One of my all-time favorite books is Jane Austen’s Persuasion. I’m a sucker for a second-chance romance, and the story of Anne Elliot reunited with Captain Wentworth after years apart is one I love returning to again and again.
I wanted to bake something light and delicious to pair with this story. So I came up with these petit fours. Without a fondant or dipped coating, they look a bit more rustic than what Anne’s stuffy family members might prefer. But Anne and Frederick strike me as a pair who would favor flavor over design and appreciate the elegance of simple cake.
Strawberry and Cream Petit Fours
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
3 egg whites, whipped
1/2 pound strawberries, diced
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoons sauce from Strawberry Compote
2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons sauce from Strawberry Compote
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 10- x 15-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper and coat with non-stick spray.
Cream butter and sugar. Add in vanilla, milk and dry ingredients. In another bowl, whip three egg whites until they create peaks. (I suggest using a hand mixer so you don’t wear out your arm.) Fold the eggs into the mixture. Pour batter into pan and bake 20 minutes, or until the cake is a light gold. Allow to cool 30 minutes.
In a small sauce pan, combine diced strawberries and water. Bring to a rolling simmer and cook until you have a thick sauce. Reserve 2 tablespoons of sauce for glaze.
Take 1 tablespoon of the strawberry sauce and combine with butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk to create frosting.
Once cake has cooled, cut in half. Spread strawberry compote across one layer. Then spread layer with frosting. Cover with other half of cake.
Using the remaining strawberry sauce, create a glaze with additional powdered sugar, water and vanilla. Pour over the top of the cake.
Cut cake into smaller slices, about 1- x 2-inches, or whatever size you prefer. Try pairing it with a copy of Persuasion and Riesling.
I hope you will enjoy baking these. If you do try your hand at it, be sure to tag @myreaderliving on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.