Stephanie from Stevens Point, WI (2018 Week 9: Patisserie)




Stevens Point, WI

Baking Challenge

Petits Fours

Have fun giving your creation a name and please describe your recipe.

Please, No More Petits Fours – I'd never made Petits Fours before, so wanted to give it try. Started reading and saving recipes that looked good. I changed my mind a dozen times. This was definitely the most frustrating and difficult challenge for me thus far. Everything took forever to do. Nothing went quite right. Before even finishing the first batch I was cursing the fussy little bites and throwing utensils across the kitchen. I guess I just don't have the patience for it.

I started with Vanilla Cherry Pound-cake. The cake was a Martha Stewart recipe. I thought the batter seemed way too thick/dry. It was. It looked perfectly right but my mouth wasn't pleased. The glaze for them is from Taste of Home. I incorporated Maraschino cherry juice for the pink color. What a mess in the kitchen. Pink sticky stuff everywhere.

Next I had the idea to make "Chocolate Stars." That didn't go well at all… I buttered the pan and lined with parchment. They didn't want to come out willingly. Instead on the plate is a dark chocolate brownie, with a layer of 60% cacao chocolate and then topped with a layer of toasted coconut and butter. I tried for perfect little squares. Didn't have a square cutter, so cut them by hand. They are delicious and very rich but my presentation is a bit off. I have friends who will eat them up, or I'll freeze them and pull them out for holidays.

After three days working on the first two, I didn't want to begin another batch. I was hungry and kind of crabby. Decided I was going to make a savory one. I'd read about Salé petits fours. Wanted to use puff pastry. Discovered it doesn't perform well when cut in shapes less than inch. They just exploded into little layers of fluff in the oven. I had to pick through them to find usable pieces. I had intended to make a filling, then layer toppings, all elegant. Well, that didn't go very well either. Ended up making an Italian tuna salad, topping with a teeny, tiny wedge of tomato, a sliver of Kalamata olive, a brunoise cube of yellow pepper and a wee leaf of parsley. I salvaged enough to make what you see in the picture which I promptly ate after I took the picture. The only thing positive I can say is they are one bite. I got the size correct.

Tell us about your creation's final texture after baking. Are you happy with it?

Pound cake was too dry, brownie is quite dense (which is OK) and puff pastry turned to crumbs. Nope.

Detail how you added a Wisconsin twist to your flavors or presentation.

A couple sticks of Wisconsin butter went in the pound cake and brownies… and hours of my life I'll never get back. 😉

How did you do?

Yikes! And not happy about it.