I think I might be a closet chocolate fan judging from all the Valrhona treats I’ve been making – but I think I enjoy the delight it brings people more than I enjoy the treat itself. So, as usual, I got hit by a sudden wave of ‘Ooooh I wanna make this now’ while flipping through my latest donna hay mag – Chocolate Madeira Petit Fours, which were looking oddly like Chocolate Truffles, seemed pretty easy to make! BUT I must warn you first that whilst it’s not hard to make (in terms of skill it doesn’t require the level that macarons demand out of you) it does take time (it took me a total of about 3 hours to make 40 pcs). So set aside some time before you endeavour, but I guarantee it’s worth the time spent! Your friends/ loved ones will love you for it – once they pop they won’t stop!
Btw did you know? Madeira Cake is a traditional English sponge cake often eaten at tea time and is not unlike pound cake. This cake really brings back some sweet Sara Lee memories…
Valrhona Chocolate Madeira Petit Fours (adapted from Donna Hay)
*Note: The recipe below fits 2 small loaf tins but I only used one loaf and transformed it into Petit Fours, I kept the other loaf in the freezer – it can keep for 3 months wrapped in plastic wrap. Simply defrost at room temperature when needed.
2 small loaf tins (I got mine from Daiso)
2 medium bowls
1 medium container
For Madeira Cake (Forms Petit Four Structure)
170g butter (softened)
¾ cup/ 165g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup/ 150g plain flour
¾ tsp baking powder
80g almond meal (ground almonds)
2 tbsp cocoa powder (Note: This is a variation of mine, wanted the treat to be more chocolate-y)
For Petit Fours Transformation
150g – 200g Valrhona Equatoriale chocolate (or any other dark chocolate)
¼ cup/ 60ml vegetable oil
2 tbsp cocoa powder (I used Valrhona’s cocoa powder)
½ cup hazelnut flavoured liquer (optional)
Serves 8 – 10
For Madeira Cake
1. Preheat oven to 170ºC.
2. Place butter (cut into cubes), sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy.
3. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition.
4. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder over the butter mixture and gently fold through with the almond meal.
5. Spoon the mixture into the small loaf tins that have been lightly greased and lined with baking paper. 6. Bake for 50 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. *Note: The cake is done when an inserted skewer comes out clean (without any bits of cake stuck to it)
7. Allow the cakes to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool (I just use a plate :P)
For Petit Four Transformation
1. Prepare a baking tray lined with baking paper.
2. Cut 1 madeira cake into about 30 – 40 squares (depending on what size you like you petit fours to be. But they definitely have to be more petit than gros.)
3. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan with boiling water. Allow to cool slightly.
4. Stir the oil into the chocolate until smooth.
5. Using a fork, dip the squares into the hazelnut liquer. *Note: I did not do this as I found that it made the cake squares rather mushy, perhaps drizzling the liquer over the squares might be a better idea.
6. Dip squares into chocolate to coat, alternating the square between 2 forks to allow any excess chocolate to drip off.
7. Place on the baking tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set. *Note: Only when the chocolate has set will the cocoa powder be able to sit on the petit four without caking it
8. Dust in cocoa powder to serve.
Gift it: using squares of baking paper and some twine, wrap about 2 or 3 petit fours. Remember to keep it cool in the fridge before giving them away.