Aug 27, 2010

The Daring Baker's Challenge: Petits Fours

The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petits Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.

This time we were challenged to make Ice Cream Petits Fours. As usually when it comes to the Daring Kitchen, it's something I've never made before. I was quite surprised how fast it had been except for the chocolate glaze. Because I have a very tiny freezer I couldn't make an ice cream so I filled them with fruity ricotta cream. It was divine! I loved this challenge :)
Here you have recipes. The original ones can be found here.

You'll need for Brown Butter Pound Cake (for 25 petits fours):
  • 275g unsalted butter
  • 200g sifted cake flour
  • 5g baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 110g packed light brown sugar
  • 95g cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and put a rack in the center. Butter and flour a 23x23cm square pan.
2. Place the butter in a 25cm skillet over medium heat. Brown the butter until the milk solids are a dark chocolate brown and the butter smells nutty. (Don’t take your eyes off the butter in case it burns.) Pour into a shallow bowl and chill in the freezer until just congealed, 15-30 minutes.
3. Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. Beat the brown butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well, and then the vanilla extract.
5. Stir in the flour mixture at low speed until just combined.
6. Scrape the batter into the greased and floured 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula and rap the pan on the counter. Bake until golden brown on top and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

7. Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and invert right-side-up onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

You'll need for Fruity Ricotta Filling (400g, for 25 petits fours):
  • 150g ricotta cheese
  • 250g fruity jam (preferebly a sour or tangy one)

1. Mix all ingredients together until fully incorporated. Add sugar if desired.

You'll need for Chocolate Glaze (for 25 petits fours):
  • 170g milk chocolate
  • 85g heavy cream (33% milk fat)

1. Stir the heavy cream and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat until the chocolate is fully melted. If needed, add more cream to achieve fluid consistency.

1. Once the brown butter pound cake has completely cooled, level the top with a cake leveler or a serrated knife. Then split the cake in half horizontally to form two thin layers.
2. Spread the filling over one of the layers of cake and top with the second layer of cake. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
3. Trim 2cm off each side of the filled cake to leave a perfectly square 19cm filled cake. Cut the cake into twenty five petits fours, each 4x4cm.
4. Glaze the petits fours one at a time: place a petit four on a fork and spoon chocolate glaze over it.
5. Place the petits fours on a parchment-lined baking sheet and return to the fridge for a half of an hour.
Bon Appetite!

The Final Word:
These Petits Fours are very good except for the batter. I mean it's extremely tasty but it lacks the nutty flavour because my brown butter wasn't brown enough I guess :) But the texture of the batter is really wonderful - so chewy, soft, tender and buttery. Simply another great challenge!
Rating: *****/*****


  1. awesome job! they look so cute and perfect. I didn't do ice cream either. Tia @ Buttercreambarbie

  2. Oooh - a fruity ricotta cream sounds delicious, and like a perfect interpretation of the challenge, taking into consideration your lack of freezer space. I highly recommend trying the brown butter and brown butter pound cake again - it really is worth the effort. Great job on the challenge!

  3. You are 13 !!!! wow, I am so impressed. awesome job. I love glad I joined daring bakers to meet such talented people like you