Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rose Petits Fours - Rosen-Petits-Fours

About a year ago I started blogging and there does not seem to be a better occasion than this first blogiversary to feature these wonderful and delicate Rose Petits Fours (Rosen-Petits-Fours).

Petits Fours are small French fancy biscuits or cakes often served at the end of a meal. Strictly speaking they are oven-baked little cakes ("four" is French for "oven") and were classically made with choux pastry or flan pastry. However, a selection of Petits Fours these days covers a wide variety of sweet things not necessarily cooked and made with meringue, marzipan or chocolate.

These Rose Petits Fours are wonderful and delicious layers of sponge cake, marzipan, and rose jelly all in a mouthful.

These delicious rose-scented little cakes have a bit of rose water (Rosenwasser) or rose syrup (Rosensirup) in the icing and rose jelly (Rosengelee) in the filling. And although they seem to be a bit of a fancy and decadent treat, they are wonderful any time of the year.

Rose water is a flavored water made by steeping rose petals in water. It has been used as a flavoring for centuries in Middle Eastern, Indian and Chinese cuisines and it can be added to jellies and syrups, and it is often sprinkled over cakes and puddings.

When using rose water or rose syrup in baking you have to make sure to use a high quality product, otherwise the cake will not have a delicate taste of roses but will  be overpowered by their flavor. I found a manufacturer in Bavaria that uses only roses that they planted themselves to produce a whole range of delicious rose products such as rose jelly, rose sugar, rose salt, rose syrup, and rose liqueur to name but a few.

Recipe for the Rose Petits Fours

Ingredients for the Sponge Cake
  • 4 eggs (M), free range or organic if possible
  • 50 grams superfine white sugar 
  • 80 grams AP(plain) flour
  • 20 grams potato starch
  • 3 to 4 tbsp orange liqueur (for example Grand Marnier, you can substitute orange juice)

Ingredients for the Filling, Icing and Decoration
  • 100 grams rose jelly (I used a rose jelly/"Rosengelee" from "Bergler-Fischer")
  • 150 grams marzipan 
  • 250 grams powdered sugar
  • juice of one lemon
  • a few drops red food coloring or alternatively a few drops of raspberry juice (which is what I like to use)
  • a few drops of a good quality rose water or rose syrup (I used a rose syrup/"Rosensirup" from "Bergler-Fischer")
  • about 75 grams  white chocolate (I used white Lindt chocolate called "Lindor Weiss")

  • baking sheet (30x40 centimeters)
  • parchment paper
  • plastic wrap (clingfilm)

Preparation of the Cake
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, using the whisk attachment of your mixer, whisk the eggs with the sugar for about five minutes or until light in color and fluffy 
  4. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour and starch.
  5. Using a spatula, carefully fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture.
  6. Spread the dough in an even layer as possible onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for about fifteen minutes.
  7. Take the cake out of the oven, turn onto a clean kitchen towel covered with some powdered sugar, peel off the parchment paper – taking care not  to tear the baked sponge cake. Let the cake cool completely.
  8. Drip some orange liqueur over the entire cake.
  9. Cut off a third of the cake. 
  10. Spread the rose jelly on the remaining piece in an even and thin layer.
  11. Knead the marzipan with about 50 grams of the powdered sugar and roll out between sheets of plastic wrap to a 2 mm  thickness – the rolled out marzipan should have the same size as the cut cake.
  12. Take off the plastic wrap and carefully place the rolled-out marzipan on top of the jelly.
  13. Now cut the cake into two pieces and place one third on top of the other third and place the piece that you cut off earlier on top – you will now have three layers.
  14. Cover the cake layers with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about one hour (if you want you can place a plate on top of the cake pieces to “weight them down” a bit while cooling.
  15. Take out of the fridge and cut the cake into squares.
  16. For the icing, mix together the remaining powdered sugar and the lemon juice plus a few drops of food coloring or red juice (if using).  and the rose water (if using) and stir until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add a few drops of warm water to 16. Cut the cake into equal sized squares and place them on cake racks.
  17. Cover the cake squares with the pink icing and let it dry. .
  18. Cut the white chocolate into small pieces using a serrated knife and melt in a water bath. Fill into paper cones and decorate the Rose Petits Fours as desired – you could also just decorate with some white powdered sugar icing.
  19. Place organic dried roses on top of the white chocolate and let set completely before serving.

These dainty Petits Fours require patience and a bit of a steady hand but they are certainly well worth the effort.

Serve these pretty Petits Fours with coffee at the end of a dinner party, or as special tea time treats.


A rose is a rose is a rose...

(1913 "Sacred Emily", Gertrude Stein)


  1. Everytime I look at your blog I go into a culinary coma. Beautiful as always. Happy blogiversary to you!!! Looking forward to reading many more of your posts. These petits fours look delicious and I love the little rose bud on top!

    1. Cathleen, thank you so very much for the wonderful comment! I am looking forward to many more blogging adventures in the months to come!

  2. Congrats on one year. Can I just say that these look perfectly beautiful. I would feel so loved if someone served me these little bites of heaven! I love your tea cup. What a beautiful post! Have a happy day.

    1. Thank you, Cindy - these little cakes are perfect to serve to guests with a wonderful cup of tea!

  3. These are the kind of bites that have a bad reputation sometimes because they are horrible when produced by the thousands. But made at home they can be outstanding, like yours Andrea! And so beautiful!

  4. Happy Blogiversary Andrea! These little cakes might be just PERFECT to make in green for St. Patty's day on Sunday! :) Love the blog!

    1. Sarah, thank you very much for the wonderful compliment and thanks also for stopping by!

  5. Wow, these are so pretty! And they look delicious. What a lovely way to celebrate your blogiversary!

    1. Thank you very much, Sarah! Pretty little cakes are always well received and these were no exception.

  6. My gran used to take us into town for tea at Bewleys. There was always a cakestand on the table full of beautiful little cakes like - but not nearly as pretty as - these. Andrea, another stunning confection. I could really use one of these with my cuppa right now!

    1. Thanks so much, Hester, I just made these for a special occasion - baking Petits Fours can be a tad time consuming, so these little cakes should be one of those "special cakes".

  7. What a perfect choice to celebrate your beautiful blog, Andrea! I love going to high tea and being served little cakes such as these - they just make the occasion so special. Happy blogiversary!

    1. Thank you very much for the lovely comment, Elaine! I think "High Tea" would be a perfect occasion to be served these - I am looking froward to the coming year filled with fun blogging activities.

  8. Congratulations on your first year of blogging! Your beautiful little petits fours are a wonderful example of why I am looking forward to see what you create for us and the next little adventure in your area that you share.

    1. Karen, thank you very much - looking forward to many more fun, interesting and exiting blog posts.

  9. Congratulations on the 1st blog anniversary! That's a big milestone and this beautiful treat is a perfect recipe to share on your special day. SO pretty. I think I've had this in Japan before but never seen it here. I always enjoy coming here to learn new dishes and you welcome us with beautiful food and great story telling. And not to mention, your kind friendship means a lot to me. Thank you Andrea!

    1. Nami, thank you so very much for your kind words and wonderful comments that I always appreciate so much - it has been a lot of fun discovering your blog and many following your every post - I have learnt a lot during the last year and I am looking forward to new adventures in the blogging world.

  10. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, as always! It is hard to believe you have only been blogging for a year. Everything you do is so professional. Great job!

    1. Marlise, thanks s o much for your kind and thoughtful words - I cannot believe that this year flew by but it was fileed with many delicious and wonderful cooking and baking adventures - I "met" so many very talented home bakers and cooks, and I always am in awe of all their talents. Looking forward to many more fun-filled posts.

  11. These are just so pretty.
    I've never made petits fours, but would love to try now!