Raspberry petit fours are not just a fancy name for a dessert but a certified sweet good cake. Don’t get too intimidated with its gorgeous look as it is not as hard as you think to create one. The first couple of times I made the raspberry petit fours, I must admit I got a little stressed out not because I couldn’t do it, but because I was following a raspberry petit fours recipe doesn’t make a good version of it.
The glaze topping was horrible, and my method of cutting and covering them end up being messy. But, you can learn from your mistakes and move on to a much-improved recipe. So, now I can make this bite-sized cake with ease and so will you.
There’s been a lot of excitement going lately about raspberry petit fours dessert because they are in demand this spring season wherein weddings, brunch, and bridal shower are on its peak this time of year. Although I’ve tasted several varieties of raspberry petit fours, I really never thought of making them before, but because I’ve seen people loving it so much that I decided to make these petite cakes my personal goal for the winter season bringing my baking adventure to a new level. It’s also nice that raspberry and strawberry are much cheaper during the winter season and you can easily find it around you as well.
I will show you an easy recipe on making a raspberry petit fours, but we will skip the part making raspberry jam because it is much easier to buy it readily in a local supermarket to save on time. You might ask why I use raspberry and not strawberry for this recipe, well raspberry gives a more intense color than strawberry, and it will make our cake look more attractive, colorful and scrumptious.
The History of Petit Fours
Petit fours were invented in the 19th century by the French. This delightful mini cakes that you see on trays and elegant tables for dinner got their names from the heat setting that used to make them. Although petit fours mean small oven in French, they are not made using tiny ovens. During the 19th century, bakers used a single type of oven, which is described as a huge cabin made out of stone that you can lit a fire underneath. This kind of oven took some time to get hot and took a long time to die. There are only two settings that are used in this oven, the grand four wherein the fire is strong enough to cook meats and other dinner foods. After everything has been cooked, the fire now is set to petit fours, which means the fire is starting to cool down. That’s when pastries, delicious desserts, and bite-sized appetizers are baked. This kind of method in baking described how the petit fours got its name.
It’s easy to indulge in these bite-sized delights because petit fours are pretty to look at as it is so delicious. Petit fours recipes are becoming popular nowadays as they come in two different types: the savory and sweet. The savory are the ones that are served in a cocktail dinner, while the sweet ones have different kinds. Our recipe for today will fall on the fruit-filled petit fours type.
What are the advantages of petit fours, and why I love my unique recipe?
- There are approximately ten million petit fours varieties compared with other mini desserts, but raspberry petit fours are my new favorite. The recipe for this is perfect for beginners, and I also included a video to demonstrate how easy it is to shape and layer them with an option to add other flavors.
- Whenever there’s a special event like a birthday, wedding, or any other reason to celebrate, there is always a layered cake. Unfortunately, cakes can be labor-intensive to prepare, some people may get tired of getting big pieces of cakes, and may not get thrilled with the frostings which are too messy to eat. Unlike with petit fours, they are just bite-sized desserts that you can carry around with finesse while you get acquainted with other guests.
- Since petit fours is a small bite-sized shape, it is easy to take away, a nice gift to give, and one thing I really love is that you can save a lot of time in making them because you can prepare them in advance and you can even store them in the freezer for a long time.
Let us walk through the whole process together in making this delicious easy to make raspberry petit fours.
How To make Raspberry Petit Fours step by step
1. Make American buttercream.
The main difference between buttercream and the whipped frosting is butter. Whipped frosting does not contain butter, which is a lighter and fluffier icing, while buttercream contains a good amount of butter and has a richer flavor, so you be the judge!
I almost always specify unsalted butter in my recipes then add salt back in. I do this because different manufacturers put in various amounts of salt, and I don’t want anyone to make something too salty or not salted enough using my recipes. If you only have salted butter on hand, go ahead and use it. You can add more salt to taste if needed.
2. Sugar Syrup
It is easy and simple to make. You can find the recipe I attached below.
3. Make the cake batter
Since the cake will be filled with icing, I reduced the sugar in the original recipe. I am happy with the sponge cake that I use for this recipe. You can also add some drops of vanilla to enhance its flavor. Next time, I will share with you my recipe on how to make my best ever sponge cake that you will
bake in a sheet pan
The most crucial part of this entire recipe is using the correct size of the baking pan. You can use a 10 x 12 inch (25 x 30 cm)sheet pan. This is a perfect size as you can cut a 3 rectangle shape of petit fours. Place the batter to the pan then keep smoothing it out with a plastic scraper (this part I enjoyed so much). Once the cake cools, it will shrink a bit. Have no fear, that’s totally normal. You will have 3 layers and 10 perfect pieces of raspberry mini cakes at the end.
4. Assemble and cut the pieces. It deserved another detail for this as I will give more instruction below.
How to Assemble and Cut Petit Fours evenly
- I always specify unsalted butter in my recipes, but adding salt back in is optional. After the sponge cake is baked, I leave it just outside for around 10 minutes to cool down. You don’t want to handle it while it is hot as it causes the buttercream to melt and can be messy to handle.
- Start to flip the cake over with a piece of baking paper (or silicon paper at the bottom), then cut it into 3 even strips (see my video for demonstration). I start the first layer by filling the buttercream. The important thing to keep in mind is that the buttercream should be spread out evenly. Then sandwich 3 layers together with a piece of strip cake on top. The secret to applying the buttercream is to pipe it.
- Then apply a jam layer by piping raspberry jam then spread it using a small spatula knife. Finally, place the last cake strip on top. This is now very attractive as playing with the red layer.
- Next step is to apply the layer of buttercream on top, again the same technique but I also. Use a spatula to spread the surface into a pattern like the way I decorate it. Use a ruler to mark the cake to the size you wish. Here I cut 4cm x 4cm (5cm high)
Important step: place the petit four slab to the fridge to let it set.
How to cut and decorate a perfect square petit fours
- Let’s adjust the title like this: how to cut into square shapes with beautiful and clean-cut pieces. After the cake is set, use a sharp knife and dip it into a tall cup of hot water.
- Remember to cut and don’t slice. Let’s cut it straight from top to bottom, clean the knife after every cut by dipping it in hot water then use a towel to dry it.
- Finally, decorate with a fresh raspberry on top and piping some little dots of jam. It looks very colorful and luxurious as a dessert.
That is it, I hope you enjoy the tutorial, as always shoot me whatever questions you may have with this recipe by leaving your comments below.
Raspberry Petit Fours Recipe
- 100 g (3.5oz) raspberry jam
- 454 g (16oz) icing sugar sifted well
- 230 g (8oz) unsalted butter leave it at room temperature
- 45 ml (1/5cup) heavy cream
- 75 ml (1/3cup) water
- 4 tbsp granulated sugar
30 x 25 cm Sponge (12 x 10 inch)
- 3 pc whole eggs medium size
- 5 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp milk can use condensed milk
- 75 g (2.5oz) all purposed-flour
- In a large mixing bowl, use hand mixer, start at the slow speed for about 2 minutes.
- Add half sifted icing sugar into mixing bowl, keep mixing at slow speed, then add remaining icing mixture, keep mixing at slow speed, then speed up to high, mix for another 3-4 minutes, add heavy-cream then keep mixing till color of buttercream comes light and raised volume.
- In a sauce pan, warm up sugar and water, keep stirring until the mixture dissolved.
- Preheat the oven to 170C (338F), then line the baking tray (12 x 10 inch) with silicone paper. Sift plain flour.
- Have a skillet with hot water ready (or a bain marie).
- In the glass bowl with eggs and sugar placed on bain marie, use a hand whisk to beat the mixture until all dissolved and the temperature reach 40C (104F).
- Remove the glass bowl (place a bowl of milk to the bain marie to warm it up for later use).
- Using a hand mixer/stand mixer with a paddle or a whisk attachment to beat the egg and sugar mixture, start from high speed, beat until the mixture raise 3 times.
- Then first add half of sifted flour then practice the Fold-in method, fold from the bottom to the top by rubber spatula, then add the remaining of sifted flour then repeat the process.
- Add warm milk to the mixture, then slowly stirring by a hand mixer till all combined, don't over mix it.
- Pour the batter over the lined baking tray, level and smooth the surface by a plastic scrapper.
- Bake at 170C (338F) for around 10 minutes till the sponge is cooked.
- Remove cake from the oven and allow to cool. Cake will be a little bit yellow and looks very leveled (easy to assemble)
Assemble and Cut Petit Fours
- Cut the sponge into 3 equal strips.
- Place the first layer of sponge strip at the bottom, then piping American buttercream and smooth in with a spatula knife. Put another of sponge strip over the top.
- Pipe another layer of raspberry jam, make sure it is not too thick, smooth and level it with a spatula knife. Add a last sponge piece over the top.
- Apply the last layer of buttercream over the top, then again use the small spatula knife to smooth the surface and decorate the style by gently spreading it ( see the video for full instruction).
- Before cutting: mark the slab by a ruler for every petit four will be 4cm x 4cm (1.5 x 1.5 inch) dimension. Place the slab into the fridge for at least 30 minutes
- To cut Petit Fours: use a sharp knife dipping it into a hot water cup, need to clean the knife every cut. To cut it sharp and clean, do not try to slice the knife, slowly chop it from the top to the bottom (see video for details)
- Decorate with a raspberry on top and by squeezing some dots of jam on top.
- Make in advance: Stop at step 16 then fully warp and place the slab of petit fours into freezer for up to 3-4 months (or in the fridge for 3 days), before to serve, thaw in the fridge over night or at room temperature for 2 hours. Then keep going from step 17 (apply a layer of buttercream, cut and decorate)