It can get quite weird when an absolute chocolate fanatic pesters you for some soft vanilla cake. I cannot begin to explain just how stunned I was when the boyfriend – a person who can live on chocolate all his life – first began badgering for some vanilla cake. “Remember that cake you baked for my grandparents’ anniversary,” he would say, “I want that!” The playful torment continued for weeks, often with, “When are you going to bake vanilla cake for me?” “It’s been so long since you baked for me! I’ve been asking you for days.” Whenever I had orders for cakes, it would be, “You’re only baking for others nowadays.” And when I would promise to bake him something vanilla, and wouldn’t keep to it, it would be a defeated “You’re always promising, but it never happens. I see what our relationship has come to,” accompanied with a really cute upset expression. 😛
It was only after I had had a week-long binge on anything chocolaty and needed a refreshing dessert myself that I got around to quenching his craving. Hence, this past weekend, I baked these fabulous Vanilla Petit Fours topped with Tropical Fruits, and my, was I glad I did!
For the base Cake:
- Unsalted Butter – 150g, brought to room temperature
- Sugar – 125g
- Eggs – 2
- All Purpose Flour – 150g
- Baking Powder – 1 tsp
- Vanilla Essence – 1 and a half tsp
- Water – to soften the batter if too dry
For the Vanilla Buttercream:
- Unsalted Butter – 200g
- Icing Sugar – 130g (this can vary depending on the sweetness you desire), sifted
- Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp
- Salt – a tiny pinch
For the Topping:
- Tropical Fruits – strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, kiwis, mangoes (any other you can think of)
Here’s how you make these beauties
- Preheat oven at 170 degrees Celsius.
- In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar until soft. Add the eggs and blend for two minutes or until fluffy.
- Fold in the flour and baking powder and bake for another minute. Add vanilla essence and give it a mix.
- If the batter seems too dry and dense, pour in a little water at a time until the batter comes to a smooth and light consistency.
- Pour the batter into a prepared 8-inch square tin and pop it into the oven. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- While the cake is baking, blend together butter and sifted icing sugar until the mixture is soft and creamy. Add in the vanilla, give it a final mix and set the buttercream aside.
- Once the cake is done, take it out of the oven and leave it to cool completely. When cooled through, cut it into about 1 and 1/2 inch squares.
- Top each square with a thin layer of vanilla buttercream frosting.
- Arrange the tropical fruits on top of the frosting in any which way you like.
- Serve slightly chilled.
These Petit Fours are really amazing! Have you every had a craving for something sweet with a fruity feel; not something too tart, yet something that tickles your palate with fresh light flavors? These Petit Fours are just what you need if that’s what you have a hankering for! The moist cake which is not too sweet, topped with just the right amount of fragrant vanilla frosting, finished with strawberries and blueberries that are sweet and sour, kiwis that lend an invigorating tartness and delicious pineapple is just what you need to brighten up your day while not making you feel too stuffy.
Apart from all else, this recipe is a lot healthier that most other desserts – the cake includes a small amount of sugar, just a thin layer of frosting is slopped on there and it is topped with fruits! (How on earth can something with fruits be unhealthy? Right? RIGHT?)
These little squares of lip-smacking goodness are a treat to both the tummy and the soul and definitely features on my list of pick-me-up foods. Bake these and you’ll be in loveeee 🙂