Considering I have never liked the taste of them, I sure do make a lot of things inspired by licorice allsorts! I just love how fun and colourful they are, and you should all know by now how much I love things-that-look-like-other-things 🙌
I also love petit fours because they are adorable and there’s so many possibilities when it comes to design and filling! The first petit four recipe I shared on here were the Deadpool “puzzle” ones in May last year, which I LOVED making. Who said playing with your food was bad?! It’s so much fun! 🙊
I also shared some neon Halloween ones in October, and as much as I loved both designs, I realised I was focused too much on the look of the petit fours, and not spending enough time on the actual taste. I knew that had to change, so I did some brainstorming and this is what I came up with!
These petit fours are a little more creative than vanilla cake with some fondant on top. In fact, they’re made up of three different components: rich black velvet cake, delicious whipped cream, and some super colourful fondant! I’m sure you’re going to love them 😉
YOU WILL NEED:
For the black velvet cake:
♡ 200g unsalted butter, softened
♡ 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
♡ 2 cups flour (I used gluten free, but you can use the same amount of plain flour)
♡ 2 tsp baking powder
♡ 3/4 cocoa powder
♡ 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
♡ 1 cup milk
♡ 3 eggs
♡ Black food colour (I used Chefmaster’s Coal Black gel, which they kindly sent to me, but you can find it at Spotlight in Australia!)
For the whipped cream:
♡ Full cream
♡ White sugar
For the coloured fondant:
♡ Fondant in yellow, orange and pink
♡ White fondant AND yellow, orange + pink gel food colour
♡ Stand mixer
♡ Spatula + angled spatula
♡ Food safe gloves
♡ Mini square cookie cutter
♡ Piping bag + round tip
♡ 8 inch cake pan, round or square (although I would recommend square for this recipe, as we want straight edges for our petit fours)
1. Make the black velvet cake first. Preheat your oven to 180C and grease your cake pan. Cream your butter and sugar together until smooth.
2. Beat in one egg at a time, incorporating fully before adding the next one, then mix in the vanilla.
3. Combine the dry ingredients together, then alternate between adding increments of the dry ingredients and the milk into your bowl. Mix well until combined.
4. Now, drip a few drops of your black food colour into your bowl, and mix well. Use a spatula to scrape off any mixture from the sides or bottom of the bowl to ensure that it is all being mixed together. Continue adding a few drops of black food colour until you achieve your desired colour, keeping in mind that it will darken as it cooks.
5. Pour your cake mix into your prepared pan. There won’t be very much of it, but since we only need very thin pieces of cake, this won’t be a problem. Bake for 30 minutes, then check if it’s baked all the way through by using a cake tester or skewer. If the mixture is still a liquid, bake for another 15 minutes, or until you can insert a tester and it comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
6. If you’ve already got the required colour of fondant already, roll out each colour until it is 1/4-1/2 of an inch thick, then cut out as many mini squares of each colour as possible. Keep in mind that, even though I chose not to, you can always mix and match colours if you have an uneven amount of one colour!
I always recommend rolling your fondant onto some baking paper as it usually doesn’t stick to it, and if it does, you can just life the baking paper up and flip it over to get the fondant to fall off without ruining the shape you’ve made!
7. If you’re colouring your own fondant, break up your white fondant into three piles. Pick up one pile, put on your food safe gloves, and add a few drops of your chosen gel food colour onto the white fondant.
Then start kneading it like dough until the colour is completely mixed through! This can take some time, and get a bit sticky, so once again I will recommend that you put down some baking paper AND switch gloves in between each colour.
This part is a little tedious, but I promise that, with enough kneading, the fondant will eventually become one colour and won’t be sticky anymore. Once it’s completely coloured, roll it until it’s 1/4-1/2 of an inch thick, then cut out as many mini squares of each colour as possible. Set the fondant squares aside.
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8. Your black velvet cake should have cooled down by now, so you can start cutting it into squares. Press your square cookie cutter into the bottom corner of your cake, then slide an angled spatula underneath the square you just cut out and pulled it away from the rest of the cake. Carefully push the cake out of the cookie cutter and wipe the cookie cutter so there’s no remaining cake in it.
9. My cake came out thicker than I wanted my cake layers to be in my petit fours, so I cut each square in half horizontally so they would be thinner. If you want, you can grab a ruler and try to measure each square and cut them to the same thickness as your fondant, but be careful not to make them too thin, or they’ll just fall apart. Repeat steps 8 and 9 until you’ve cut as many cake squares out as possible!
10. Before you whip your cream, you’re going to begin layering your cakes from the bottom. This means getting a square of fondant and placing a square of cake on top of it, which you will eventually top with whipped cream, more cake, and more fondant. So you don’t get confused about how many petit fours you’ll be able to make, I recommend getting the components of each one ready now.
This means placing the bottom pieces of fondant and cake on top of each other, and keeping the top pieces nearby to add on top once you’ve piped your cream. Once they are ready, move onto your cream!
11. I started with a cup of cream and a tablespoon of sugar at a time, poured them both into a bowl and started whipping. The exact amount you’ll need depends on how many squares you hope to make, and how much cream you’d like in each petit four. Remember that this cream has to hold up a piece of cake and fondant, so make sure that you whip it until it’s stiff enough to hold the bowl upside down without the cream moving.
I decided to do two “layers” of whipped cream in my petit fours so that there’s a nice, sweet centre along with the richness of the chocolate cake and the fondant, as not everyone is a huge fan of fondant. Once you think you have enough cream to go fill in each petit four then transfer the cream over to a piping bag.
12. I chose to put a circle piping tip in my bag, but if you’re confident enough, you can simply snip off the end (if you’re using a disposable bag) with scissors and pipe with that. Either way, start by piping an outer square of cream on your partially-assembled petit fours, then continue to fill that in with more cream.
If you think your first layer of cream looks too thin compared to your layer of cake, then repeat this step and add another layer of cream on top, which is what I did. Before you add the second piece of cake and fondant of top, carefully smooth out the edges of the cream and with an angled spatula or butter knife. Then carefully place the other cake and fondant layers on top of the cream. Repeat this step until all your petit fours are finished!
Whew! We’re done. This is definitely one of the most detailed recipes I have posted, but that’s exactly what I was hoping for. I am really trying to branch out with my desserts, create things I’ve never created before (such as black velvet cake! This was my first time, and the result was delicious 😋), and try to add in new details that I didn’t consider during the beginning planning stages.
Of course, I know not everyone has the time, energy OR resources to recreate a super elaborate recipe every week, so I will make sure there’s a good balance of super easy recipes on The Small Adventurer as well as some more time-consuming, but ultimately rewarding ones too ☺️
Until next time,