In honor of the season finale of Hannibal, I baked some mini-cakes in the style of petits fours for dinner with friends.
These aren’t quite where I want them yet, but I wanted to share while it’s still timely!
Stag decoration: I melted ~12 oz of semi-sweet baker’s chocolate in a double boiler, then piped the melted chocolate onto wax paper that I taped onto a cookie sheet with a detail of the nightmare stag man on it. I put the papers into the freezer over night–30 minutes should work, though. These were inspired by Nerdy Nummies’s Deer Hunter Cupcakes, though I had to look up a bunch of tutorials because there’s no explanation of “candy melt” and, dammit, Jim, I’m a self-taught cook, not a pastry chef. Using candy melt (chocolate used for coating sweets and making candy molds) might have been more stable–the chocolate does melt in your hand if you aren’t quick about placing it–but for a cake I served cold, it was fine.
Cake: I baked King Arthur Flour’s Red Velvet Cake in a 13×9 cake pan with soy buttermilk (1 TBSP apple cider vinegar+ 220 mL soy milk), then cut that into ~28 pieces with a bread knife.
Filling: petits fours often have filling, so I watered down a little apricot jam, cut each piece in two horizontally, and glued them back together with the jam. I didn’t know if apricot and red velvet would work together, but it was delicious. (Raspberry is more common, I think, but we also did a couple with blackbeery)
Frosting: I made a simple vanilla buttercream from Food Network–double batch for the crumb layer. After I did the crumb layer, I refrigerated the cakes and frosting overnight, then let the frosting come to room temperature (1~2 hours) before the final coat. (Petits fours usually have glaze or fondant.) I dyed some of the icing red for the detail.
And a nightmare stag on top!
Next time, I think I’ll either 1. do cupcakes because I hate frosting tiny cakelings (such crumbs wow) or 2. do fondant. I have a recipe for it, but I’m really worried I’ll mess it up horribly. Nothing to do but try, right?
I swear these are vegetarian.
If you’re not reading Hannibal food stylist Janice Poon‘s (spoiler-ful!) blog, check it out here. She is my hero.