Little bites of delight – SHF #24

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Petitfours2_1I have been known to mention that I am more of a fan of canapes or hors d’ouevres than I am of proper main courses.  There is nothing I like more than a succession of little nibbles, each carefully constructed and intensely flavoured – far more so than you could get away with in the case of a big plate of food.  And if I am a fan of little savoury nibbles, it should come as no surprise that I am also a fan of little sweet nibbles.  I don’t have a sweet tooth as such and I’m the kind of weirdo that can quite easily be satisfied with 2 squares of chocolate – there is no way I’ll eat the whole bar!  Rather give me a bite-sized but intriguing sweet morsel.  Rather let me have the cheese course and bring me little macaroons with my coffee.  Bliss.

Last week I was minding my own business, trying to finish my mammoth post on our Mexican cooking day, when out of the blue, an offer landed in my lap – an offer to host Sugar High Friday!  Seeing as I haven’t participated since April 2005 (!!) I was surprised that anybody would entrust this fine event to me – but entrust it they have, bless them :-)  For those of you who still don’t know, Sugar High Friday is the brainchild of the lovely Jennifer over at The Domestic Goddess who started this event way back in October 2004.  The idea was to have a monthly cooking event where bloggers would all make something sweet in line with the host’s chosen theme that month.  Past themes have included things like puff pastry, coffee, caramel, tarts and a holiday cookie swap.  Something for everyone, really!

Which brings me back to my first paragraph and this month’s theme.  I have nothing against great big steaming bowls of bread and butter pudding, or chocolate souffles, or pears poached in red wine.  But there is something about petits fours (or mignardises or friandises) that simply enchants me.  So much effort and attention to detail going into something so small and so delicate; so much flavour packed into a little parcel.  What’s not to like?  They are the dessert equivalent of a canape – small and perfectly formed, and they always leave their audience panting for more.  Kind of like Dita von Teese, with frosting :o)  So I hereby declare this month’s theme to be Little Bites of Delight, because good things come in small packages.

So what do you need to do? 

1.  Find or create a recipe for petits fours, mignardises or friandises and make some.  Just two a words of warning here:  1) please do NOT make chocolate truffles – these will soon form the theme of their very own event, and we don’t want you to be all truffled out before then; and 2) please do NOT make cookies as there is another cookie swap planned and we don’t want you to use up all your good ideas yet! [apparently not true – so bring on the florentines and financiers! – Ed.]

2.  Write up your beautiful little bites of delight on your blog.  A photo would be lovely too :-) If you do not have a blog, don’t worry – you too can now participate in Sugar High Friday!  Alanna has set up a special site where non-bloggers can be bloggers-for-a-day and see their sugary creations on the net.  Follow the simple instructions on the site and I will make sure your contribution appears both on the site and in the SHF roundup.

3.  Once you have posted your little treasures (and this is important, folks), send me an e-mail including a link to your post.  If you don’t let me know about your creation, I can’t include it in the roundup!

4.  The deadline for all of this is Friday 27 October.  Anything I receive by the time I wake up on Saturday 28 October (about 9 GMT) will be included in the round-up.  Anything after that is on shaky ground.

Easy enough?  So off you go and find your own personal bites of delight. 

[If it’s inspiration you are after, try Petit Fours’ phenomenally lovely website (from which the gorgeous photo was borrowed); or this guy’s site; or Sam’s recent slide show about making mignardises.]

***STOP PRESS***  If you want to see how everybody interpreted this theme, check out my SHF#24 roundup – over 40 petit four inspirations!

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  1. says

    Hi Sam
    As well you should be – it was your slide show that jogged my memory of when I made caramel-dipped fruit friandises for 30 people at my 30th birthday party. Siiiiigh. Good times, good times!
    Hi Stephanie
    Thrilled that you like the theme so much! I did think of your blogparty when I was doing the announcement. Maybe my good choice of theme will go some way to earning forgiveness for being such an infrequent participant??
    Hi Anne
    I haven’t either – not for a few years anyway. I usually like other people to make them and I just sit and nibble! Can’t wait to see what you come up with :-)
    Hi Ivonne
    Glad you like it!! Lots of agonising went into it, but it looks as if I made the right choice :-)

  2. says

    Hmmm…I’ve been delinquent in the kitchen for too long – this exquisite challenge will be tough. But I’m going to start looking for remedial-level options. Great theme. BTW – I saw Miss Dita von Teese in person a few months ago at a high tea in honor of her new book, and she is truly teenie, tiny in person – and absolutely perfect to behold!

  3. says

    Cool!!
    I have my idea – I might come up with more ideas!!! Gonna make some “Chocolate Sushi” (this is how we call this petit four in my house, easy to make, very very yummy and good looking 😉 will write about it in my blog! My first SHF I am excited!

  4. says

    I have never participated, but this one sounds just like me: after the cheese I don’t have space left for sweets, and I love baking, but don’t really like eating it. But little bites ….. good idea. Now all I need to do is put a reminder in my brain, and I participate :-)

  5. says

    I’m totally up for it…
    I have a million and one ideas as I adore little bites!
    How to narrow it down to one or find the right amount of time are my only hurdles.

  6. says

    Not being a sweet tooth myself, I find this quite a ‘comfortable’ theme, hehe!
    My first and last SHF entry was ages ago but I might just have something for you Jeanne! :-)

  7. says

    Hi Libby
    You saw Dita?? Lucky you! She is just uber- fabulous and I was thrilled to find a cunning way to mention her on a foodblog 😉 And yes – I find the theme pretty challenging myself – far more used to eating petit fours made by other people!
    Hi Gitit
    Thrilled to have you joining in so enthusiastically! And chocolate sushi sounds perfectly divine…
    Hi Isis
    I’m so with you – I peak too early on the cheese and after than although the spirit is willing I have no more capacity for dessert… except in exquisite little morsels. Can’t wait to see what you come up with :-)
    Hi Bonnie
    Glad to have piqued your interest & look forward to your creation!
    Hi Bron
    Mmmmm, a million ideas for petit fours sounds fab! And of course, I can’t wait to see your gorgeous photos.
    Hi JenJen
    My point exactly! And as somebody without much of a sweeet tooth, I’d rather have one small but outstanding bite than a big bowl…
    Hi Ilingc
    I know how you feel… But just take a deep breath and everything will fall into place! Or fall apart. But don’t forget to breathe!!
    Hi Karen
    You and me both – I have been very slack about participating. But I’m thinking that hosting might get me back into the habit!
    Hi Yorkshire Soul
    Sorry, did’t mean to totally distract you….! Hope the cold shower wasn’t too chilly :o)

  8. says

    A Whole World of Sweet Mini-Bites Tout un monde de petites bouchées sucrées

    A world offered on a plate, made of sweet one-bite delicacies, little nibbles of pleasure delicately prepared.
    Preparing these little treats allowed me to revisit the memory and experience of the kid playing with some pĂąte Ă  modeler (modeling past…

  9. says

    Thanks for hosting this – it was fun! The people at my office are eating the results today. It’s only 9:30am, and 1/2 the plate is gone, so I guess that’s a good thing!

  10. spittoonextra says

    Non-dainty Chocolate Mini Things for Sugar High Friday

    I mean, it’s not like slapping the dough or yanking a leg off a carcass. You know, manly things. I just don’t ‘do’ dainty. All the piping of cream, of micro-thin layers, of tweezer place granules – it just ain’t…

  11. says

    SHF: Chocolate Caramel Banana Bites

    A rather complicated dessert for Sugar High Friday 24 – little banana cake squares, layered with spiced caramel pastry cream and glazed with chocolate and burnt caramel. Worth the work!

  12. Dessert By Candy says

    SHF 24: Tiny Mousse and Tiny Clafoutis

    How to make an irresistable dessert more appealing? Make a miniature version! I’m thrilled about this month’s theme, Little Bits Of Delight, for Sugar High Friday. In fact, this topic is quite familiar for me as it is something that

  13. says

    Not going to make your deadline I’m afraid, camera card is full!
    Pastry is resting in the fridge, un-baked! Sigh… next time perhaps!

  14. says

    Non-traditional empanaditas

    If youre wondering what sort of picture composition is that and what kind of unidentified globule is that in the middle of the plate, well, just read on.
    Still reeling from my meringue-custard disaster, what was I doing carving limes and think …