Kinds of Petits Fours

Written by evelyn king
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Kinds of Petits Fours
Modern petits fours are rarely restricted to only pastry items. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

A "petit four" (petits fours in the plural) is a small, fancy biscuit or cake which is traditionally served at the end of a meal in France. Originally they were made with pastry, but a modern-day selection of petits fours could include a variety of sweet cakes including meringues, marzipans and chocolate.

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Marzipan Petits Fours

Marzipan petits fours are simple to make since they do not need to be baked. However, a chef's mini blowtorch is useful to brown the icing. 100g of marzipan and 55g of pre-rolled icing makes four petits fours. Cut the marzipan into four equally-sized cubes and wrap each in icing. Brown with a blow torch and decorate with additional icing if desired.

Layer Cake Petits Fours

Layer cake petits fours are simply small cubes of layer cake with decorative icing. Make a rectangular layer cake and cut it into equal-sized cubes. Dip each cube into poured fondant and decorate with additional icing or melted chocolate.

Sponge Cake Flavors for Petit Fours

Simple jam layer cake does work well as a petit four, but sponge cake flavoured with spirits or liquors or fruits offers an even more flavoursome, moist cake. Adding lemon zest to the cake mixture, for example, is a simple way to introduce a delicate flavour to the petits fours. You can even colour code your icing to represent the flavours of sponge.

Meringue Petits Fours

Mini meringues, topped with whipped cream and fruit such as raspberries make for a variation on more traditional petits fours. Whip the whites of two large eggs with a pinch of salt, gradually adding 1/2 cup superfine granulated sugar, until the mixture becomes thick. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag and pipe 1.5-inch wide discs onto a baking tray lined with parchment. Leave 1/2 inch between each disk. Bake at 79.4 degrees C for about 90 minutes. The meringues are ready when dry but still white. Allow them to cool in the oven before removing and allow to cool further before decorating with cream and berries.

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