Wednesday, 8 September 2010
Candied Orange Petit-Four
I made a batch of these last Christmas, should any stray relative or friend amble by our home for a holiday tea. In the worse-case scenario of unexpected company, these cakes could be taken from their stasis (i.e. the freezer), thawed, plated, and quickly decorated. Potential social disasters averted!
The details: The cake is a simple white cake, baked in a slab, and sliced in half. Each half way brushed with a simple syrup (it may have had Amaretto in it as well). Orange marmalade was sandwiched between the moist cake-halves. The entire cakewich was then covered in marzipan and then cut into individual pieces.
Ok, so it actually isn't a traditional petit-four. It's more of a lazy man's take on the delightful French treat - keeping the marzipan but losing the fondant. Nevertheless, they fulfill one of the golden rules of cooking: if you serve it small and on a big enough plate, it'll look good.
I jest; thought did go into the presentation of these little gem-like cakes. The toppings are homemade candied orange peels, diced and tossed in sugar, and melted sugar, pull and spun around a wooden dowel to make delicate coils. Large spirals are carefully snipped with scissors into small sections, and then placed as the finishing touch.