bag and pipe it in between your layers. It will be MUCH easier for you. Use a pallet knife or other knife to spread frosting on the outside so you can make it smoother easier, and scrape off frosting to make it a thinner layer.
-These aren’t too difficult to make when you get down to it, so don’t be scared! Just have fun! I have done the annoying stuff so you don’t have to worry about it. I’ll definitely make these again in the next few months and update you on more tips which arise!
Peppermint Petit Fours Makes: about 12
1 Chocolate cake (recipe follows)
1 Batch of peppermint buttercream (recipe follows)
1-2 cups white chocolate buttons
Mint chocolate pieces, sprinkles, etc if you want to decorate the tops.
1.Cut your sheet cake into rectangles two inches by 1 1/ 2 inches.
2. Pipe frosting on top of half the rectangles. The layer of frosting should be about half the thickness of your cake layer.
3. Top each frosted rectangle with an unfrosted piece of cake.
4. Coat the sides of your sandwich cake with a thin layer of frosting. Do not frost the top or bottom.
5. Cool in the refrigerator at least five minutes. (If you are doing this ahead of time cover cakes with cling film, if you’re assembling within 20 minutes you don’t need to worry about it.)
6. Melt your chocolate buttons by microwaving them in a heat-proof container, stirring every 15 seconds until they are completely melted.
7. Using a spoon, poor chocolate onto the cakes. I recommend pouring chocolate on each side and smoothing it with the spoon, if you pour the chocolate on the top and let it go down the sides you’ll miss spots of the cake and it will be more clumpy. Smooth a layer of chocolate on the top on its own.
8. If you’re decorating them, now is the time, before the chocolate sets!
9. Let set and enjoy!
60g cake flour
5g Pero (if you have it/can find it, if not don’t worry about it at all. The coffee flavor just enhances the chocolate, but you’d be fine without it)
100 g sugar
2 tbsp cream or whole milk
1/ 2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a quarter sheet pan by lining it with parchment paper.
2. Mix all ingredients together thoroughly.
3. Pour mixture into pan and bake about 15 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
4. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
150g unsalted butter, softened
340g powdered sugar, sifted
4 tbsp cream
1/ 4 tsp peppermint extract
red food coloring
1. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the butter for about five minutes, until it becomes very pale and fluffy.
2. Add half the powdered sugar on a low speed until mostly incorporated and then mix on high for about two or three minutes.
3. Do the same with the other half.
4. Add in the cream, peppermint and one drop of food coloring and mix on high for about five minutes.