Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Cooking the Books: Treat Petite

I love stuff in miniature. Specifically food. A good canape is a truly joyous thing, and I have an abnormal number of cookery books dedicated to this subject.

I was thrilled to receive a copy of Treat Petite recently, and have finally gotten around to trying a number of the recipes. It's a lovely little book with some original ideas for both savoury and sweet tiny treats.

Earl Grey Madeleines with Honey-Orange Glaze

My versions of these were not miniature, as I didn't have the inclination to purchase a miniature madeleine mould, however the results were just as good. They had a lovely balanced flavour, the zest gives an orange zing, and surprisingly the Earl Grey wasn't too dominating. All the flavours meld together to make a perfectly delicious bite. The recipe made a batch of 12 as opposed to the 48 indicated, and the cooking time increased to 15 minutes in the oven.

Lemon Domes with Pink Grapefruit Syrup

Of the handful of recipes I tried this one wasn't at all successful, and I have a suspicion that the ingredients/recipe isn't quite right. I used mini muffin cases due to the fact that the first batch of lemon sponges I made were welded to the containers I baked them in - which at first I thought was due my under-buttering the dishes, but in hindsight I think it was due to the batter mix not being quite right. The recipe had far too much raising agent in the mix, which resulted in producing a holey (as opposed to airy and light) cake, with a baking powder aftertaste (not nice!). In addition, the glaze also seemed wrong - I halved the sugar added to the fruit juice, and it was still too sweet in my opinion. I love the idea and flavour combinations of these cupcakes however, so will probably play around with the recipe a bit to try and get the amounts right.

Chai Spiced Palmiers

A lovely little bite-sized sweetly spiced pastry treat - these were lovely and disappeared way too quickly. There's no photo, as I'll admit my palmier rolling skills aren't up to much and they didn't look amazingly appetising! A really simple recipe made by sprinkling a mixture of caster sugar, cinnamon, ground ginger, cloves and cardamom onto puff pastry, rolling, and baking. Very tasty.

White Russian Cupcakes

This recipe is a fabulous idea using the all the ingredients from one of my favourite cocktails. The cupcake is made with coffee and Kahlua, filled with a white chocolate and vodka ganache, and topped with Kahlua meringue buttercream. I adapted the recipe slightly, excluding the buttercream, and topping with the ganache instead. The cupcakes themselves are moist and slightly sticky, with a lovely background flavour of Kahlua and coffee - a very adult cupcake. This was such a nice recipe and I'll definitely make the cupcakes again, possibly as a larger cake next time and then drizzle with a Kahlua syrup rather than the ganache (which was lovely, I'm just not a massive fan of white chocolate).

Caramelised Onion Galettes with Goats Cheese

A lovely idea and very simple but delicious, essentially teeny tiny vol-au-vents. The onions are cooked low and slow with butter, sugar and red wine, to produce something oniony, sticky and sweet. A tiny bit of goats cheese and thyme leaves on top make a delicious bite.

In summary I think this is a lovely little book, perfect as a stocking filler for the baker in your life. With several hits and only one miss, this will definitely be getting lots of use.

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