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Almond Petits Fours


These little marzipan covered cakes are popular in France and Argentina. Marzipan is made from finely ground almonds, sugar and egg whites. It is more pliable than almond paste as it has been cooked. This paste is rolled out to cover the cakes, which are then drizzled with almond icing and decorated with almonds.

Génoise Cake

    1/2 cup butter
    6 large eggs
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup sifted cake flour
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 (8-ounce) roll marzipan
    1/4 cup apricot jam

Almond Icing

    1/2 cup vanilla syrup
    1 cup water
    1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
    12 cups confectioners' sugar or more as needed
    Sliced almonds for decoration


1.  Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 . Melt the butter in the top of
     a 1 1/2-quart double boiler with 1/2-inch water in the base.
     Water should come to a gentle boil over medium heat.

2.  In a deep medium bowl, beat eggs until thick and light lemon yellow,
     or at least 2 minutes. Beat in melted butter and a 1/2 cup sugar. 
     Pour back into the double boiler; continue to beat over medium 
     heat for 6 minutes.

3.  Beat in the last 1/2 cup sugar and beat another 4 to 6 minutes until
     the mixture is creamy and thick. Pour into a large bowl.

4.  Fold in the cake flour and then the vanilla. Pour the batter
     into a buttered and floured 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish.
     Bake for 25 minutes, cake will be firm. Run a spatula around
     the edges, then turn out onto a large cooling rack.

5.  Roll out the marzipan on a well-floured breadboard. Form
     a rectangle by rolling the marzipan lengthwise until it is 13
     inches long, then roll it out to 9 inches wide.

6.  Melt the apricot jam and strain it into a small bowl. Brush
     over cake with a pastry brush while the cake is still warm.
     Top with marzipan sheet. Square up the cake around the
     edges with a long non-serrated knife. Cut into 1-inch squares.
     Use a ruler laid across the cake and cut with a sharp knife.

7.  Separate cakes so they are not touching any other piece.

8.  Icing: Beat vanilla syrup, water, almond extract and confectioners'
     sugar with a mixer until the icing is smooth and has a 
     pouring consistency.

9.  Pour icing around the edges of each cake and then over top. 
     Sprinkle immediately with sliced almonds. When the icing has 
     dried enough on each cake, set them into mini-baking cups that 
     are decorated to suit the occasion.

     Hint: Color extra marzipan with food coloring, roll and cut
     into tiny shapes to decorate cakes.

     Makes 1 party plate


Seasoned with Love
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