Since I saw Anna Olson make petit fours on her show Sugar all those years ago, I have really wanted to make them. It was one of the first times I had ever seen fondant being used and it totally seemed out of my reach. Now, thanks to Wilton, I can make them any time!
Wilton Cake Decorating Products
I was so excited to get this giant box of decorating supplies from Wilton! As you know, I am trying to heal my relationship with cake. I asked Wilton to send me products that would make someone physically challenged with hand pain like me be able to decorate a cake with minimal effort. They spoiled me rotten!
They sent tons of their edible decorating paper, flower mini punch, border cutting insert, decorative fondant punch set, ready-to-use rolled white fondant and the book Candy Making Beginner’s Guide. Talk about generous! To learn more about these products you can watch me talk about them on my blog bday video on YouTube. The section about Wilton is halfway through the video.
The Frangelico Syrup
Onto the petit fours! One cool thing that I learned in that miserable class is if you want your cakes to be moist, make sure to brush on a syrup to keep them from drying out!
Here I made a simple syrup with 50% water and 50% sugar (1/2 cup & 1/2 cup). I brought it to a boil and then turned down the heat to a simmer for 5 minutes. Then, just for fun, I added 2 tbsp of Frangelico. Yum! You can flavour it anyway you want, depending on the kind of cake and icing you make.
The Nutella Mascarpone Icing
Isn’t this cool? It’s a Wonder Plunger Measuring Cup from ThinkGeek. Review to come soon!
I measured out 1/2 cup of Nutella (now that is a kind of chocolate I LOVE!) and 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese.
I sifted in around 1/2 cup of icing sugar and creamed together until it was a spreadable consistency. And delicious!
Constructing The Petit Fours
I made my own pound cake which was still super tender the next day. It was also very flat in comparison to store-bought pound cakes. My advice? Get a store-bought pound cake. This was really tough to work with.
I trimmed off the crust (I know, waste, I hate waste too but I snacked on a lot of it).
I definitely wanted the classic square petit four so I cut three long slices, stacked them and then cut them into a stack of three squares. I hope that makes sense!
I brushed the now-cooled Frangelico syrup onto the top layers of the pound cake.
Then I put some of the Nutella icing in between the layers.
I did this with a round version as well. It was at this point I remembered why you do not want a super tender cake to decorate. It falls apart! And, I should have put the mini cakes in the freezer before trying to frost so the icing would adhere better.
Sadly, I did not and as I tried to add frosting to the sides, it clumped horribly! I tried to smooth it out with my fingers which was messy and annoying. At this point, sadly, I kind of gave up trying to make everything perfect.
Decorating The Petit Fours
I rolled out a small piece of fondant on a board that had some icing sugar on the surface. I added some icing to the rolling pin too. I rolled a piece out large enough to cover the round version of the cake. I smoothed the sides down with my hands and then used a pizza cutting to remove the excess fondant. I did the same thing for the square cakes.
The fondant was a dream to work with. It did still stick to my board and crack here and there but the quality of Wilton’s fondant is excellent, I am happy to report. Just like at my baking class.
Wilton’s edible decorating paper comes one sheet per package. Each sheet is on a plastic backing. I just used my scissors to cut a part off, then removed the backing, which was a little challenging but not a big deal.
Then I used the flower mini punch to create flowers. It worked so well! Almost too well. Some went spinning onto my kitchen floor. I loved this tool, it worked brilliantly and the only thing you needed to adhere it to the fondant was a little water on the back. I think I actually used some of the syrup, LOL.
Easy peasy and very pretty! Imagine a cake covered in these flowers? Or having a boarder of them along the bottom? Stunning and no piping involved!
Because the cakes I made were so small, I wasn’t sure how I was going to use the border cutting insert. Turns out, it didn’t matter.
The sugar sheets along the top got stuck and tore as I tried to remove them. I am not completely sure I did this right so I have to look into it further. This may have been my fault.
I wanted to add some colour to fondant in order to use the decorative fondant punch set. I got out my Wilton orange food colouring paste and added some to their fondant. Oh it made it nice and pliable! It was like working with clay. (I love working with clay!)
My hands got all nice and orange but that does not bother me at all. If you hate that, just wear some latest gloves when kneading the colour info the fondant.
I rolled out the fondant and used the decorative fondant punch to create this design! I love it! This really would be an amazing tool for adding imprinted detail to a ribbon of fondant going up a cake. This was easy use and had high visual impact.
Not a traditional flowery petit four but I like the modern take on it. Imagine trying to do that decorating by hand? No thanks!
I used the center that was punched out to decorate the top of the other petit four.
I used two other designs that came with the decorative fondant punch set to decorate two other petit fours. I think not bad considering I haven’t tried decorating in years!
Now this is not to say this was easy and not time consuming. My back was a very unhappy camper the day I made these. But I got to work through some of the emotional crap about making cake and did have fun, especially when I started modelling and colouring fondant.
And the cake?! Pretty darn tender and delicious! I loved the Nutella icing and the moist flavouring of the Frangelico with the vanilla pound cake was fabulous.
As much as making petit fours was an interesting walk down cake decorating lane, I am looking forward to jumping into Candy Making Beginner’s Guide, thanks to Wilton! I think that will make for fun foodie posts too.
Thanks again for all the healing thoughts and energy everyone! I think I made a big step towards falling in love with cake because of you.