Friday, March 2, 2012

Potato Petit Fours for St. Patrick's Day


So, what do you call a cake that looks like a potato?  A potato cake?  No, that's name is already taken by a savory something.  Since these are small sponge cakes filled with buttercream and covered in marzipan, they might as well be called petit fours. Right?

I like it.  I'm going with it.

Each time I pass by the plateful of  "potatoes" on the kitchen counter, I do a double-take.  I can't wait to fake people out serve them!


The filling for these can be endlessly varied.  You can use jam, ganache, pastry cream... whatever you find most pleasing.  I tinted buttercream green and added a little Irish cream for flavor to keep with the St. Paddy's Day festivities.


These were so much fun to make! The details - or, the "eyes" - of the potatoes are impressions made in the marzipan with the end of a lollipop stick.  I also added a few small dimples with a single fork tine.

Presentation counts! You can pile them up in a little brown paper sack, or serve them individually, wrapped in foil and presented as mini "baked potatoes".  Tricky, tricky!


Potato Petit Fours
Sponge recipe adapted from "The Chocolate Bible", various authors.
Yield: 15-20 cakes                                                                                                [click for printable version]

Sponge batter:
3 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1/4 cup fine granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
Filling and coating:
1 1/2 cups buttercream
-or-
1 1/2 cups your choice fruit jam (raspberry or pineapple is recommended)
1 1/2 lbs. marzipan or almond paste
Cocoa powder for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 375. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Place egg yolks in a bowl and beat in 1 tablespoon of the sugar.  Mix until frothy and lightened; set aside.

3. Beat egg whites in a separate large bowl.  Gradually add remaining sugar and beat until meringue is stiff and dry.

4. Sift corn starch over meringues and fold in with a rubber spatula.  Add beaten yolks and fold again, being very careful to not deflate the batter.  Finally, fold in the flour.

5. Spoon mixture into a pastry bag  fitted with a large plain tip and pipe 1 1/2-inch mounds spaced well apart onto the baking sheet.  Bake for 6-10 minutes with the oven door slightly cracked.  When lightly brown, remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

6. Pipe buttercream between two same-sized sponge rounds.  If using jam, use a sharp knife to make a small hollow in the bottoms of the cakes. Spoon in the jam and sandwich sponge rounds together.

7. Roll out marzipan or almond paste to 1/8-inch thickness -use a little confectioners' sugar to flour the work surface and rolling pin if paste sticks.  Cut into squares and use to cover the potatoes.  If paste doesn't stick to the cake, brush a little melted jelly over the surface (I didn't have to do this).  Make a few indentations to represent "eyes".  Use a fork tine to further pock-mark the potato.

8. Roll the cakes in cocoa powder.  Shake off excess and place in paper liners, brown paper bags or wrap in foil to mimic a baked potato.

Note: I used a spoon to hold my oven open just a crack.  If you do this, be careful!  The spoon will become hot.  Be sure to grab a pot holder to remove the spoon.


75 comments:

ButterYum said...

How stinking clever and creative are you? The foil wrappers totally put them over the top. Such an adorable idea!!

:)
ButterYum

Darla | Bakingdom said...

Haha!! These make me so happy! What a fun, unique, and adorable treat to make for St. Pat's! Brilliant, as always, Heather!

Alexis said...

Awesome

The Answer Is Chocolate said...

These are brilliant! Totally pinning these!

Louisa said...

What a fabulous idea! Thanks so much for sharing!

Cherry said...

Wow! You actually fooled me to think that they were really potatoes. You are so creative!

Maria said...

These are awesome!!! They look so much like real potatoes lol!

Jennifer @ Not Your Momma's Cookie said...

Wow - these are fantastic! So realistic. I've never worked with marzipan before - is it very much like fondant to work with?

Elizabeth King said...

That's so cool! Really great idea for St. Patty's Day!

paddle attachment said...

These little bakers are simply wonderful! They are so cute and look so yummy. I brake for marzipan!

cupcakesandkalechips.com said...

These are so amazingly adorable!! Now all they need is a dollop of whipped cream "sour cream".

Heather (Heather's Dish) said...

Omg these are adorable...the presentation is amazing!

Michele said...

C-U-T-E Cute!

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga said...

You had me FOOLED until halfway thru the post..I was like...huh?!

You are SO good!

SreeBindu said...

oh! ho..thought those were potatoes at first then wao..is the word! how creative =) hope that spoon's out! :D

xoxo

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Oh so cute and terribly tempting! A wonderful creation.

Cheers,

Rosa

Irmina Díaz-Frois Martín said...

Fantásticas patatas dulces. Me gusta la idea.
Un beso.

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

These are so pretty! Awesome idea!

Sue/the view from great island said...

How do you come up with this stuff? These are fabulous, especially the tin foil!

Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) said...

This is quite possibly the cutest thing ever!! You are so creative :) Love it.

Karen - Trilogy Edibles said...

ROTFL, that is awesome! such a fun idea

Becca said...

Oh my goodness! These are so adorable! I love potatoes, but never have I wanted to eat one as badly as I do now! These are adorable!

cookies and cups said...

Those are so awesome!! My kids would love these!

Claudia said...

Que interesante! Una idea estupenda! Maravilloso! Saludos desde España!!!

lizy b said...

Oh I love these! Thanks for all the great pictures! Love seeing how you did the marzipan, I was picturing another technique but this makes so much more sense!

Lora said...

Are you kidding me? These are the cutest thing EVER! I love love.

Maureen said...

How cute!!! I'm sure everyone talked about these more than anything else.

Jennifer said...

So creative! I honestly got confused at first glance thinking I was looking at real potatoes. Happy early st patty's day!

Anonymous said...

How much creativity!, I love them :)
Lucía
www.sevillaneando.wordpress.com

thermo said...

Espera que pueda cerrar la boca!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
IMPRESIONANTEMENTE bonitas, originales y riquísimas con el mazapán!
Besos.

Redd H from Salted Spoon said...

These are so cute!! What would you cover them with if you aren't a marzipan fan?

FlyingRoo said...

I've been trying to find the recipe for a sponge with that texture and crumb for the longest time... thank you! Do you think it would bake well if baked as a sheet instead of mounds?

I recommend using a wooden spoon - no danger of hand burns...

Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

Aren't you just the little genius???!!!! Adorable!!! And those little sponge rounds alone look heavenly!
Best,
Gloria

Vicki Bensinger said...

These cakes are darling and their name is perfect! It's so much fun creating little bites like this that turn out so spectacular, isn't it?

I saw this book at Whole Foods the other day and almost bought it but decided to check on amazon and then forgot. Now I will definitely have to look for it. Great post!

Leslie said...

FOR REALZ???? These are adorable!

Christy said...

This is great!! So stinking cute!!

Dharma said...

Que maravillosa idea, eres de una creatividad increible, me encanta todo lo que haces.Saludos

Sue said...

So adorable! I get a kick out of this kind of thing:) Love the way you have it in foil:)

Paula said...

The most original and imaginative St. Paddy's Day treat ever! I love these. Would be a hoot to serve on April Fool's Day too :)

Cat Davis said...

That's crazy! Those actually look like potatoes. Great job!

Jennifurla said...

How did you become such a genius!! I'm so jealous of your creativity!

Shannon said...

These are so adorable!

itsybitsybrianna said...

These are jus so so cute! I love it:)

Krissy's Creations said...

I LOVE the picture with the "Potato" in the foil! So darn cute! What a great idea Heather :)

Magda said...

Wow brilliant!

Elizabeth said...

All of these St. P's posts are really getting me in the mood!

Lynnea said...

so cute! and a much better st. patrick's day treat than green dyed beer!

Jennifer said...

These are SO fun!!! I love your creativity. They remind me of a marzipan sweet my Grandmother used to love (they were completely marzipan and dusted in cocoa).

Renata said...

I love that! You are so talented! Very creative ... and delicious!!

Meg said...

So, so creative and fun -- I love this idea!

Heather said...

How fun! I totally thought those were potatoes when I saw the first picture.

Annie said...

These are insanely clever! Great idea. A true trompe l'oeil.

elizabeth @ chronic venture said...

these are the cutest things ever!!! totally thought they were potatoes at first! perfect!

RecipeChase said...

Pleasant deception. A bag is a nice touch. It's all in details. Great photography!

Meg@MegaCrafty said...

These are really adorable! They'd be perfect for April Fool's Day too.

Lisa @ Sweet 2 Eat Baking said...

Love, love, LOVE! These are awesome and so look like potatoes, well done! I love the presentation too. The bag looks fantastic but I love them in the tin foil.

A agree with Meg, perfect for April fools. Hehe, lets us know how the dastardly foolish prank goes.

Lili said...

I can't get over how realistic they look, especially wrapped in that foil. Oh you definitely had fun with these...they are adorable! xo ~Lili

the [sugar] apothecary said...

You have me squealing at these little petit fours. This is the greatest freaking idea, and they came out absolutely FANTASTIC. I can't get over how adorable the little foil-wrapped ones are. You should be proud :)

Lucie (Thursday Night Dinner) said...

AMAZING. they look like actual potatoes!

Sarah (Snippets of Thyme) said...

I'll bet you had a blast making these! The reactions are hysterical and I totally love them. How utterly unique!

Sandra said...

This looks so fun to make. Great job with making them look so real!!!

Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot said...

You are so flippin' clever Heather! I love these!

Deborah said...

Instead of "petit fours", you could call them
pe-tater fours.... or spud cakes. No matter what you call them, they are adorable and so clever.

Jenny (VintageSugarcube) said...

You are beyond fabulous. Those fauxtaters sure fooled me.

PS.. Just nominated you for best dessert blog on SAVEUR!

Nic@diningwithastud said...

Cutest thing ever! I love the layering too. Looks delish!

andreja said...

Congratulations. It looks fantastic.
Andreja
http://www.stancerfamily.blogspot.com

Javelin Warrior said...

These are so creative and I love the dimples/eyes and the cocoa powder dirt! I've never seen anything like this and it has to be my favorite St. Patrick's treat I've come across :)

I am featuring this post in today's Friday Food Fetish roundup (with a link-back and attribution), so please let me know if you have any objections. It's always a pleasure following your food…

shernor said...

Absolutely fabulous!

Janet @ DyingforChocolate.com said...

These are fabulous!!

Rosie @ Sweetapolita said...

Heather, I'm dying of the awesomeness. Brilliant and so perfectly executed, as always! xo

Erin said...

These are so, so cool!!!

Festive Party Girl said...

These are really cute and fun! I love seeing the one in foil. So tricky!

berry lovely said...

Great idea, you really fooled me!

The Red Rolling Pin said...

Adorable!!! you're setting the bar pretty high for april fools. :D

Samantha {Weirding with Wisdom} said...

I've been planning a crazy April Fools dinner and these will be a just PERFECT addition to "dessert"! I so love it!

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