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Ginger Chocolate Petite Fours

This recipe is adapted from one made by the queen of petite fours herself:  Valerie Gordon! Chocolate and ginger are an underrated pair, but my mom and I have always loved the two together (and separately). The cake base is sweet and buttery. The ganache is rich and velvet-y. The whole thing is sandwiched together and enrobed in dark chocolate. The end product is a light but rich, sweet but spicy, and simply stunning bite-sized dessert. I made these for my mom for Mother's Day, but they'd be perfect for just about any occasion. 

Step One: Ginger Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • pinch of salt

  • pinch of white pepper

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped candied ginger

  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup

  • 5 oz (10 tablespoons) softened butter (I prefer salted)

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 177 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet (the kind you would bake cookies on) with baking parchment. Spray the edges with cooking spray.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and corn syrup until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix.

  3. Whisk together the eggs and sour cream in a small bowl until smooth and creamy. Add into the butter mixture and beat together until fully incorporated. 

  4. Sift in the flour, baking powder, salt, and white pepper. Stir to combine. Add the candied ginger and stir.

  5. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake in the oven for 4 minutes. Rotate, then bake another 4 minutes. Allow to completely cool before removing. Divide the cake into three equal cakes, using a ruler if necessary. Stack the layers, dividing each one with baking parchment. There should be parchment between each layer, plus on on the top and on on the bottom. Wrap the whole kitten caboodle in plastic wrap and chill in the freezer at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.

Step Two: Chocolate Ginger Ganache

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 teaspoon powdered gelatin

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cold water

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon light corn syrup

  • 4 1/2 tablespoons very soft butter (I prefer salted)

  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger (Ginger packs a punch! Loose a teaspoon from this amount if you like a milder ganache.)

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water. Set it aside for 10 minutes. This will allow the gelatin to soften and bloom. Meanwhile, put the chocolate chips in a medium or large bowl and set aside.

  2. Add the heavy cream and corn syrup to a small saucepan. Set the heat to medium-high and let the mixture just barely come to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the gelatin until it dissolves. Pour over the chocolate, then let it rest for one minute. We want the chocolate to become melty and spreadable.  

  3. Use a small rubber spatula to stir the the chocolate/cream/gelatin mixture until it forms a creamy, cohesive ganache. Add the butter while the ganache is still warm. Let the butter mix in completely before adding the ginger. Let the ganache cool in the fridge at last an hour and up to overnight.

  4. Remove the cakes from the freezer and the ganache from the fridge. On a piece of parchment on a clean work-surface, lay down one layer of the cake. Spread on half the ganache using and offset spatula, then add another cake layer. Spread on the rest of the ganache. Place a layer of parchment on the top cake layer, then use rolling pin to gently press the layers together. Wrap up in plastic wrap, and place in the fridge at least three hours and up to overnight. 

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Step Three: Chocolate coating

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces dark chocolate

  • 1 tablespoon refined coconut oil

  • Canola oil (if necessary)

Instructions

  1. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave in 30-second intervals or in a double boiler (glass bowl over a pot of boiling water) until it is fully melted. If the consistency is a bit thick, add a little bit of canola oil until it has reached your desired consistency. 

  2. Get your lovely petite fours base out of the freezer, and use a ruler and a large knife to slice into uniform(ish) little cakes - you want them about one square inch. 

  3. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Have everything in its place: Your un-dipped petite fours, your chocolate coating and two forks to coat them, your prepared baking tray, and your candied ginger (optional but awesome). Now. The time has come. Are you ready?

  4. To dip the petite fours, place a piece on one fork, then use the other to cover it in chocolate, smoothing and evening out the coating as necessary. Place a candied ginger piece (optional) on top before the chocolate sets. *Tip: if this method is a bit tricky, just use your fingers to dip the top half of the cakes in chocolate! You'll still have every part of the petite fours, and it's way faster!

  5. Once all your petite fours are coated, pop the baking tray in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to set up. Once they set up, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks...

  6. ...or just eat them straight away! As soon as we stopped rolling for this episode, my whole family and I couldn't stop eating them! They were unspeakably good. They're a bit time-consuming to make, but they're absolutely delicious and totally worth it for a special occasion! 

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