Wednesday, February 21, 2007
This one is coming to ya courtesy of Gale Gand. For those of you who don't know, Gale Gand is an AMAZING pastry chef (I want to be her) that hosts the show "Sweet Dreams" on the food network, and is the head pastry honcho for Tru in downtown Chicago. She has a couple (4 maybe, 5?) books and they are all AWESOME. I cannot get enough of her.
For the Cake
4 egg whites
1 stick unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 tbl. baking powder
2/3 cup milk, at room temp
For the Fondant
2/3 cup corn syrup
2/3 cup hot water
7 cups powdered sugar
6 drops lemon extract
you'll also need cookie cutters in whichever shapes you like (MAKE THEM SIMPLE THOUGH... not a lot of crazy edges because then they look all gloppy and weird)
What to do, what to do
Preheat your oven to 350 Degrees Farenheit.
Whip egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl, cream the butter until smooth. Slowly add the sugar, while the mixer is still running. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix until combined.
Sift the flour and baking powder 3 times (just do it or you won't have as light of a cake as you could) Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine. Then add 1/2 of the milk and mix again. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix. Then the remaining milk and milk - and FINALLY the flour mixture and mix until smooth. Fold in the egg whites.
Pour the batter into a parchment lined jellyroll pan and SMOOTH the top with a spatula. (Make sure it is really smooth or your cake will be all wonky and uneven and I will come to your house and point and laugh at you... no not really but seriously... you better) Bake until firm to the touch (20-25 min.) Let cool in the pan and then chill.
Making fondant -
Whisk the corn syrup into the hot water until it is dissolved. Then whisk in the powdered sugar until smooth. Stir in that lemon extract. Divide into plastic cups and add food coloring until you get the color you want. (we were having a fat tuesday party, so our stuff is a little bit BRIGHT)
Cut the cold cake into whichever shapes you like. I chose to split each piece of cake into 2 layers and put raspberry jam in between some of them, and nutella in between others. I love nutella. :)
Either dip the cakes into the fondant (she says... I think they'd fall apart) or ladel the fondant over the cakes. In either case, set the cake pieces onto a wire rack that is set over a cookie sheet so your counter doesn't look like the Paas Dynasty has exploded on you. Let the things dry. Then coat em again. You can then add lines or candies or whatever.
Chances are you are going to need some help.... Enlist the aid of family.
Who can say no to getting a bunch of little pieces of cake? There are plenty of cake scraps to eat, and jelly and the icing gets all over. It's fun. See - Marty is having a good time!
When it is all over, and the icing is out of your hair and the crying has ended. You end up with this...
It wasn't difficult - just time consuming. A lot of fun though if you have a Petit Party. AHAHA. I kill me
Petit Fours 3.5 out of 5