Petit Fours Made Easy!

I was having a chocolate craving yesterday, almost everyday it seems, the “feel good” affect it has on my brain is due to the phenethylamine in the chocolate that effects our bodies serotonin levels.  I think it affects my body more so, I cannot go a day without chocolate.

So since I needed my choco-fix I decided to make petit fours.  I started with my favorite chocolate cake recipe on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa box.  I think that this is the best choco cake recipe, it is deliciously moist, and oh soooo……. chocolatey!

Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake

  • 2 Cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 Cup flour
  • 3/4 Cup Hershey’s Cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1/2 Cup veggie oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla (the good stuff!)
  • 1 Cup boiling water

Mix dry ingredients together, I do this with a wire whisk, then add wet ingredients except boiling water.  Mix until well combined, then mix in boiling water thoroughly. The batter will be rather thin, but that is how it is suppose to be.  Pour into two 9″ pans, that have been greased and floured, I use cocoa powder instead of flour, because I don’t like the bottom of my chocolate cake to be streaked with white flour. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 – 35 minutes.

Since I was going to make petit fours, I decided to halve the recipe because I didn’t want too many on hand.( too much of a temptation)  I also used a rectangle pan, this made it much easier to cut the petit fours. When making petit fours I think you have an easier time freezing the cake before you cut them.  It really cuts down on crumbs and you get a much nicer slice this way. 

I preceded to cut the cake into rectangles, approximately 2″ x 4″, don’t worry about making them exact, I remember in pastry school they were so strict about cutting the petit fours all the same size, I like the fact that they are not perfect, it gives a rustic appeal to your small desserts.  Let’s face it perfection is boring!

Now whip up some butter creme frosting, use your favorite recipe. I kept the frosting vanilla because we are going to cover them with a Regal Chocolate glaze. Using the huge star tip, I don’t know the number of it, but the largest star tip you have.  If you don’t have a star tip, just cut the tip of your disposable pastry bag larger than usual. I piped three large stars on top of each rectangular cake. If you are using a plain pastry bag without a tip just pipe three large dollops.  Put them into the freezer to set up the butter creme, this way when you pour the warm glaze over them the butter creme will not melt.

Regal Chocolate Glaze

  • 8 oz semi sweet chocolate chips (Hershey’s are the best)
  • 4 oz butter
  • 1/2 Cup hot tap water

Melt chocolate and butter in microwave for one minute, then stir, microwave for thirty seconds at a time until melted. Stir together thoroughly, then stir in boiling water. You have to melt the chocolate and butter together first before you add the hot water or your chocolate may seize.( tighten up into a glop!)

Remove your small cakes from the freezer and pour the glaze over each one with a large soup spoon. I think you have more control with a large spoon, rather then pouring the glaze directly out of the bowl.

Now is the fun part, decorate with butter creme, or as I have with chocolate decorations.  I had some leftover white and blue chocolate candy discs, so I melted them separately and made a small cone bag out of wax paper.  I used the back of a sheet tray that I had covered with saran wrap and let my imagination go wild piping designs out of the white and blue chocolate. Refrigerate to allow your decorations to set up, then put them onto your glazed petit fours.You have now officially made a small confection that the French call Petit Four! Wasn’t that easy! Just because these may have a fancy name it doesn’t mean we can’t easily make them!  Bon Appetit, Petit Four!