Festive Fanices

I got the recipe a few months ago, and have made them every couple of weeks since – for my work colleagues, for his work colleagues, for our parties, to take to parties – and they are by far my most successful offering. Having cooked them about 6 or 7 times means that I’ve finally got the recipe and method to work perfectly. Everyone comments on how lovely they taste and, after much tweaking, they now look the part too! The cakes themselves are cooked in the teeniest of petit four cases so noone can get away with the old ‘you’re going to make me fat!’ quip. If you eat 10, it’s not my fault. They are quick to make, but do require a piping bag but I think that’s a price I’m willing to pay. This recipe makes about 30ish.

for the cakes
  • 55g butter
  • 55g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 55g self raising flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp milk
for the icing
  • 100g plain chocolate
  • 100ml double cream
  • a couple tbsp icing sugar 
How to make it
After much experimentation, this is the best method. Preheat the oven to 190 celcius.
Start by making the icing so that it has plenty of time to cool. Microwave the chocolate and cream together on a low heat for a couple of minutes. It’s best to have it under-melted and leave it to melt a little than to have it zapped to death. Leave to one side to cool.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl. Beat in the egg, then fold in the sifter flour and cocoa. Stir in the milk. This should be quite a sloppy batter.
Lay out your mini petit four cases on a baking tray (you don’t need anything fancy) so they’re easy to handle. I used a silicone tray first time. Not recommended!
Spoon the batter into a piping bag with a medium sized nozzle (it can be plain or fluted, it doesn’t matter)  and pipe a little mixture into the cases – they should be about half full. Cook the cakes in the top of the oven for 10 – 14 minutes. No longer. After cooking, put them on a rack to stop them cooking any further. The secret about these delicious cakes is that the sponge is not dry at all. Leave the cakes to cool.
Using a whisk, beat together the cold chocolate and cream mixture for a good 5-8 minutes until it starts to thicken. As it starts to thicken, add the icing sugar as needed until the mixture becomes very stiff. The reason I add icing sugar and make the icing very stiff is that I’ve made it slippery before and it fell from a glorious glossy pile on the mini-cake to a flat ganache. It was most disheartening.
Once the cakes have cooled (it won’t take long but they must be cool otherwise the icing will simply slip off – voice of experience here!) you can pipe the icing on top.
Now I’ve used mini-smarties, fancy dragees and even crunchie nuggets to go on the top of these, but a raspberry is the perfect topping. It cuts through the rich cake and really is the best topping (even if out of season at Christmas…)

One response to “Festive Fanices

  1. Sage December 23, 2008 at 11:23 am

    They look gorgeous.. might have to try some of those.. though my thighs probably won’t agree.

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