Monday, October 30, 2006

Ingredient 101 "The Petit Four"


Time to educate the masses. This post will explain it ALL!
"Explain what miss jin?"
"Why, what a petit four is, of course!"

I receive anywhere from 5 to 20 searches per week asking about these luscious little cakes. Usually something along the lines of: "What is a pedifor?", "How do you spell pedifor?", "What is pedifor dessert?" or, simply, "pedifor".

FIRST: SPELLING!
Petit Four

SECOND: PRONUNCIATION!

"pet-tea for"
(NOT ped-dea! "pet-tea")

THIRD: DESCRIPTION!
A true petit four has MANY LAYERS INSIDE. (Some bakeries just dip a chunk of cake in icing...YUCK! Don't be eating stuff like that!) Follow along with me here, I'll show you pictures & explain.

1. The thin bottom layer is a lightly sweetened shortbread. I make this from scratch, roll it out & lay it in the pan.

2. The next layer is a fruit preserve. Seedless Raspberry or Strawberry Marmalade works best. Mine is imported from Switzerland (the stuff made in the U.S. is usually full of chemicals & preservatives, unless you purchase an Organic variety).

3. Next, I spread a thick layer of homemade frangipane (a bakeable almond sponge). After the trio is baked together I trim the top evenly, if necessary.

4. A deep layer of Belgian chocolate Ganache comes next. Two ingredients only: Belgian Dark Chocolate & heavy cream. This is chilled until firm.

5. They are hand-cut into approximately 1" x 1" squares. (Top view.)

(Side view.)

6. I glaze mine, by hand, with a thinned white or dark chocolate glaze. Traditionally they are glazed with a poured fondant which I find to be a bit too sweet, it almost seems to overwhelm the myriad of delicate flavours.

7. They are topped with a lovely seasonal decoration & they taste PHENOMENAL!!!

Any questions?
I hope you paid attention.
I will quiz you tomorrow.
In order to get an "A" you must:
1. answer everything correctly
or
2. suck up to me A LOT!

27 Responses to “Ingredient 101 "The Petit Four"”

real said...

Those look good, but they look better in person, and I know this from experience.

You know what is better than looking at them?

Eating them. Yummmmmmmmmy!

jin said...

LOL!
Don't you KNOW IT!!!

Hey, you got FIRSTS AGAIN!!!!!

People are going to start getting suspicious.

real said...

It is not my fault you started posting earlier.

Or did I start staying up later.

Something or other I am sure.

Besides people have nothing to be suspicious of if they go look at that countdown clock on my blog.
;)

jin said...

LOL!
I think it's a little of both.

I meant suspicious that I was tipping you off as to when I'm posting!
LOL!

I'm a poor poor jin that could not even begin to compete with a lesleygirl, nor would I try.

I set you 2 up, remember?!!?

Oh, I guess I am AWESOME, afterall!
:-D

LMAO!

How long from start to finish to make a tray of petit fours?

CP

jin said...

Hmmm...good question!

To get the first 3 parts done & in the oven about 30 minutes.

(I usually make at least 3 pans at a time. That's about 300 petit fours.)

They bake for about an hour.

Maybe 10 minutes to mix & pour the ganache.

Then they need to be refrigerated for at least 1 day (or up to 3 days) before cutting them.

Maybe 7-8 minutes per pan to cut them.

They are best dipped after being frozen for 1 day (or up to several weeks at this point).

About 10 minutes to dip & decorate 50. D dips them all now. I used to HATE dipping them. It's one of those putzy things I don't have the patience for.

Most ever ordered at one time: 300

I charge $1.25 each.

They ship FABULOUSLY, BTW.
;-)

Fuff said...

Lovely and calorie free yes?

Anonymous said...


Holy freakin' cow! Those look so darn delicious! I must have some....no I must have all of them.

Now!

Anonymous said...

Oh I had one of those while visiting you. They were so yummy.

Justmee said...

When I seen this posting. I was very excited to learn how too make this. Until I got to the part where it said use "frangipane". lol Even though I payed close attention, I think sucking up would be easier for me, than to try and make this. Thanks for sharing!Looks delicious!

Dan said...

The photo over step 4 looks like an overhead shot of an olympic swimming pool filled chocolate syrup.

And I'm about to dive in.

Andy! said...

Lovely. I adore food preperation - education.

jin said...

fuff: Ok...it's cheesy & I've said it a million times, but I'll probably continue to say it a million more:
*when a customer asks if a product is calorie free*
"Why, YES! Everything here is 'calorie free'. I charge you for the pastry, then I throw in the calories for FREE!!!"
;-)

hippo: *jin reaches through the monitor & hands hippo a plate FULL of petit fours, each one decorated with a likeness of hippo's avatar.*
Enjoy! ;-)

katy: I remember! I meant to give you some to take back with you & I forgot!

justmee: Thanks & WELCOME! :-)
I did try to find a link for frangipane, but none of them were very good! LOL
Wiki has some info on it, but not for this type.
Come back anytime! :-)

dan: Uhh....you mean something like THIS or THIS?

andy: Thank you! I think I'll be doing more of these. I added a category in my sidebar called "Ingredient 101". I think that will include ALL educational posts. Maybe. Then again, you could look for the link tomorrow & it'll be gone. Cos I changed my mind. Then again, maybe not.
:-D

Jewels said...

Oh, and they DO taste PHENOMELAL! I want MORE. Um, will 8 pairs of hoop earrings be enough sucking up to get more? ;) ;) Oh, and I'm with Real here, the taste surpasses the view ten-fold!!!!
Oh, the chocolate ones you sent me were heavenly!!! But I'd be game to try other flavours you make... ;) (don't mind me, I just like ;) a lot... )

jin said...

LOL Jewels!!!
I remember your description of them! I remember hearing you "MMMMmmm" on the phone with me while you were eating the brownies, too!
LOL!
You KNOW I LOVE that stuff!!!
(These were the same inside as your dark ones. I can coat the outside in almost any shade!)

jin said...

jewels: I CAN'T believe I missed commenting on your HOOPS COMMENT!!!!!!!

O M G ! ! !

Well,
YES!!!!!!

H O O P S
:-D
*sigh...jin goes all dreamy*
h o o p s
:-)

Hey maybe Die Murane made the strawberry filling- he's from Switzerland. Gosh, small world, small world...

jin said...

LOL phos! It's possible! Now for the imperative question.......
.....
.....
Does he work in a jam factory????

;-)

Bhakti said...

Okay, so how much cash do I have to send you in order to receive some of these in the mail??? I think these would cure my spinal disease, for sure!!! Yum!

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog--I probably wouldn't have found this awesome blog if you hadn't. :)

BTW--We have very similar tastes in music, movies, and 'interests' in general. Very cool.

jin said...

WELCOME bhakti! :-)

I do believe my goodies help people, even if it's just a brief respite. Everything I bake I make with love. :-)

I ship packages all over! Cookies & bars average about $1.25/piece & it usually costs around $12 for shipping 1-2 dozen pieces.

My Mom's in chronic pain as well. I have printed out several of your guides for her. Thank you for taking the time to put them online! :-)

Middle Child said...

My God...what artistry... can I have one please...pretty please....

jin said...

middle child: Have 2 or 3, they're small!!! :-)

What an artist you are!

jin said...

Thank you evi!!!
:-D

Jewels said...

I know you know I came back to check these babies out...
:)

jin said...

Haahahaaa... MMMmmm Julie! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!