Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Mini Blood Orange Cakes and Treat Petite Review

Finesse and elegance are not my strong points. I like my bakes to look homemade; taste and good quality always takes precedence over looks, but I do admire fancy patisserie and occasionally hanker after such prettiness in my own kitchen. Bite sized pieces of delectable cuteness are on trend, so when I was sent Treat Petite: 42 sweet & savoury miniature bakes by Fiona Pearce to review, I thought my moment had come.

The pictures of little dainties in the book really do look rather appealing and I had airy and unrealistic visions of hosting elegant cocktail parties serving decorative sweet and savoury canape sized bites. As I turned the pages of the book, my dreams became even more grandiose: cinnamon meringues made to look like mushrooms, tiny French macarons, gold dusted caramel shortbreads, biscuits done up in ribbons, mini croquembouches and tiny little savoury tarts. How hard could it be?

I took one look at the page of basic tools and equipment and came back down to earth with a bang. Squeeze bottles to dispense exact amounts of liquid and to flood biscuits, piping tubes for dainty choux pastry, mini pastry brushes for dusting on edible lustre – I was starting to tremble. However, as I turned the pages, my breathing slowed and I realised this particular Cinderella might make it to the baking ball.

Treat Petite Review

Treat Petite is divided into eight chapters and I was very glad to see that Chocolate was one of them. Strangely that was the first place I headed. I breathed a sigh of satisfaction; a book with a recipe for chocolate brownies with salted caramel frosting, could not be a bad one. And I was right, the recipes are interesting and sound tempting too. I have a particular abhorrence of pretty cakes that have the taste and texture of cardboard when you bite into them – all style and no substance. Chocolate cups with mango mousse reinforced my thoughts that the flavours and recipes used were not going to be run of the mill ones. Profiteroles with blue cheese mousse anyone? The other chapters were sensibly categorised: Sponges, Meringues, Pastry, Choux, Biscuits, Cupcakes and Savoury.

I found the forms these little treats took were also rather original. There is endless fun to be had with the coconut noughts and crosses, the noughts being one colour and the crosses another; cute square chocolate pastry cases filled with white chocolate ganache  looked both rustic and chic at the same time; coffee bean biscuits which are the same shape and size as a coffee bean struck me as particularly wondrous. Part of me wanted to try making some immediately, but my more realistic side put a brake on things. I am not good at faffy activities and quickly lose patience.

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

The instructions are simple and easy to follow. I had a go at making chocolate cupcakes to celebrate Chocolate Log Blog’s 5th birthday. The only change I made was to add coffee to the mix rather than water. They were a great success and tasted delicious, although I used my own icing rather than the peanut butter one suggested in the recipe. The amount of mixture also gave the correct number of cakes stated, something I find is not always the case in baking books.

As these Treate Petites are all about the show, pictures are essential. Each recipe comes with enticing photographs on one side of the page, together with a handy picture showing the actual size of the final bake on the recipe side of the page.

All in all, I think this is a delightful little book. It has a hardback cover, is attractive and full of good ideas. Handy tips, such as making chai-spiced palmiers with leftover bits of puff pastry, are scattered throughout. If like me, you find dainty a little daunting, you can always scale up the sizes to make something a bit more substantial.

I hadn’t come across the author, Fiona Pearce, before, but this is apparently her second book and the about page declares that she “teaches cake-decorating classes at Cakeology in south-west London and has written and contributed to a number of baking and craft books and magazines”. She also has a number of cake decorating tutorials on her blog Icing Bliss for those keen to learn how to make sugar flowers, ruffles and other such fancy decorations.

Blood Orange

Although I have a number of recipes bookmarked, I decided to go completely off piste with my bake for this post. The book was my inspiration, but I used my own recipe. I wanted to make some elegant mini sponges in the style depicted by the Miniature Victoria Sponges, but when it came to it, I couldn’t quite make them as tiny as 4-5 cm in diameter. I went for something a little more substantial, but still very dainty for me, 6 cm in diameter. I’d recently made some blood orange curd that I was keen to use and I of course had to get chocolate in somehow. I’ve found that white chocolate works brilliantly in baking and gives a bit of stability and richness without taking away from the lightness of the sponge. My downfall came when putting the cakes together. I had not got an even rise on the sponge, so most of the discs were slightly wonky; this meant that as soon as I put them together, the top started to slide off the bottom. This wasn’t helped by the curd being runnier than I expected, so the intended elegance was marred by something a little messier – it was more akin to Accident and Emergency. Hey ho, I was secretly pleased anyway.

I am entering these blood orange sponges into Treate Petite over at CakeyBoi. The theme this month is love and as I always bake with love and these were destined for both CT and friends, I’m hoping they count. This event is co-hosted by The Baking Explorer.

As orange, specifically blood orange was the main flavour used in these sponges, I am entering them into Victoria’s Feel Good Food over at A Kick at The Pantry Door.

I’m also sending these over to Javelin Warrior’s Cookin W/ Luv Made with Love Mondays. Everything was made from scratch, including the blood orange curd.

I was super excited to get hold of these luscious organic blood oranges which have such a short season and aren’t that easy to come by. This is the season, so I’m pleased to enter my blood orange curd into Simple and in Season over at Ren Behan.

Thrilled as I am with my blood orange curd, I am sending it off to Recipe of the Week with Emily over at A Mummy Too.

 

The theme for Family Foodies this month of February is Love of course and what could be more loving than making scrumptious tiny cakes for all to enjoy. This event is hosted this month by Louisa of Eat Your Veg and alternately with Vanesther of Bangers & Mash.

Thanks to Ivy Press for sending me a copy of Treat Petite. I was not required to write a positive review and as always all opinions are my own.

print recipe

Blood Orange Curd
Blood Orange Curd
by Choclette February-23-2014
A sweet but zingy curd with an attractive strawberry pink colour.
 
Ingredients
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 400g golden granulated sugar
  • 3 organic blood oranges – zest & juice
  • 1 organic lemon – zest & juice
  • 3 large eggs (I used duck eggs)
 
Instructions
1. Melt the butter over low heat in a saucepan.2. Add the sugar and grate in the orange and lemon zest. Squeeze in the juice and stir until the sugar has dissolved.3. Whisk in the eggs one by one and stir on an off until the mixture has thickened – about 20 minutes.4. Strain through a sieve into warm sterilised jars. Cover with waxed paper discs and seal. Store in a cool dark place and refrigerate once opened.
 
Details

Total time: Yield: 4 small jars

print recipe

Blood Orange Cakes
Mini White Chocolate and Blood Orange Sponge Cakes
by Choclette February-23-2014
Mini orange sponge cakes filled with whipped cream and blood orange curd. The orange could be swapped for lemon or any other fruit curd desired. Double the recipe to make two 8″ cakes.
 
Ingredients
  • 50g white chocolate
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs (I used duck eggs)
  • 125g flour (I used half wholemeal spelt & half white)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Β½ blood orange
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp blood orange curd
 
Instructions
1. Melt white chocolate in a mixing bowl over hot water (or as I did stand the bowl on my storage heater).2. Add the butter and sugar to the chocolate and cream together until light and fluffy.3. Beat in the eggs one by one.4. Sift in the flour and baking powder and stir gently.5. Grate in the zest of the orange, then squeeze in the juice and stir once again until just mixed.6. Scrap into a lined 30 x 20 cm Swiss roll tin and bake at 180Β°C for 15 minutes until well risen and spongy to the touch.7. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.8. Cut 12 6cm (2Β½”) discs out with a round cutter.9. Whip the cream, then spread this over half of the sponge discs. Spread some orange curd over the other half and sandwich them together. Dust the tops with icing sugar.10. Eat the scraps, use in a trifle or make cake truffles. The sponge scraps can be frozen for later use.
 
Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Corina
    23rd February 2014

    They look beautiful. It’s lovely to serve them like this for a special treat or occasion.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd February 2014

      Thanks Corina, it did indeed make sponge cakes seem rather special.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Angie Schneider
    23rd February 2014

    I just made a batch of blood orange curd too! Yours sounds even better with duck eggs. Those mini sponge cakes look really beautiful and elegant.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd February 2014

      Oh Angie, isn’t it wonderful stuff. I love fruit curds, they are so zingy. I shall be heading over to check yours out. Thanks for saying such nice things about my cakes πŸ™‚

  3. Leave a Reply

    LiSa
    23rd February 2014

    This looks amazing!! I bet it tastes even better! I haven’t had much luck the few times I made lemon curd, but your recipe makes me want to see if the 4th times a charm! Yum!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd February 2014

      Thanks Lisa. Strangely, I’ve never made lemon curd. Apple and lemon curd works a treat and I’ve made that several times. Lots of other curds too, but never lemon. I think it’s something to do with the jars of bright yellow shop bought curd that put me off as a child. Good luck with your next attempt.

  4. Leave a Reply

    belleau kitchen
    23rd February 2014

    wow, it’s like a double whammy of amazingness… firstly the blood orange curd… er, hello!?!?! How amazing is that.. so glad you found yourself some blood oranges, they are so my favourite citrus fruit… and secondly the amazing cakes, so pretty and so cute… a fabulous post!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd February 2014

      It was you Dom that got me lusting after blood oranges. So glad I finally got my hands on some, they are fantastic πŸ˜€

  5. Leave a Reply

    Alicia Foodycat
    23rd February 2014

    The curd looks so good! Last time I bought blood oranges they only had the faintest streak of red, and the colour didn’t come through in anything I made – tragedy!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd February 2014

      I was lucky Alicia, all six of mine were red all the way through. Not sure if you can tell until you cut into them. Or maybe something to do with the variety?

  6. Leave a Reply

    Karen S Booth
    23rd February 2014

    LOVE this post as I LOVE blood oranges and wee cakes, so this is a marriage made in heaven!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd February 2014

      Ah yes Karen, wee cakes sounds much cuter than mini cakes somehow. When you come down to Cornwall, you might get to try some wee cakes!!!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd February 2014

      Thank you Sue. I suspect the curd would make any cake rather special πŸ™‚

  7. Leave a Reply

    Katie
    23rd February 2014

    I think they look fabulous! Perfect for a dainty afternoon tea and I bet the blood orange curd tastes amazing. I like it when the filling oozes out a bit, makes look them even more tempting πŸ™‚

  8. Leave a Reply

    The Caked Crusader
    23rd February 2014

    Beautiful – what a gorgeous looking curd too. For someone who claims not to do finesse I think these pics prove otherwise!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd February 2014

      Oh thank you CC. That’s almost given me heart to try some more πŸ™‚

  9. Leave a Reply

    GG
    23rd February 2014

    They look perfect, I don’t ever see blood oranges anymore, but I remember how wonderful they tasted. GG

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd February 2014

      Thanks GG. They are slightly tarter than your average orange and thus quite flavoursome I find.

  10. Leave a Reply

    Kate@whatkatebaked
    23rd February 2014

    Blood Orange Curd? That’s brilliantly inventive Choclette- what a great use for blood oranges and a super seasonal treat too

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd February 2014

      Thanks Kate. Blood oranges are such a sensational colour, it seemed a shame not to use it. And the curd is delicious.

  11. Leave a Reply

    Heidi Roberts
    23rd February 2014

    You don’t see many blood oranges these days, love the little cakes and the curd! These look so s;pring like.

  12. Leave a Reply

    Sarah Barnes
    23rd February 2014

    What an unusual looking curd, so pretty in the jar! I’ve been missing doing any pickling since Christmas, this would help me with my jar filling cravings! Thanks πŸ™‚

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      24th February 2014

      Oh glad to hear I’m not alone in wanting to fill jars Sarah πŸ™‚

  13. Leave a Reply

    Jayne
    23rd February 2014

    Gorgeous little cakes! Wonderful curd too! I just love blood oranges, such a treat at this time of the year!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      24th February 2014

      Thanks Jayne – winter citrus certainly brightens up what can be a dull time of year.

  14. Leave a Reply

    Alida
    23rd February 2014

    Wow that curd is really interesting! Blood oranges are in season now in Sicily. They are really fabulous fruit and their colour makes them particularly inviting. I do love mini patisserie, in fact I REALLY love it and would like to learn more about it. They are labour intensive but all worth it in the end. X

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      25th February 2014

      I bet you would be perfect at dainty patisserie Alida and suspect you have more patience than me too. Blood oranges are so dramatic, they are just wonderful at this time of year.

  15. Leave a Reply

    Tina Anand
    24th February 2014

    Your petite cakes look adorable and I love the flavour combination of white chocolate with blood orange curd. Yummy!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      27th February 2014

      Thank you Tina, white chocolate and orange is a bit more unusual than dark chocolate and orange, but it works.

  16. Leave a Reply

    Charlene F
    24th February 2014

    Your cakes look lovely, like they are part of an afternoon tea set πŸ™‚ x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      27th February 2014

      Thank you Charlene – that’s good to hear as it was sort of what I was after πŸ™‚

  17. Leave a Reply

    Jane Sarchet
    25th February 2014

    And there I was dusting off my evening gown and stole to rush round for your cocktail party! Such a tease Choclette πŸ˜‰
    Janie x

  18. Leave a Reply

    Javelin Warrior
    25th February 2014

    That curd is so gorgeous, Choclette! These little sandwiched cakes are so cute too. I’m pretty much the same – I don’t like a lot of fuss and I shy away from anything too fancy. But it’s so much fun to see the cuteness from time to time πŸ™‚

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      27th February 2014

      Thanks JW – sometimes I feel I have to push the boat out, just a little πŸ™‚

  19. Leave a Reply

    Lou, Eat Your Veg
    25th February 2014

    Oh what dainty little cakes of gorgeousness. Love the sound of the Treat Petite book but I’ve so little patience for such finesse! I would however happily demolish a few of your cakes, the blood orange curd addition sounds sublime. A wonderful Family Foodies ‘Love’ entry!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      4th March 2014

      Thanks Lou – patience isn’t my strong point either, so I was pleased to pull this off with reasonable credibility πŸ˜‰

  20. Leave a Reply

    Kimberley Watkiss
    26th February 2014

    The curd looks amazing and I adore blood orange but haven’t seen them available anywhere locally. I’ll have to do a bit more hunting for this curd recipe!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      4th March 2014

      Thanks Kimberley. This was the first year I’ve been able to get hold of any and I think the season is over now – bookmark it for next year?

  21. Leave a Reply

    Deena Kakaya
    26th February 2014

    Not only do they look stunning, but oh my…tart, sponginess, chocolate..what else does a girl need? xx

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      4th March 2014

      Thanks Deena. We had some of the curd spread on pancakes the other day and that was gorgeous too.

  22. Leave a Reply

    AMummyToo
    1st March 2014

    They looks so beautiful! Ashamed to say I haven’t cooked with blood oranges before. Thinking this might be the time to start! Thanks for linking up with #recipeoftheweek πŸ™‚ I’ve pinned and tweeted this post and there’s a fresh linky live now. Hope you join in x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      4th March 2014

      Don’t be ashamed, it’s so exciting to know there are still plenty of things out there to discover and try out. This was my first time.

  23. Leave a Reply

    Anna-Marie Donnelly
    3rd March 2014

    I just seen this picture a friend has on pinterest and I am drooling!! These look superb and I am going to try and make them this weekend. Yummy! Thank you!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      4th March 2014

      Thank you for coming over to visit Anna-Maria and for taking the time to comment. Do let me know how you get on if you do get around to it.

  24. Leave a Reply

    ediblethings
    3rd March 2014

    I love curd. I’ve never thought to try making it with duck eggs, I can imagine how much richer and more delicious it is.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      4th March 2014

      I find duck eggs work well because the yolks are such a high proportion of the egg.

  25. Leave a Reply

    Morgan @ Peaches, Please!
    4th March 2014

    I’m totally with you in that cakes that look beautiful but taste like garbage are the worst. Talk about a let down. I would take a fabulous, homey cake any day over a fancy, meh cake.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      6th April 2014

      So pleased to hear this Morgan. That’s what I hope any true foodie would do πŸ™‚

  26. Leave a Reply

    Ren Behan
    14th March 2014

    Lovely – and two recipes in one! Mentioned in the Simple and in Season round up today x

  27. Leave a Reply

    Tina Holmes
    29th May 2014

    I love blood oranges, never see them around much. The cakes look amazing. Recipe of the Week

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      24th January 2017

      Thank you Tina and I do apologise for only spotting your message just now. I’ve just got a load of blood oranges in and wondering what to make with them.

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>