Let’s take a break from our gluten-free cupcakes for a hot second. We all know they are pretty awesome. But we can do better. Or at least different. And you can still win any office food event without them. (Because we all know that office food events are a contest and contests are made for winning).
I really love almond paste. I will eat almond paste straight from the can. Sugar and almonds. I mean, it is almost just an unbaked macaron, right? And marzipan. Candy made from almond paste and either rolled over a cake like fondant or shaped into little fruits. Macarons. Dacquoise. Almonds and fancy, high-fallutin’ pastry go hand in hand.
Like in petits fours.
Often a genoise with jelly filling and a marzipan or jelly glaze and poured fondant. Fussy little mini layer cakes. (Ok, a petit four can be any individual size treat, but the most common is the mini layer cake kind).
But we don’t want to be too fussy. So we’re going to use flower cakelette pans from Cake Boss Baking to make flowers. We’re going to call them fleurs because we want people to think we are fancy pants.
We’re going to make a poured fondant. If you have a food processor, it is easy peasy. And there is none of the precision that piping buttercream rosettes required. It is dump & done.
You’ll end up with a lovely little set of cakelettes. The delicate flavor of almonds dances with the apricot and fondant. And they are light little cakes of delight.
And if you use this lovely little pan, your cakelettes will be little flowers, or petit-fleurs. The pan is non-stick and heavy duty – perfect for any kind of cake you can throw at it. (But this is clearly the best cake you can…)
A giveaway you say?
Make sure you check out Cake Roulette this Saturday, Spetember 28, 2013 at your local Michael‘s store from 10-12 noon for a chance to win more prizes and get recipes from their team.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
It must be a Throwback Thursday!
Remember when I met Buddy? (aka the Cake Boss) I got a special sneak peek back at the Home & Housewares Show in Chicago. He was super gracious to stop for a photo.
I loved all the different items in the line, from the pans to the bowls and accoutrements (including some pretty clever spatulas that say things like “addicted to dessert”).
- 85 grams (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- 175 grams (1¼ cups) gluten-free cake flour (143g high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour + 4 tablespoons (32g) cornstarch)
- 4 grams (3/4 teaspoon) baking powder
- 1 gram (1/4 teaspoon) baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 200 grams (1 cup) sugar
- 130 grams (1/2 cup) almond paste**
- 4 large eggs, separated
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup apricot jam, melted
- 500 grams (2½ cups) sugar
- 115 grams (1/3 cup) corn syrup
- ½ cup (120 ml) water
- ½ - ¾ cup simple syrup (if you don't have any, make your own with 1 cup sugar and ½ cup water brought to a boil and cooled.)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Food coloring (optional)
- In a mall sauce pan, boil together the sugar, corn syrup and water until they hit 238 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pour into the bowl of a food processor and let cool until the temperature drops to 140 degrees.
- Turn on the processor and blend until the mixture turns to a smooth, creamy white (about 2 minutes).
- Transfer to the bowl of a double boiler.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease & flour your cakelette pan Sift flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl; set aside.
- Put ¾ cup sugar and the almond paste into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 2 minutes. Raise speed to medium-high. Add butter; mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in egg yolks and vanilla. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the milk. Transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
- Put egg whites into the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment; beat on medium-high speed until foamy. Gradually add remaining ¼ cup sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Fold one-third of egg-white mixture into batter with a rubber spatula. Gently fold in remaining egg-white mixture.
- Fill the cake wells ⅔ full (I used 2 scoops with a standard cupcake scoop). Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cakes should be a light golden brown and should spring back when tapped lightly or a cake tester should come out clean when inserted. Invert over a wire rack immediately. Re-grease the wells and fill with the remaining batter and bake as before.
- When cakes are cool, heat the apricot jam and strain. Discard the chunks and brush the cakes with the sticky syrup. Place on wire racks over rimmed baking sheets and set in the freezer while you warm the fondant.
- Add ½ cup simple syrup to the fondant and heat over gentle heat. (You don't want the temperature to get over 110 degrees Fahrenheit). Heat and add syrup extra simple syrup until the fondant becomes just pourable. It needs to be thin enough pour and drip down the sides. If it is too thick, it won't look delicate and will instead be a gloopy mess.
- Add your vanilla and food coloring (if using).
- Remove your cakes from the freezer and pour the fondant over the cakes. If it does not pour easily, add a little more simple syrup and re-warm. You can use a spatula to nudge the fondant over the edges of the cakes.
- If desired, top with sprinkles or other decorations while the fondant is still warm. Let cakes cool before serving.
- Cakes will keep for about 3 days once covered.
**Make sure your Almond Paste is gluten-free. Some brands are not.