Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lou's Petit Fours

Lou's Petit Fours...

Today's adventure...petit fours.  It was a challenge from Katharyn and one Julie and I eagerly accepted.   The recipe comes from a woman in Jackson, Mississippi named Lou.  These are Katharyn's favorite petit fours and we decided, with the amount of showers we throw, it could be a good recipe to master.  Although we didn't master it this first time, I feel like next time we will succeed.  

(Julie did this part before our arrival because the cake has to freeze.  You want to allow time for that.) Mix 1 box of white cake mix according to directions on box.  We used Duncan Hines.  Julie added a little almond flavoring and it took on the taste of a wedding cake so be sure to add 1/4 teaspoon of almond flavoring.  Bake 17 to 25 minutes at 350 in 10 1/2 x 15 1/2 jelly roll pan.  Cake should be done, but not brown on top.  (Baking time depends on your oven.) 

Remove the cake from oven to cooling rack.  Immediately cover cake with wax paper, pat lightly to adhere wax paper to top of cake.  

Let cake stand for 5 minutes and remove wax paper from cake to remove crumb crust.  Continue to cool cake on rack for 10 to 15 minutes.  Place new layer of wax paper on cake; lay cooling rack upside down on cake (over paper) and turn cake out of pan.  Very carefully brush crumbs from bottom of cake. 

Freeze cake until firm.

Henry channeling his innermost Lou...
Once frozen, frost cake with thin layer of buttercream icing.  Ours is entirely too thick....

While still frozen, trim 1/8" from cake with long serrated knife* and cut cake into 1 1/2" squares.  Frost with quick fondant, let dry 10 minutes and decorate.

*Rinse crumbs and frosting from knife between each cutting with hot water.
Lou's Buttercream Frosting
(for top of cake before trimming and cutting)
1 cup solid shortening
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon clear vanilla (to keep icing white)
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water
2 lb powdered sugar, sifted

In stand mixer, whip shortening and salt until ligh.  Combine flavoring and water in a measuring cup.  Add sugar and water mixture alternately to the shortening on low speed.  Beat well until mixed.
Lou's Quick Fondant Icing 
7/8 cup skim milk
3 tablespoon solid shortening
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon clear vanilla
1 teaspoon butter extract
2 lb powdered sugar, sifted
Combine skim milk, shortening and salt in double boiler.  Make certain water does not reach bottom of pan.  Heat until shortening mixture is melted.  

Pregnant Kat = cuteness.
Remove from heat.  With hand mixer, add vanilla, butter extract and sifted sugar to heated mixture in double broiler.

Place cooling rack over wax paper to catch drips.  Pick up one cake square on end of large angled spatula.  Hold over double broiler, pour 1/2 cup of icing over cake, making sure to cover all sides.  Rake excess icing off large spatula with a small angled spatula back into double broiler.  Ease petit four onto cooling rack.

Should frosting become too thick: add 1 teaspoon of hot milk and stir.  Never return to heat.  If still too thick, continue adding 1 teaspoon of hot milk, stirring until you get the right consistency.

-Layer buttercream on the top VERY lightly or you will end up with too thick icing.
-Skim milk is necessary.  Ours never hardened and we think this is due to our 2% substitution.
-We ran out of icing.  You need to thin out the icing.  Thin = better.