Tuesday, May 7, 2013

My Favorite Dessert

This past week I've done a little bit of baking. It's fun to know someone's favorite dessert or dinner and even better when you know that you can make it for them just the way they like it.  I know how to make Johnny's favorite chocolate chip cookies and just the way he likes his steak shish-ka-bobs. I know that my sister-in-law, Andrea loves white or yellow cake, buttercream frosting with some almond flavoring. I know that my brother loves chocolate eclair cake, carrot cake, and those peanut butter cookies with the hershey kisses smooshed on top. I know that my Dad loves fruit pies, ice cream, and that he wishes he could have his Mother's orange cake with frosting.  I know that my sister-in-law, Jenn loves lemon desserts and lemon bars. As for my sisters, Bev and Michelle - they are kind of like me, anything sweet goes.  However anyone can make my very favorite, brownie ice cream sundae.  I'm not even picky about the brownie, it can come from a vending machine and I'd be happy. I also love bananas foster and yellow cake with chocolate frosting.  If you've never had bananas foster, you need to stop what you are doing and look it up right now. Johnny made it for my birthday one year and now that I know he can make it I'll be requesting it every year.
My Mother-in-law's birthday was this past week her favorite dessert is white/yellow cake (lucky for me) and I was happy to make her birthday cake for work and also a few sweets for the get-together at my house.
Daisy cake

Pansy cupcakes

Pansy cupcakes, petit four

If you look in the back right corner of the photo above you'll see some petit fours or "small cakes". The words petit four in French means "small oven." I've added a few photos below to show you the process.
blanched almonds
Blanching and peeling the almonds to make almond paste for the cake.

Layers of petit fours
The cake is baked in 3 separate jelly roll pans in very thin layers. Jam is typically spread between the layers.
Cut petit fours
A special cutter is used to cut the cake, but my cake was short enough to use a cookie cutter.

A pourable fondant is prepared to spoon over the cakes or alternatively the cakes are dipped into the fondant.

Iced petit fours
It can take a layer or two of icing to cover the cakes if the consistency of the icing is not thick enough.
I pre-made some buttercream icing pansies to place on top of the petit fours which you saw in the photo above.
I used this recipe from Martha Stewart's head baker.  I thought that if I am going to take the time to make petit four the long way, I would use a good recipe. The cake tasted great, but the icing was not to my liking. The icing is Martha's pourable fondant icing.
You could also buy some pound cake, cut it in slices, use a cutter for the shape you prefer, and dip the cake in fondant.  That might be cheating but I don't think anyone would know.

So....Is everyone thinking of their favorite dessert and wishing that someone would make it for them?


  1. How do you find the time with the little lady? Everything you make is amazing!!

    1. Oh - I break everything down into little increments of time! Almost always after she is safely snoozing at night - so yeah, I stay up late. Thanks for the compliment, Mindy!