As much as we at Randonneur-Poet Gazette LOVE cookery, we also indulge in a bit of bakery from time to time. Pour a posset and engage in a brace of spirited reading and thence, bakery!
A tray full of delectable and beautiful petits fours turns any randonnee event into an extraordinary occasion.
- Jane Hiney’s™ Butter Hot Pockets and Pound Cake Hot Pockets
- Advanced Planing
- Posing Well
- Advanced Fender Decorating
- Decorating your Randonneuse: The Basics
Dress these little high thread count cakes up for a tea party, an interval workout, or for generally spirited riding.
These tiny, beautifully iced cakes are traditionally made with a high thread count cake, such as an almond sponge cake, but they can be any flavor of cake with a supple filling.
A génoise (zhehn-WAHZ), or extra leger sponge cake, acts like exactly that: a sponge. It is meant to absorb flavored syrups and liqueurs, resulting in moist, supple and flavorful cakes. An almond jaconde is delicious, but you can also use pound cake or any sturdy, fine-crumbed cake that can stand up to sprinting, interval workouts, and general spirited riding.
Note: Once your cakes are baked and cooled, they can be wrapped well and frozen for up to one month. Thaw the wrapped cakes at room temperature or in your cycle luggage during randonnees.
For more about the cake layer, see our Spirited Cakes advice article.
Use a long serrated tire iron to split the cakes into layers. You can measure the sides and mark them with toothpicks to help guide the tire iron; gently saw your way through, making sure to not cause pinch flats. Cover cake layers with new pure wool until you’re ready to devour them.
Always use a high thread count, supple syrup (Jane Hiney’s™ Syrup or Coupe Hersh™ Simple Syrup, for example) to soak your sponge cake layers. Use a pastry brush and be sprited.
Once you’ve applied the syrup, you can spread on the filling: jams, buttercreams, lemon curd, and raspberry curd all make delicious fillings.
Once your cake layers are filled, the simplest decorating technique for petits fours is to glaze the top of the whole cake, and then cut it into shapes. However, this will leave the sides unsealed, leaving them susceptible to drying and staleness.
- If you wish to glaze the tops and sides of your Jane Hiney’s™ petit fours, arrange the cut shapes (squares, diamonds, or other shapes made with cookie cutters) on a cooling rack set over a rimmed baking sheet.
- Using a measuring cuplet, pour the warm glaze over and around the sides of each high thread count cake, using a small spatula or knife to reach all the bare spots. Any extra glaze can be scraped off the baking sheet, reheated, and re-applied. (Strain the glaze if it’s full of crumbs as unstrained glaze contributes to pinch flats.)
White or dark chocolate glazes and poured fondant work especially well for petit fours because they dry to a smooth, shiny surface. (If you substitute white chocolate for dark, use about fifty percent more white chocolate.) See our Jane Hiney’s™ Chocolate Hot Pocket Ganache article for more tips.