vegan baker


who doesn’t like tea parties? they are wrong.
January 21, 2008, 8:58 pm
Filed under: cake, cookies, pictures

tea1.jpg

I really like tea. Not just the beverage, though I do find tea comforting and helpful pretty much whenever a cup is around. But what I really like is the afternoon tea, that white gloved, obsolete, calling card occasion. This usually translates into a little tea party, minus the dolls.

Above is a picture of an Easter tea party I had a couple of years ago. The cucumber sandwiches have been gobbled up and the chocolate petits fours are long gone. The tea pots are elsewhere, as are the guests. But you can see the unglazed lemon marzipan petits fours still on the table, on the plate in the foreground. They’re oversize because my then-boyfriend preferred them that way (more manly, apparently), and they lack my favorite pink glaze (which was actually less of a threat to the testosterone). But they were amazing nonetheless, because petits fours are the perfect food.

I mean it. Perfect.

I know cupcakes have gotten a lot of press lately, and I love cupcakes. I do. But they’re hard to eat. You have to do a lot of weird frosting-to-cupcake ratio adjustment, and you have to peel off paper. A petit four fits in your mouth easily, has the ratio solved, and only ever touches paper when you get all 50’s and put a doily underneath. Assuming you don’t drown it in fondant, it tastes as good as a rich, moist cake. And it makes you look like the fussiest cook in the world, even though it is damn easy to construct.

When I first started making these little gems, there was absolutely nothing online about veganizing them, and hardly anything about them at all. Now there is a good description of making them at VeganYumYum. But the true magic of petits fours is not in following a set recipe. They are infinitely versatile. Pretty much any cake, any icing that hardens, and any filling will work. The fondant-and-jam formula is something that got codified in the US in the middle of last century, but the French still consider all kinds of shapes and formulations to be true, even traditional, petits fours glacés.

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1 Comment so far
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I don’t know if I’ve ever tried a petit four. But I wanted to compliment your pluralization.

Comment by Anno




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