Here we are already with the third week of the Great Canadian Baking Show in the bag! This week the bakers on the show were asked to bake a signature pie or tart and the finished results were amazing. Earlier this year I made a few different tarts and was really proud of how they turned out. The showstopper challenge was a pavlova which I also made earlier in the year and was really happy with as well. That left the technical challenge of Fondant Fancies.
Having lived in the UK for a couple of years I was quite familiar with fondant fancies, the Mr.Kipling varieties especially. I usually find them to be a little too sickly sweet for my taste which is probably why I never considered baking them myself, until this week of course.
After reading the original recipe posted on the CBC website I realized that I’d have to make a few changes. I’ve never heard of Pate A Glacier which is what the bakers used to cover their finished cakes in. I looked up a few different Petit Fours recipes and found a simple pour over fondant recipe that seemed to be close enough to the show. And then it was time to begin with two hours on the clock and no real idea what to expect.
The recipe is definitely a labour of love. It’s a lot of steps and a lot of accurate measurements but it does pay off in the end. The first step is to make a big rather flat sponge cake. The recipe for the sponge included folding a meringue into the batter which was definitely the most time consuming part of my recipe as it took forever for the egg whites to reach the point that I could flip the bowl over and have everything stay in place. I was off to a rough start, dropping the first egg on the floor.
After baking the cake until nice and brown and bouncy, it was time to cut it in half and cover with some jam and then sandwhich it with the other half of the cake. It’s then topped with a rich buttercream frosting and frozen for a few minutes so you can cut and handle the tiny cakes. I tried my best to measure each one to 1.5 inches square but I’m certain they’re all a bit off.
After cutting into tiny squares it was time to finish them off with my now light pink frosting. This. Was. Messy. Suddenly my nice little cake squares turned into rather unfancy blocks and I ran out of frosting for the last two. I’m not sure where to find Pate A Glacier that they used in the show but I wonder if it was any easier than the recipe I tried!
In the end the cakes are delicious little bites. Small enough that you can quickly enjoy two but filling enough that one is the perfect after dinner or mid-day treat. I don’t know if I’ll ever make them again, but I certainly prefer them to the store-bought versions I’ve tried in the past!
Bring on week 4!