These Cherry Almond Petit Fours are big on flavor. The cake layers get a boost of sweetness from almond paste, and the cherry preserves add wonderful tartness. Definitely an elegant dish to serve at any gathering.
- 300 grams of almond paste
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- 11 tablespoons of butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup of cherry preserves
- 8 ounces of white chocolate, roughly chopped
- 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon of shortening
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 1/2 cups of confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
Measure out all ingredients for cake and glaze and let everything come to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Butter a 17 1/2 x 12 1/2, rimmed baking pan and line the bottom with parchment.
Place the almond paste, butter and sugar in a large bowl. Using a hand or stand mixer beat on medium speed until the mixture is light and creamy. This will take about 3 – 4 minutes. Add the vanilla.
Add the eggs in one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Mix in the flour and salt until just combined.
Spread the batter into the prepared cookie sheet. Using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon, smooth the batter out, making sure to push it into the corners. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 – 18 minutes until it is lightly golden around the edges and it springs back to the touch.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, trim the edges of the cake and cut vertically into three equal rectangles.
Place the bottom rectangle on a cookie tray lined with parchment and slather with half of the cherry preserves. Top it with the second layer of cake, followed by the final half of preserves. Put the third cake layer on top and cover the cake in plastic. Sandwich the cake between two baking trays and weight the top one down with cans, plates, or whatever you have. Just make sure the weight is evenly distributed. Place the cake in the fridge to press for two hours.
After two hours, remove the cake from the baking tray and transfer to a cutting board. Using a 1 1/2 inch circular cookie cutter, punch out as many circles as you can. Set aside while you make the glaze.
To make the glaze, place the white chocolate, shortening, and butter in a bowl set over a pan with an inch of simmering water. Stir until the white chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. This will only take two to three minutes.
To glaze the cakes, arrange them on a wire rack placed over a cookie tray lined with parchment. Using a large spoon or ladle, pour glaze over the cakes, letting the excess drip to the bottom. Glaze as many cakes as you can before collecting and reusing the excess to cover the remainder of the petit fours. If the glaze has collected crumbs, it can be strained and reheated to return it to the right consistency. Place the glazed cakes in the fridge to set for 20 minutes while you make the buttercream.
To make the buttercream, beat the room temperature butter and vanilla until combined. Add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time until completely incorporated. Beat the mixture on high until smooth. You can dye your buttercream any color that you like and decorate as you choose. I use a #103 tip to pipe the petals and a #65 tip for the green leaves. After piping the flowers, set the cakes in the fridge to firm up for 10 minutes before serving.
Cakes will stay fresh for a week if kept in an airtight container in the fridge.