Petit fours

Petit fours

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  • 4
  • Easy
  • 15 minutes
  • 10 minutes
  • Hot milk for the kids, and hot milk with a tot of whisky for the grownups


  • 4 extra large free-range eggs
  • 260 g caster sugar
  • 280 g cake flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 250 ml milk
  • 125 g butter
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • For the vanilla buttercream
  • 75 g sugar
  • 62.5 ml cold water
  • 3 free-range egg yolks
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 180 g butter
  • For assembling
  • 1 tin of raspberry jam
  • 500 g marzipan
  • For the fondant
  • 125 ml water
  • 2 T light corn syrup, liquid glucose or honey
  • 1 t almond essence
  • 680 g icing sugar, sifted (6 cups)
  • A few drops pink or even fewer red food colouring

Cooking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180c. 

To make the cake base, line and grease 2 sheet pans.

Whisk the eggs and sugar until creamy. Sift the dry ingredients into the egg and sugar mixture and fold in. 

Heat the milk and butter but do not boil. Add the extract and stir gently into the batter.

Divide the mixture into the sheet pans and bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. 

Allow to cool completely.

To make the buttercream, dissolve the sugar in the water, then bring the mixture to the boil. Lightly whisk the egg yolks and gradually pour in the hot syrup, whisking vigorously.

Whisk for 5 minutes until the mixture is pale, thick and cool. Beat the vanilla and butter until creamy.

Gradually beat the egg mixture into the butter mixture. Chill for at least 30 minutes before using.

To assemble, spread a layer of buttercream on one of the cooled sponge cake sheets. Carefully place the second sheet on top to sandwich together.

Cover with plastic wrap, transfer to the freezer and freeze your sponge and buttercream sandwich.

Roll the marzipan into an even, thin sheet, roll it up and over your rolling pin to lift it and carefully lower it over the sponge to cover it.

Trim off any excess marzipan, roll together and keep covered in the fridge until you make petit fours again. Place the covered sponge in the fridge until firm (at least 1 hour).

To make the fondant icing, place the sugar in saucepan. Combine water and light corn syrup, glucose or honey, add to the sugar and mix well. Cook over low heat, taking care not to heat it above 37’C.

Remove from the heat and stir in the almond essence and icing sugar. Add food colouring (gel or powdered) until the desired colour is achieved.

Cover your the little cakes using a measuring jug or piping bag and use a spatula to get into the hard-to-reach spots. Leave to set before the second coating.

To make the royal icing, mix the egg whites and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. Sieve the icing sugar and add a little at a time into the egg mixture. 

Keep whisking and adding just enough icing sugar until it looks like thick whipped cream and makes soft peaks when lifted.

Add a few drops of red food colouring and leave to firm up for a couple of minutes.

Spoon into a piping bag and using your thinnest nozzle, decorate your petit four following the top outline, or whichever way you like to.

Cook's tip: you can also decorate your petit fours using Woolworths' writing icing, silver and gold balls, with mini chocolate scrolls, sugared violets, sugared rose-water petals or crystallised mini roses.

To make the latter, simply brush clean, pesticide-free rose petals with lightly beaten egg white and place on a bed of sifted caster sugar.

Sift more caster sugar over the petals, then gently lift each one and blow off any excess sugar. Place on a cooling rack, then leave to dry in a warm place.

Monche Muller Recipe by: Monche Muller
View all recipes

Monché Muller is the Executive Chef of the international Oddo Vins et Domaines wine label. She previously worked at Cucina Labia and De Kloof Eatery, as well as TASTE magazine. She is the author of Harvest Table.

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    Lesley Scott
    June 22, 2016

    The sponge for these petit fours is divine. Thank you. I tried the “click here” for tips and tricks but it doesn’t work.