I took a  personality test at work the other day and it came as no surprise to myself that my greatest fear is failure.  If I’m being completely honest then I will say that I expect all my endeavors — baking, medical procedures, etc — to work out perfectly the very first time.  So, since I am the archetypal glutton for punishment I usually try several new techniques with each baking project.  This project entailed the following new techniques/recipes for me:
  1. Petit Fours — first time making them
  2. Cake made with aquafaba
  3. Russian piping tips– of course, I thought now would be the best time to break out this Christmas gift.
  4. Vegan buttercream made with Earth’s Balance vegan buttery bars
Yes, no less than 4 new techniques in one baking project.  You know what’s coming, don’t you?  Well, not failure exactly.  But it certainly did not meet my expectations.  Here’s what I learned: Aquafaba cake:
  1.  Aquafaba cake is actually quite stable structurally.  Not quite as stable as pound cake which is ideal for petit fours but a pretty good substitute for a vegan cake.  In my opinion, oil based vegan cakes are far too moist to use for petit fours.
  2. Petit fours are traditionally made about one-inch tall.  Although you can certainly make them taller I would not advise it when you are using an aquafaba cake (refer to #1).
  3. Don’t use too much jam between the layers.  As you can see from my pictures I used too much jam thus adding to the instability of the cakes and also ultimately adding to the moisture content.
  4. Why is stability important with petit fours? Again, traditionally, these cakes are about 1 to 1.25″ wide so any extra height, delicacy of crumb, etc makes it hard to cut evenly and retain the cute shapes.
  5. Once you have layered your cake and frosted the top freeze it for about an hour to make sure the cake is good and firm before trying to slice those tiny petit fours.
  6. The aquafaba cake was actually surprisingly tasty.  I did update one thing in my recipe though which is to use coconut milk instead of soy milk.  I did not like the taste of the soy milk in this cake.  BTW,  I did a blind taste test on three slightly inebriated men and they all agreed that they could not tell it was a vegan cake.
    too tall – no more than 1″ Too small 1.25″ Cake not stable try pound cake Cske not frozen -frezevone hour Icing to 90 Less jam

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