I have done petit fours several times now and I actually enjoy doing them!
The one thing that is getting on my nerves is the sides of my petit fours though. You can see what I am talking about by looking at the picture below closely. I do use a pound cake like I am supposed to. Then I put the cake in the freezer and then cut it to cut down on the crumbs when I cut it.
I am NOT happy with the SIDES of my petits. They are never as smooth as I like them. The tops are nice and smooth. I desperately need advice on how to make them smooth!!! It always looks a little lumpy or like the coating has soaked into the cake even though it hasn't. For my coating I am using a confectioner's sugar glaze.
Any help & critiques would be appreciated!!!
Wow! I think your petite fours look great, i wish mine would look that good.
From what I've experienced & seen others the sides never look as good as the top. Mine always look a little more transparent than the top. Maybe someone else has a tip
I think your petit fours look great. I have seen many commercial kitchens that look the same.
As long as they taste good, I wouldn't mess with trying to make them "perfect". The only petit fours that are completely smooth are the ones covered with fondant and those look like a royal PITA.
Only think you MAY want to try if you are really having an issue with how the sides are (and mind you I don't really do petit fours because of the pain issue) is once you cut them all out (I'm assuming you use a thin layer of buttercream on the tops to get the tops smooth), after you freeze them, lay them all on their sides right next to each other and do a really loose, thin crumb coat over all, freeze, turn to the next side, coat, freeze, turn, freeze, etc.
With as good as yours look, I would leave them at that, unless by doing another coat of the poured fondant helps with the sides.
Maybe just use a thicker coating?
I think they look great too. I've had petit fours at high end tea parties etc and they always look like that. To me they look great!
Wow, thanks for all the compliments! I wasn't expecting that.
I have heard about using rolled fondant on them, and I agree that would be too much of a PITA, and I think that would take any enjoyment out of them that I have. Putting buttercream on the top before glaze...I have seen people do that, but I haven't tried that because I have been pleased with the tops of them without it. I have tried another coat to see if that helps in the past too. The results in the picture are after about 2 to 3 coats. That was also a good point about the sides being more transparent than the top...mine do that too.
I was wondering if using ganache or 'poured fondant' would make a difference? My only concerns with these are that the recipe for poured fondant really isn't that different from the recipe for confectioner sugar glaze. On ganache, the only thing that steered me away from trying that this last time was that I was on a budget and the ingredients (at least on the recipe I was looking at) were more than I wanted to spend, considering I was doing 50 petits for a family member and not profiting a whole lot of them when you look at how much time goes into making them.
I've made zillions of p4's over the years and believe me
Yours look great.
I use a poured fondant, this one: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Quick-Pour-Fondant-Icing/Detail.aspx and I love it.
and don't mind the three stars, I attribute that to home bakers just having a problem with the degree of difficulty any petit four poses. I make sure mine are frozen solid before I dip, and I pull just a few at a time. I get the fondant warmer than the recipe says, but not burning hot my any means. Here is a pic of some: http://www.spdak.com/pictures/sweet%20tables_files/image026.jpg
I think the sides of your PFs look fine. If you make the glaze any thicker they'd be too sweet. I use commercial poured fondant and my sides are still not as smooth as the tops. I suppose that if you iced the sides of the PFs they'd be smoother, but then you'd probably end up in a straight jacket LOL...
Also, if you put them into petite four cups (mini cupcake wrappers) that helps cover the sides and makes each one into a nice little package.
I just use Wilton's recipe for poured fondant, which is the same as the link above but i measure 1 1/2 lbs PS & it works well. You only need to WARM it, my heat is on like 2 or 3 just long enough to warm it & I don't leave it. I'll take it off & stir then put back for just a few sec. If it gets thick add just a little bit of water to thin it.
I agree with a lot that has been said on here. I think the only petit fours that have perfectly smooth sides are the ones that are covered with something thicker than your basic poured fondant. The paper cups really do hide the sides, so be sure to invest in them.
Here is a really helpful site where I learned to do petit fours.
I did use a different poured fondant recipe, but it was basically identical. I threw in a FEW vanilla candy melts just to make the poured fondant more opaque. I iced the top with mint green buttercream prior, so I wanted to be able to see it through the fondant.