June 16, 2013

Art Deco Petit Fours

Finally, my first post this summer. I definitely have a lot of posts in mind (and on the back burner, some even from last summer :O), just trying hard to find the time to put them together. At least I'm back home for the summer, which means I have 24/7 access to an oven :).

A few weeks ago, I kicked off the summer with a 1920s cocktail party. I had just seen The Great Gatsby in theaters a few days before the party, so I was pretty inspired to make a lavish, yet delicate dessert. There's this one scene where Gatsby, Daisy, and Nick have tea at Nick's little cottage. Gatsby has all these lovely flowers and desserts (macarons and tiered cakes) brought into to fill up the house. At first I was going to bake macarons, but that seemed too obvious of a choice. And I didn't want to make a full cake since it was a cocktail party with appetizer-type foods. Finally, I settled on petit fours.

While searching for the perfect petit fours recipe, I came to the conclusion that they are difficult to make.... which pretty much sealed the deal, since you all know I love a good baking challenge. Since petit fours tend to be little square cakes, I decided that it would be fitting to decorate them in an Art Deco style (popular in the 1920s), with geometric shapes and clean lines. I searched high and low for the perfect cake and poured fondant recipes to use, to make sure this would be a success.

I knew a variety of different cakes could be used for petit fours, but I ended up with a sturdy genoise since I wanted a cake that wouldn't fall apart when I dipped them in fondant. Also, I found the perfect poured fondant recipe. I wanted a fondant that was opaque and good for dipping, so this fit the bill. And yes, though it's called "poured" fondant, I decided to dip the cakes in fondant rather than pour them since pouring fondant seemed to be the biggest hassle for bloggers making petit fours. So in the end, this turned out rather well, not really a challenge after all. Lovely little cakes, perfect for a party.