Today’s delicious recipe is by Hannah at Healy Eats Real. I love her Real Food take on vegetarianism and I always enjoy her recipes! Go visit her at Healy Eats Real, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +.
Grain Free Petit Fours: A Tea Time Treat
Petits fours are a delicate and elegant mini cake traditionally served with British high tea. I’ve always enjoyed a nice afternoon tea service complete with finger sandwiches, scones and petits fours. However, I often feel a tiring crash after eating these cakes as a result of all the white flour and sugar. So, these grain-free naturally sweetened petits fours are a nice wholesome departure from the norm.
I was interested to learn how the petit four came about:
“Petits fours were traditionally made in the 18th century during the cooling process of coal-fired brick ovens to take advantage of their latent heat, thus exploiting coal’s high burning temperature and expense relative to wood.” (source)
They were created to take advantage of the high cost of heating ovens! I still do this today when making food. If I use the oven for a meal I sometimes batch cook a few other things in the oven so as to not waste the heating costs.
These grain free petits fours would be a wonderful addition to a real food tea party, a child’s birthday party or a sophisticated luncheon. They can be made ahead and keep well in the fridge or freezer.
A moist coconut flour cake is layered with a lemon icing to create these beautiful tea-time treats.
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup whole milk or coconut milk
- 3 eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup soaked dates in 3 tbsp hot water
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp lemon rind
- 2/3 cup coconut cream (from the top of a can of coconut milk)
- 2 tbsp raw honey
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- Put dates in a heat safe bowl or container and pour 3 tbsp boiling water over them and let soak for about 15 minutes. You can chop the dates before soaking to speed up the process, but it's not necessary.
- Separate the eggs with yolks in one bowl and whites in one large stainless steel, glass or ceramic bowl. When you go to whip the egg whites, it helps if they are at room temperature.
- Once dates have soaked put them in a food processor along with remaining water and mix until you have a paste-like consistency. Add coconut flour, milk, egg yolks, vanilla, baking soda, salt and lemon rind and mix.
- Whip the egg whites until foamy and stiff peaks form. This is much easier if you have a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer. It is possible to do it by hand, but takes time.
- Gently fold egg whites into the batter. Grease a standard sized loaf pan. Put batter in pan and even out the top with a spatula or spoon.
- Bake in a 350° oven for 20-30 minutes or when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- For the frosting: Coconut cream can be purchased in cans or you can skim the cream of the top of cans of coconut milk, however you may have to use multiple cans of coconut milk. Put coconut cream in a bowl and whisk for a few minutes to make it lighter and creamier.
- Add raw honey and lemon juice and whisk until fully incorporated.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting. Once the cake has cooled, cut small squares or circles out of the cake and skim some cake off of the top with a knife to make it even. There will be leftover scraps, but they make a great snack!
- Cut the squares in half and frost the middle. You can use the prepared frosting, but it will be very thin. If you want a thicker middle frosting section (like the one pictured) use plain coconut cream, then sprinkle some lemon rind on it. Then place the other half of the cake on top of it. To speed up the process cut very large squares in half and frost the middle put the top back on and then cut smaller squares to frost.
- Drizzle the prepared frosting over the small cake squares and use a spatula or knife to frost the sides evenly. Once you've frosted each petit four, refrigerate to allow the frosting to harden. Top with a bit of lemon rind.
About Healy Eats Real
Healy Eats Real focuses on spreading the wisdom of traditional food from a vegetarian perspective. I’m Hannah Healy, the creator of Healy Real Food Vegetarian, and I enjoy sharing original recipes with real food ingredients like traditional fats (coconut oil, ghee, butter, etc.), organic fruits and vegetables, pasture raised eggs, fermented foods and natural sweeteners. My recipes are always vegetarian, but sometimes gluten free, organic, paleo, gaps legal and vegan. I also write informative articles and tips on living a natural lifestyle. I believe that by avoiding processed foods (including soy) and integrating whole, natural foods we can all nourish ourselves regardless of differing dietary restrictions. There’s something for every one at Healy Real Food Vegetarian!
Do you ever enjoy afternoon tea? Have you made petit fours before?