This was my first attempt at making petit fours, and I would really like to preface my work with this: I was tired. I know they could have been prettier, but I was exhausted and in a hurry. And I knew they would be devoured in minutes. I had been planning a baby shower for an old work friend, and I had a lot to do. I was supposed to shop for food yesterday, but Anthony had a fever and we didn’t go out. So today, we woke up early and went to two stores to get everything I needed for this outdoor baby shower (which happened in the rain, by the way). By the time we got home, I had three hours to make everything, shower, and get out the door. Luckily, my husband was very helpful in taking caring of little man (as well as taking a nap together!). And though I had little time, I wanted to make sure I snapped a few pictures of my new project.
While at Target, we found a cake mix called “Duff: Blue Suede” from Duff Goldman of the Ace of Cakes fame. I thought it was neat that they would be blue cupcakes for a boy’s baby shower, so we gave it a whirl. The batter seemed really thin and had a light blue, almost grayish color to it. The picture makes it seem even worse.
Has a tar-like sheen, doesn’t it? Now, I know the appearance of the batter generally doesn’t have anything to do with the finished product, and this was very much the case here. More on that later.
I mentioned the batter was thin, and I point it out simply because it was very hard to fill mini-cupcake molds with it. The pan was a mess. But, I had already resigned myself to this choice.
Hey look! You can see me in the reflection of the bowl! Clearly not my cleanest photography either.
My first batch was no good for petit fours. I filled the molds a little over halfway, like I would normal cupcakes, but since they only needed to back around 12-14 minutes, they didn’t puff up over the paper mold. These became my taste tests. Very tasty tests. The cake was very moist, and I think it might have been because it called for egg whites only. Regardless, the cakes were very yummy even without frosting. As the box described, the blue coloring packet also added just a hint of blueberry flavor. Delicious.
My second and third batches of minis came out much better, and the color was very cute for a shower.
In order to make the icing for the petit fours, I needed it to harden. To do so, I followed some good instructions in a new cupcake book I was given by my mother-in-law called Hello, Cupcake! I took about a third of the plain vanilla Pillsbury frosting and tinted it using my gel food coloring. I opted for a pale green and a pale yellow. After I tinted the frosting, I placed it in the microwave for about five seconds at a time until it was the consistency of whipped cream. I then dipped the petit fours into the frosting by holding onto the paper mold. I let the extra frosting drip a bit, did a little twirl as I lifted it upright, and placed them on the table to harden.
The frosting did harden, though in transit they were still somewhat easily smeared. I may have heated the frosting a little too much. If I were to do them again, I would make some changes. I loved the batter, but I think it would be easier to make with a slightly thicker one. I would also likely need to adjust my heating techniques so it hardens enough to do little designs, and I should have gone with pale blue frosting.
In the end, they were a smashing success, so I can’t complain too much. Except maybe about that rain.