Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Valentine's Petit Fours

This recipe was a HUGE success. The cake recipe one of the easiest recipes EVER! The final product was beautiful and tasted a-m-a-z-i-n-g! I made these tonight as a trial run because I was thinking about making them for my daughters Valentine's Day party at school. The kids are going to LOVE these!

Valentine's Day Petit Fours

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (if you want to make your own buttermilk use 1 tablespoon lemon juice and then pour milk over it to bring it up to the 1 cup mark and let it sit for 5 minutes)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (I used 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

This has to be the easiest directions for a cake EVER. Take every single ingredient listed above and put it in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl and use a hand mixer). Mix on medium speed until everything is combined and smooth.

Spray an 11x15 pan (or 9x13 if you don't have an 11x15) with cooking spray made for baking (the kind that has flour in it). If you don't have the right kind of cooking spray, grease and flour your pan. Pour the batter in the pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Mine was perfect at exactly 1 hour. Let the cake cool completely in the pan.

While the cake is baking make the decorations for the top of the cakes. I purchased these molds at the craft store. The are made by Wilton and should be available in most craft stores right now for Valentine's Day. The mold was only $1.99!

I also picked up a bunch of "candy melts" at the craft store. They are typically used for making homemade chocolate pops, but they they can be used for lots of different baking projects. For this particular recipe I bought a bag of red, a bag of pink, a bag of white and a bag of dark chocolate.

To make the decorations place some of the red candy melts in a microwave safe bowl and heat them on high heat for one minute. Stir and then heat again for 30 seconds. Remove the candy from the microwave and stir it again. At this point your chocolate should be completely melted. Some microwaves have different wattage and may require additional time. If you need to heat it again, only heat it for 10-15 seconds at a time and then stir and check the chocolate. You only need to heat it long enough for it to be free of any lumps. If you have a "make n mold" squeeze bottle it will be easier to pour the chocolate into the mold.

If not, you can carefully spoon it into the mold. Once the cavities are filled, gently tap it on the counter to remove any air bubbles. Place the mold in the refrigerator to let the chocolate set. This will happen very quickly. I did not use the picks on the end of the candy to insert it in the cake because the pressure of pushing them in would have cracked the chocolate coating. I used a knife and cut the stem piece off before attaching them to the cakes.

Once the cake has cooled, you can use a round cookie cutter (or biscuit cutter) to create round circles of cake. I picked up a package at the craft store that had all different size cutters. The one I used for this recipe was about a 2" cutter.

I know I don't have to tell you that the scraps can be thrown to the children to keep them quiet while you bake. If I wasn't watching my calories I would have been nibbling on them while I decorated...but I behaved myself! It took great restraint!

Now you need to melt the chocolate to go over the cake. I decided to do half dark chocolate and half white chocolate. Melt the chocolate in the microwave the same way we did above for the decorations. One minute and then 30 seconds each until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remember to stir after each interval.

Place the cake on a wire rack with a piece of wax paper beneath it to catch the excess melted chocolate. Spoon a generous amount of chocolate on the center of the cake. Gently spread the chocolate with the back of a spoon and allow it to ooze down the sides. If you need more chocolate, add it to the top and continue to spread the excess to the sides so it covers it evenly. It may take you a few cakes to get the hang of the best way to do it. The easiest way I can explain it to you is that you will need to use much more than you think on the top to allow the excess to cover the sides. You can always collect the excess that dripped onto the wax paper and re-melt it in the microwave so it isn't wasted. That is one of the best things about using this type of chocolate, it can be melted over and over again even after it has hardened.

When the cake is covered in the chocolate, immediately move it with a spatula to another sheet of wax paper and allow it to set. If you leave it to set on the wire rack it will harden attached to the rack and it will break when you try to move it.

Melt the pink chocolate in the microwave and place it in a disposable pasty bag or ziplock bag. Snip the tiniest edge off the end to allow you to make small dots of pink on the cakes. When you are done, add a small amount of chocolate to the top to attach the decorative heart (remember to remove the picks on the end). Hold it in place for a few seconds to allow the chocolate to harden.

So cute and delicious!! Enjoy!!


Sandra said...

This is really cute..and you just gave me an idea :)) for my daughter's Valentine School Party! Got to try this!!!

Brandie@thecountrycook said...

These really turned out so good!! I am drooling just looking at them!!

Tiffany said...

These are tooooooooooooooo cute! :D

Mateja ^_^ said...

You have an award waiting for you: http://bit.ly/fE7iqT
Mateja @Indulging Life

Mary said...

These really are lovely. I'm new to your blog and after reading this post spent some time poking through some of your other entries. I really love the food and recipes you feature here. I'll definitely be back to see what else you've been baking. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

briarrose said...

These are just lovely! The toppers are wicked cute.

Steph said...

These are too freakin' cute! Love this!

Joy said...

Those are very cute.

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