Petits Fours
Saturday, October 22, 2011

We had a short week due to the Salon du Chocolat and World Chocolate Master Competition which took place in Paris over the last 3 days. I will be writing a special, extra-long post, with lots of pictures tomorrow so stay tuned for that! Our Chef took us on a field trip to the Salon du Chocolate on Thursday where we got access to the professionals-only floor. This was also where the competition took place and we were able to watch all the live action from within 2 metres.

But back to what we did in class this week. We worked on petits fours this week, starting with macarons on Monday, and then making over 20 different traditional petits fours (bite-sized cakes and cookies) on Tuesday and Wednesday. I didn’t make every single item but instead, each of us made about 2-3 different petit four recipes.

My first petit four recipe was palets aux raisins. It's a rum-flavoured, crumbly, delicate, thin butter cookie. The batter is the consistency of cake batter so to form the circles, I piped little drops of batter, and then banged my baking sheet a couple times to let the batter spread out, and topped with raisins.

My completed palets aux raisins. I liked the texture of these cookies, almost like a cigarette cookie. However, I don't like rum-flavoured anything (other than in the coffee-liquor of tiramisu) so I didn't enjoy these too much.

Sponges. I'm not sure if that's a French or English name. Maybe it's been mistranslated. But it was a really good cookie sandwich. It's two crunchy light almond cookies with praline buttercream inside.

Cigarettes, crumbly buttery cookie. These are baked as a flat, thin disk, and rolled around a metal rod the moment the come out of the oven. If you wait any longer than 5 minutes, they will start to crack when you roll it or stick to the tray.

Langues de chat. These are a bit more crunchy and crisp then the cigarettes but still with the same buttery goodness.

Sablés Arlequins ou hollandas. Sandy shortbread cookies in a checkerboard pattern.

Florentins. Small disks of nuts, dried fruit, caramelized sugar, honey, and butter. The bottom is covered with a thin layer of chocolate.

Our collection of petits fours from Tuesday (left to right): cigarettes, florentins, financiers, madeleines, sablés arlequins ou hollandas, palets aux raisins, langes de chat, tuiles amandes.

Our collection of petits fours from Tuesday (left to right) continued: palets aux raisins, sablés poché, sponges, tigrés chocolat, tuiles coco, bâtons de maréchaux, diamants noisettes.

On Wednesday, I started with these mini green cakes, moelleux pistache. It consists of a cake made with pistachio paste and a centre of pistachio paste and marzipan.

A close-up of my moelleux pistache. It's too bad that the pistachio (my favourite ingredient) paste had some almond essence which I hate. Not to be confused with natural almonds which I do like. The texture of these are similar to a pound cake.

Sablés nantais. Buttery, sandy cookies, delicious!

Biscuit de Reims. These are plain, lightly sweetened, crunchy, dry cookies. That doesn't sound very good, but I would enjoy these with tea or coffee like a biscotti. I often find that it's the plain, simple things that you can eat often and not get sick of.

Miroirs. A lot of detail goes into this cookie which is not noticeable. It's a ring of almond cookie batter with an almond cream in the centre, baked, then covered with an apricot glaze and then a rum fondant glaze. All for a tiny bite!

No name. Recipe from one of Chef's notes. These were a bit crunchy (outside), chewy and moist (inside) coconut pyramids.

Wednesday's petits fours lined up (left to right): hazelnut coffee meringues, pistache moelleux, biscuit de reims, miroirs, fours poches, hazelnut chocolate meringues, no name coconut pyramids, sablés cannelle, more no name coconut domes.

We learned how to make fondant roses. Above is Chef's example.

Here's my first attempt at a fondant rose.

That’s it for today. Be sure to check out tomorrow’s special post on the World Chocolate Master Competition brought to you by bottomlesstummy!

One Glorious Comment
  • mandy
    May 6, 2014
    Lovely lovely blog! Dying to know which fondant do they use at Fauchon? Thank you for writing these posts!