Can you believe it’s the final of GBBO tonight? I’m so sad to see it go aren’t you? It’s one of my favourite shows and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s gonna miss having Mel and Sue and their hilarious innuendos in my life every week. My money’s on Richard to win but who knows, it could ALL change tonight, we’ve seen it happen before.
I’ve fallen behind a bit on the great blogger bake off challenge (no brownie points for me) and skipped a few weeks because things just all got too crazy workwise and I couldn’t keep up with baking every week, BUT I was determined to join in for the final week and go out with a bang.
The final is showstopper week which is basically advanced baking on any of the previous themes – bread, cakes, patisserie etc. I decided to try my hand at petit fours, because I was torn between doing cake or patisserie and am partial to anything in miniature, plus it’s something I’ve always wanted to try. I don’t think the act of baking what is essentially a Victoria sponge with different flavourings is really worthy of a final, but considering a good old fashion sponge cake is pretty much my favourite thing to bake, it counts as advanced for me.
Plus they look very pretty, took a fair bit of time and effort on presentation and I did feel like I had my very own patisserie by the end, so all in all I was quite happy with the results. Maybe style over substance? Nah they tasted damn fine too!
I’m not sure how many variations of something counts as petit fours and not just small cakes, but I conceded that the clue was in the title and made four different versions.
Here’s how each one was done.
What you’ll need…
The Basic Sponge…
6oz self raising flour
6oz unsalted butter
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 lemon, 1 lime
1 tub Double Cream
Rose Petals (optional)
How it’s done…
1. Mix all ingredients together with an electric whisk until creamy. Divide into four and flavour accordingly to suit your flavours below.
2. Grease a muffin tin or line with greaseproof paper
3. Spoon a couple of heaps into a muffin tin, smoothing off the top for an even rise. (Top tip – use strips of greaseproof paper underneath the mix to ensure you can remove easily once cooked.
4. Cook at 180 degrees celcius until risen and golden and a skewer comes out clean from the middle.
5. Leave to cool before cutting each cake in half and decorating accordingly to suit the flavours below. (top tip – remember which sponge had which flavour or you may end up with some interesting concoctions)
Flavour 1 – Classic Victoria Sponge
I kept the flavour simple for the sponge for this one and left it as it is, so once the cakes were cool I just trimmed any edges off and cut in half before filling with whipped double cream (I add icing sugar to mine for taste but you don’t need to) and slices of strawberry. Sandwich the halves together and dust the cakes with icing sugar before adding a piece of strawberry for decoration.
Flavour 2 – Raspberry and White Chocolate Sponge
For this one I chopped a few raspberries up and threw them into the sponge mix before cooking to add a different dimension. I then mixed some grated white chocolate into the cream filling and used this to sandwich the cakes together along with a couple of raspberry halves. For the top I made a little normal icing to spread on top before decorating with grated white chocolate and a raspberry.
Flavour 3 – Rosewater Sponge
Ah the famous rosewater, it’s not always a hit in the bake off tent but I’d never cooked with it before and wanted to give it a go. I added around 2 teaspoons to my sponge mix ahead of cooking. There is that fear of adding too much, which when I first got a strong rose whiff from the mix, thought I’d done, but the finished result was fairly subtle. You can also add a little rose flavouring to the cream icing if you wish before using it to sandwich the cakes together and decorating with rose petals (These aren’t edible but you can sugar them if you wish to make them so).
Flavour 4 – Lemon and Lime Sponge
I wasn’t sure what these were going to turn out like but they actually ended up being my faves. Just add a little lime and lemon zest to the sponge mix ahead of cooking then also to the cream filling. Decorate with a little drizzle of normal icing, more zest and a piece of lemon or lime decoration (again you could make a sugared decoration which may be more edible).
And there we have it. My own personal patisserie for the afternoon. They soon got gobbled up (they are only mini) and look much more impressive than they actually are, it’s all in the presentation people.
What do you think? Have you ever tried Petit fours?