Well, I usually make my petit fours with marzipan which I pre-buy (lazy soul that I am) but couldn't find it here in Oman that way, so I have to thank Lori for her suggestions for what I could ACTUALLY find in Oman for the cake shell. And what a sweet suggestion, to use pomegranates, which we grow on Jebel Akhdar right here in Oman for an in-season treat;). In April, visit the Akhdar villages of Wadi Bani Habib or Saiq to see the bright red flowers of the upcoming harvest. In September, get the best deal on this seasonal jeweled fruit from buying it straight from the locals, or haggle in the Nizwa produce souq;). It feels so neat to see the whole process, and be part of it, and then take your fresh produce home, to make something in your household. In September you'll see my serving this up, because I am a petit four fiend, and pomegranates are a super healthy so when I eat ten of them in a row, I can console myself with that thought;) POMEGRANATE PETIT FOURS
Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness Original (I love her blog, a foodie's haven)
3 cups cake flour
2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup canola oil
3 teaspoons baking powder
6 large egg whites
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
juice of one lemon (the big yellow ones all Omanis, not the small green ones, which are LIMES)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 - 11x 17 pans with parchment and butter it.
Combine egg whites and sugar in mixer and begin to beat. Combine dry ingredients: flour and baking powder. Combine wet ingredients: milk, oil, vanilla, two whole eggs, and lemon juice. Combine the dry and the wet. Once the egg whites form peaks, fold in the batter. Pour into cake pans and bake. Midway through baking time switch pans on racks.
*Only 1/2 of one sheet is needed for this recipe.
Vanilla Bean Butter Cream (that rolls of the tongue, now doesnt it?)
based on Dorie Greenspan's Awesome Recipe
4 oz egg whites
1 cup sugar
seed of one vanilla pod
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Whisk egg whites and sugar in a double boiler or the bowl of a Kitchen Aid Mixer. Place bowl over a pot of boiling water. Continue to whisk until mixture is hot to the touch. Remove from stove and begin to whip the mixture at medium speed for about five minutes. When mixture is cooled, turn up the speed on the mixer and whip for a couple of minutes until it begins to thicken. Add vanilla extract and seeds.
Pomegranate Pourable Fondant
4 cups confectioners sugar (about a pound)
1/3 cup pomegranate juice
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
Combine all ingredients in a double boiler. Stir over boiling water until the mixture becomes slightly warm, enough so that it is pourable. You know it is the right consistency when it forms ribbons on the fondant as you lift the spoon.
Pour over cake pieces. Let dry and put on another coat if necessary. Assembly
pourable pomegranate fondant
Use 7 inches of one of the 11 x 17's. Slice it horizontally with a serrated knife. Spoon or brush on some simple syrup (half water and half sugar that is brought to a boil and then cooled). Spread raspberry jam or a jam of your choice onto the cake. Then gently spread buttercream over that. Lay the layer back on top. Brush some more simple syrup on top. Cut the cake in pieces, about one inch square. Place them on rack that is placed on a cookie sheet. Pour the fondant onto the squares. Once you are done you can scoop off the fondant from the baking sheet and heat it up to reuse again.