I've been to tea parties before, but lately I've had a strong craving to host my own. The boyo thinks I'm silly, but I've a tea set that's yet to be used and a desire to bake lots of little edibles. In fact, when I saw Jen's petit four post from Use Real Butter, I couldn't wait any longer. Raspberries were on sale and I had a couple of days off from work -- it was perfect timing. I'm just considering it practice!
Jen's recipe is for higher altitudes, but since I'm at sea level and already having various problems adapting my baking to the climate, I decided to piece together some well-known recipes for my own version.
I was expecting to have ~30 petit fours, but I ended up with over 100. Luckily, the boyo's coworkers were gratifyingly appreciative so there weren't leftovers to worry about, but you should scale the recipe accordingly if you're not feeding a small army.
Raspberry Lime Petit Fours
* 2 recipes Hot Milk Sponge (recipe below)
* 1 recipe Raspberry Jam (recipe below)
* 1 recipe Lime Buttercream (recipe below)
* 1 recipe Lime Syrup (recipe below)
* 2 recipes White Chocolate Fondant (recipe below)
* raspberries for garnish (washed and dried before use)
Hot Milk Sponge (compliments of Our Patisserie)
* 1/4 c milk
* 2 Tbsp butter
* 3/4 c sifted cake flour
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 3/4 c sugar
* 3 large eggs
* 3 large egg yolks
* 1 Tbsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 400F. Line the bottom of a jelly-roll pan (I just used a cookie sheet with sides) with parchment so that the paper overhangs the pan at 2 opposite ends.
Heat milk with butter in small saucepan until butter melts. Reduce heat to low, and keep hot, but do not simmer. Sift flour with baking powder twice. Return to sifter and set aside.
In large heatproof bowl, combine sugar, whole eggs, egg yolks and vanilla. Set the bowl in a pan of barely simmering water and whisk occasionally, until lukewarm to the touch. Now take off heat, and beat at high speed until mixture has cooled, tripled in volume, and has the consistency of thick whipped cream.
Sift one-third of flour mixture over batter, and fold in gently by hand, using the largest spatula you have. Fold in half of remaining flour; then fold in the remainder. Pour the hot milk and butter into batter and fold well, scraping the bottom each time and bringing the batter up the sides of the bowl until you can no longer see traces of liquid.
Turn batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 10 minutes. The cake will have browned on top, and started to shrink from the sides of the pan.
Raspberry Jam (compliments of my grandma!)
4 c raspberry (fresh or frozen)
4 c sugar
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Place the sugar in a oven-safe pan and heat for 15 minutes (heated sugar dissolves more easily.)
In a large saucepan mash the raspberries with a potato masher over high heat. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and strain out seeds.
Return raspberry juice to saucepan and bring back to a boil. Add sugar and boil for 5-7 minutes - remove from heat when thickened.
Let cool before using.
Lime Buttercream (compliments of Use Real Butter)
* 8 oz egg whites
* 15 oz sugar
* 1 lb butter, room temperature
* 1 Tbsp lime zest
* 4 Tbsp lime juice
Combine egg whites and sugar in a stand mixer. Whisk constantly over a bain marie until 140F is reached. Place on mixer witha whisk and whip until stiff. Turn down whip speed to 3rd and whip until cool to the touch -- this will take a while, should be cooler than your hand.
Change to a paddle and gradually add soft butter by tablespoons. Mix to emulsify. Once desired consistency has been reached, add lime juice and zest.
Lime Syrup (compliments of Use Real Butter)
* 1 c sugar
* 1 c water
* 2/3 c lime juice
Heat water and sugar in a pot until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and turn off heat. Let cool, then mix in lime juice.
White Chocolate Fondant
* 4 c powdered sugar
* 1/2 c water
* 1/4 c light corn syrup
* 1/2 tsp vanilla
* 1/4 tsp almond extract
* 5 Tbsp butter
* 1/3 c heavy cream
* 12 oz white chocolate
* food coloring (optional)
Combine the sugar, water, corn syrup and flavorings in a double boiler over medium heat. Stir until smooth, then add the cream, butter, and white chocolate. Stir until incorporated, watching that it doesn't burn. Add coloring to preference.
Make the sponge and cool completely. Slice into quarters and freeze, placing wax paper liners between sections. When frozen thoroughly, using a long serrated knife (a bread knife is ideal) slice each quarter horizontally. Return to the freezer until jam, buttercream and syrup are finished.
Heat jam until liquid (I did this in small batches). Using one quarter of the sponge, brush the bottom half with the lime syrup then spread the jam over the syrup. Spread the buttercream on the bottom of the top half of the sponge, and place over the jam (sandwich style). Brush the top of the sponge quarter with the syrup again, and refreeze. Repeat with the rest of the sponge.
Once the sponge sections have been sandwiched and completely refrozen, slice into 1"x1" squares (you may need to clean your knife several times during this process). Return to the freezer while you make the fondant.
Place a wire cooling rack over a cookie sheet and arrange the cake cubes about 1 inch apart from each other. The following process works best if the fondant is very warm and liquid. Using a ladle, pour the fondant over each cube, using a toothpick to smooth out any gaps. Garnish with raspberries before fondant cools.
Allow petit fours to sit for a few minutes and fondant to harden. Using a sharp paring knife, free the base of the petit four from the rack and place into a cupcake liner. The leftover fondant from the cookie sheet/rack can be reheated and reused - just make sure it's free of cake crumbs. Keep finished petit fours refrigerated until ready to serve.