Chocolate Pomegranate Petit Fours
Dressed to Impress, Chocolate Pomegranate Petit Fours are a show-off treat for your Valentine!
Every time I see Petit Fours I think of Alice in Wonderland, gingerly nibbling bite-sized cakes that made her shoot up to towering heights or shrink down to the size of a mouse.
What’s more, I remember how delightful the petit fours sounded, and recall thinking I would be willing to go through any challenge Alice had to face, to get my hands on them.
Petit Fours are in fact, a labor of love. It’s not that they are hard to make; it’s that there is so much WAITING involved… I don’t like to wait on my dessert.
Impatience is the reason most people don’t make Petit Fours; they buy them at a bakery. However fresh homemade petit fours are a mystifying treat, with flavor combinations you don’t often find at a bakery, like chocolate pomegranate petit fours!
So here is the process for making these insanely tasty Chocolate Pomegranate Petit Fours. Again, not hard, just lots of waiting around.
Bake the cake and place in the freezer. Wait…
Make the Whipped Pomegranate Cream. Spread on cake. Freeze and wait…
Make the Whipped Chocolate Cream. Spread on pomegranate filling. Freeze and wait…
Trim the cake edges and cut into perfect 1 inch squares. Freeze and wait…
Make the Pomegranate Poured Fondant. Coat each Petit Four. Place on a rack to dry.
Why all the freezing and waiting?
The cream layers and the cake layer of the Chocolate Pomegranate Petit Fours need to be rock-hard before blanketing them in warm poured fondant, otherwise the cream will melt and the tender cake will crumble into the poured fondant bowl creating a huge mess.
Yet these little beauties are worth the wait. At this moment, I’m surrounded by little pearly pink Chocolate Pomegranate Petut Fours, and that is a goo thing.
If you are of the patient sect, you will be quite pleased with the finished product.
Chocolate + Pomegranate = Exquisite Yum.
P.S. The color of the pomegranate juice is so concentrated; there is no need for artificial coloring!
AMENDMENT 2-11-12: I’ve noticed in the comments that several people have tried our Chocolate Pomegranate Petit Fours recipe and have struggled with the poured fondant. I pride myself on offering tried-and-true recipes that anyone can make at home, and I HATE that this has caused a few of you some kitchen hardship. Here is a video clip I found, that is very similar to how I make my poured fondant. If you have never made petit fours, please take a look at this before starting, and also watch “Step 3” that covers dipping, listed after this clip! This is still a recipe worth making, but if you are new to petit fours, proceed with caution.
Chocolate Pomegranate Petit Fours
For the Cake:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup scalding hot water
For the Pomegranate Cream:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (1 cup)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
For the Chocolate Cream:
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened (1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled to room temp.
For the Pomegranate Poured Fondant:
- 1 cup plain shortening
- 6-8 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
For the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9x13 pan with parchment paper and thoroughly grease the sides. Sift (or whisk) all dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Beat together the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients, and whisk for two minutes. Once well combined pour in the hot water and mix well. Pour into the cake pan and tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any large bubbles.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool for 15 minutes, then flip out on a plastic board. Remove the parchment paper. If the cake looks even, place in the freezer. If the top is rounded, carefully flip the cake over (using another cookie sheet) and trim the top with a serrated knife, then freeze.
For the Whipped Pomegranate Cream:
- Add the pomegranate juice and flour to a small sauce pan. Whisk until there are no lumps. Then heat over medium, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Whisk and cook a few more minutes until it thickens into a paste. Remove from heat and place pan in the fridge to cool. Beat the butter and sugar in a clean mixing bowl, for 5-7 minutes, until fluffy and glossy.
- Once cooled, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until light and fluffy 5 minutes. Spread the pomegranate cream evenly over the cake and return to the freezer.
For the Whipped Chocolate Cream:
- Add the milk, flour, and cocoa powder to a small sauce pan. Whisk until there are no lumps. Then heat over medium, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Whisk and cook a few more minutes until it thickens into a paste. Remove from heat and place pan in the fridge to cool. Beat the butter and sugar in a clean mixing bowl, for 5-7 minutes, until fluffy and glossy. Once cooled, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Pour in the vanilla and the cooled melted chocolate and beat until light and fluffy 5 minutes. Spread evenly over the top of the pomegranate cream. Return to the freezer.
- Once frozen, trim the edges of the cake until very smooth. The cake will be about 8x12 inches after trimming. Then carefully cut the cake into 1-inch squares, 96 total. You may want to use a clean ruler to mark the top of the chocolate cream to make the pieces even. Return the cake squares to the freezer.
For the Pomegranate Poured Fondant:
- Place the shortening and half the pomegranate juice in a large bowl. Microwave until the shortening has melted. Add 5 cups of powdered sugar to the mix and whisk until smooth. Add a little more juice and another cup of powdered sugar, whisk. The fondant should be smooth and glossy, thin enough to pour but thick enough to coat well, a little thicker than school glue. If you see shortening dots on the top, add more powdered sugar. It may take all the juice and as much as 8 cups of powdered sugar to even out--but not always. Rewarm and whisk before dipping the petit fours. The fondant needs to stay warm.
- Before dipping, dust the bottoms of each petit four, so that crumbs don't fall in the poured fondant.
- Place a petit four on a fork over the fondant bowl. Using a large spoon, scoop fondant over the top covering completely on all sides, then use another fork to carefully transfer to a drying rack. Repeat with all, rewarm the fondant if needed. Keep the remaining petit fours in the freezer, only removing a few at a time, so they stay completely frozen for dipping. If the petit fours thaw, the fondant won't stick.
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When making the fondant, the pomegranate and the shortening will not mix. Is that supposed to happen? Even when I added a cup of powdered sugar it wouldn’t mix. I don’t want to add more and wind up with a waste.
Also, I used coconut oil instead of regular vegetable shortening. My mother said it wouldn’t make a difference.
Hey Payton, like oil and water, they will not want to come together but the powdered sugar is the secret ingredient to bind them. Keep on adding it girl!
I made this recipe and it was beautiful and delicious. I feel like a professional baker. This is the best tasting and best looking dessert I’ve had. And, I made it!!! Thanks for sharing!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hi Barb, So glad you liked them!! :)
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Wow! These look amazing! I’m going to make them. Do you know how long they will last?
Thank you so much for the wounderful mini dessert which i would like to make soon, but my question is can we subtetute the shortening with oil and light corn serope?
Hi Summer, I’m not sure about that… I’m afraid the glaze wouldn’t harden-up if you used oil. You might be able to get away with coconut oil. But I would make a small test batch and try coating a couple first, if I were you. Hope this helps!
Quick question—did you use powdered sugar in the creams or possibly baking sugar, which I should have used…even after 7 minutes, the sugar was still not incorporated fully. thanks
Hi Kathy, I only used powdered sugar in the poured fondant. For the creams, the heat should dissolve the sugar… wish I could see yours so I know what’s happening.
These look and sound wonderful – thanks for posting the recipe (I’m also tempted to make a hazelnut marsala variation :-)
~ marie, the EpicureanPiranha
I made cake with frosting was great but poured fondant failed :( . I decided to leave it without fondant like others did. They r delicious without it! Thank you for shared ur recipe.
I love your website and I’ve been waiting for a fabulous recipe like this for my entire baking life. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
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Could I make these with Gluten free chocolate cake mix and use cacao powder? I am excited to try but scared I will have trouble, as I read through the comments. But they look so adorable and delicious! I am always looking for ways around food coloring so if nothing else I really want to try the fondant, as it is my favorite way to top a cake.
Delish!!! Looks amazing. I wanted to let you know I featured this on my blog today: http://www.vixenmade.com/2013/02/14-treats-for-your-valentine.html
Do you think the pomegranate cream is okay to use as frosting for cupcakes, or is it too sweet/not sweet enough? The petit fours look a little complicated, but the recipe sounds delicious!
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Just wondering… How would you store the petit fours? I plan to make a bunch for a party a couple of days in advantage but i don’t know if i should
1) freeze them until the day before then let them thaw at room temperature/ fridge… i read that you shouldn’t freeze poured fondant.
2)or… should i just leave them in the fridge for a couple of days. I know the mousse would be fine but what I’ve read that the poured fondant is best stored at room temperature in an unsealed box.
Would it be easier just to cover them chocolate instead of poured fondant??
Thanks in advance.
I made these beautys and they were amazing! The only slight problem I had was with the creams. They were a bit gritty from the sugar. Is that normal? I’ve never made this type of cream before. I’m just wondering if I didn’t whip it long enough or something? I’d love to make them again but with a creamier consistency. Thanks for the recipe and your help in advance.
No the creams aren’t supposed to be gritty. Generally that has to do with how long you beat the butter and sugar–it takes AT LEAST 5 minutes. I’m so glad you like them!
Looks super yummy!
I’m in the process of making these darling things.. all the way to the cutting step..
wondering if I can freeze the final product? does that work?
Yes, you can freeze them. Just make sure to wrap them well. Then unwrap them before they thaw so the poured fondant stays pretty.
I plan to make these for a friends birthday tomorrow! the recipe sounds delicious! i was thinking of just using the fondant as a top layer and skipping the cutting part, so more like a big cake. anyone else try this? or any thoughts??
I bet that would work!
These look so amazing and beautiful! I will definitely try to make these! Thanks so much for sharing!!
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These petit fours look AH-MAZING! And couldn’t be more perfect for my Mad Hatter’s Tea Party later this year! Even better is that I can make them in advance and freeze them until almost the last step. Awesome!
These were so tasty! But mine turned out far, far less attractive than yours, haha. Would you mind if I post about this on my blog? I’ll link back to your site & this post =)
In the recipe, under Chocolate Cream, you list “2 Tb. cup flour” Is that 2 T + 1 cup of flour?
Sorry about that. It’s 2 Tb. flour, I’ll fix it right now. :)
I made these the weekend before Valentine’s for my husband. Since I have a small child, I was unable to donate a large amount of time at once, so I took my time w/these. I started Friday and ended Sunday. It was time consuming, but because I wasn’t in a rush to finish, I didn’t mind and was able to get a good freeze on all of the layers.
I too had problems cutting and especially dipping (but i’m not a good dipper at all). My pieces weren’t even, but I didn’t care. My poured fondant turned out pretty thick, I tried dipping a few, got fed up, and put the fondant in a ziploc, cut the edge and ended up drizzling.
Now on to the flavor. These were the BEST things I’ve ever tasted! So good, so creamy, so wonderful!! The flavors go so well together!! Everyone that tried them, loved them. They were also good without the poured fondant, but I liked them with.
I think I will make this for my son’s bday, but in cake form and instead of a poured fondant, do you think a buttercream would work? Do you have any good recipes for a buttercream (I’d probably do a pomegranate flavored one, but I’ve never made buttercream icing.
Thanks for this recipe, I LOVED IT!!!!
These guys are waiting in my freezer right now for step 10. Can’t wait! :D
I made these yesterday/this morning and thought I would share my 2 cents! They didn’t look very pretty, but it was my first time making petit fours. I had a lot of trouble with the fork/spoon fondant method so i just held them at the base and dipped them upside down, then turned them over to dry. The biggest problem I had was the cake layer – it was so light and fluffy, it could not handle the heavy layers of cream on top. When I cut it into squares, they ended up sliding and becoming lopsided in the freezer overnight. Also, the fondant did not seem to want to stick to the cake. If I made them again, I might try using a brownie base. I was worried they would be too sweet, so for the chocolate layer I ended up using unsweetened chocolate instead of dark and it turned out to be the most delicious frosting and I will probably use the recipe again just for regular cupcakes!
All in all, they turned out delicious but horrifically ugly. I don’t know if people will be wowed, but I hope they eat them anyway!
Thanks for sharing Rachel,
I’m sorry yours turned out ugly!! Honestly, I’ve never posted a recipe that caused so much trouble to my readers. Then again, I generally don’t post recipes with so many layers/steps. I apologize, and will make sure to post goodies that are a little more user-friendly in the future. I’m glad you still liked the way they tasted. :)
I had the same problem with the cake (which is ironic, because a light and fluffy cake would usually be the goal). These poor little guys flopped all over. I also had an issue getting the fondant to stick to the cake. I gave up after about 10 (gobbled up) failures. I think they are really quite lovely without the fondant, so I am serving them that way tomorrow.
With all that said, the pomegranate cream was delicious and I will definitely use it for layering with future cakes. Love the tartness. Either way, the two tough critics that live in my house thought they were super tasty.
I made these this weekend! As Jillian says, the frosting is sweet; I added more pomegranate juice to thin it out, and it helped a bit. I actually liked them without the fondant, BUT, they looks so darling all pretty in pink. I posted some photos of mine here:
They were a hit! everyone loved them. I brought the extras to work, even some un-fondant ones, and they’re gone already! I think I will make this into a cake and use whipped cream instead of the fondant…I am in LOVE with this recipe. Thank you so much!
Aisleen, I’m so glad you liked them and your photos look GREAT!
Yes, the poured fondant is sweet, but every poured fondant I’ve ever experimented with (or tasted) was equally sweet, being made of almost all powdered sugar. I love that you’re making your own twist to the recipe. :)
Thanks so much! Yes, I agree with you on the fondant. Its just pure sugar, every recipe I’ve made has been equally as sweet. Its not overpowering to me, but I can see why some feel it to be TOO sweet. I’m excited to try it as a cake, I will post photos of that once its done as well! Thanks again!
Just attempted to make them – disaster. The icing is disgustingly sweet and since it has to be warm, it immediately breaks down the butter-based layers of cream. You cannot make these look anywhere near what the pictures do, and if you actually make the icing as thick as described it will tear apart your cakes. The cakes were in the freezer for over 12 hours before I even attempted to frost them, so they were indeed “rock hard”, but that still didn’t help. Even if I did manage to salvage them at this point, I wouldn’t eat them because of how insanely sweet the icing is. It actually kind of ruins the whole thing.
Oh Jillian, I’m so sorry you had trouble! With mine, the fact that the interior cream layers are less sweet balanced out the sweetness of the frosting. I hate that they didn’t work out for you.
oh, I so wish I were not too lazy to make petit fours. I love them and these look amazing!
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These look gorgeous!! love the colours!
These are so beautiful Sommer! Such a sweet little treat for Valentine’s day!
These are just gorgeous. The perfect elegant Valentine”s day treat. So worth the wait.
Um, yes — I’ll take a few ;-) Looks delicious.
Simply exquisite ! I am NOT of the patient sect, but I sure do admire those who are!
These are just too darling. And sound delicious!! I’m in the mood for love now ;D
Sommer, these look AMAZING. Gorgeous and so perfect for Valentine’s Day!!!
I did ice cream petitie fours long time ago and they were delicious – but a lot of work. These look amazing and so good – and just adorable !!
Those look AMAZING! I love the vivid color…and so amazing that you didn’t use artificial food coloring. And the flavors, chocolate and pomegranate, sound amazing together.
Oh my gosh! I need to make these! Thanks for a great recipe. :)
I think of Alice and Wonderland too! Yours look absolutely AMAZING! I have never made Petit Fours before and I may just do that soon as I have tons of pomegranate juice in my fridge!
Our sweethearts are always worth the effort–these are beautiful, worthy of a date night or special occasion.
Amazing combo! Getting ready to make some petit fours, as such, for cupcake toppers (heart shaped). Great tips on dipping… that is the part I hate the most!
My name is Sommer too… same spelling even… not “the sommer”. :)
these are simply gorgeous!
So cute, love the deep color!!
These look so delicious! And so cute and pink – love them! :)
When complete, should these be refrigerated?
Like most cakes, it’s best to keep them in the fridge. But they can sit out throughout the day for events.
Wow those are beautiful! This is the prefect Valentine’s Day treat.
Girl, these are beyond stunning!! They will be pinned everywhere I am sure of it!!
These are absolutely adorable! I just love how pretty they look!
Totally droolworthy stuff sommers- slurp !
Absolutely amazing!! They look gorgeous and so tempting
Gorgeous! I would love to try to make this. I am not a patient person. About how long long does it take to freeze per layer?
I’d say it takes 30-60 minutes per layer, to make sure they are really set. …But definitely worth it!
Ok, thanks. I will have to plan for a day of baking and reading only. Patience isn’t one of my strength, but it is certainly worth trying for.
Oh, these are the perfect Valentine’s Day treat, Sommer! Both beautiful and deletable!
Wow, these petit fours are pretty darn adorable! I love the combination of chocolate and pomegranate.
These petit fours are soo cute! I love the colors and layering. Yum!
Those are beautiful, but I know that I do not have the patience to make them.
These are gorgeous!! I love that they are made without food coloring, too. I would never be patient enough to bake these, but I sure can admire them and wish I was eating one right this second!
These are gorgeous!
These are beautiful! And *healthy?*
These are so cute! I made my first petit fours on Friday, and I am definitely going to try it again…with this recipe.
Absolutely gorgeous! Love them.
OMG you are so talented, do you need my address to send them to me?
These are SO gorgeous!!
Absolutely wicked!! Pinned it :)
Gorgeous! I’m waiting for my boys to get older so I can finally have time to make things like these :)
Ha! I am terrified of petit fours! You have the patience of a saint, but your mom was right! Worth the wait!
These are beautiful and I bet taste magnificent. Perfect for Valentine’s Day.
They certainly are a labor of love, but when done right, they are SO worth it! So cute!
Very pretty little cakes, I just pinned into my pink and chocolate board,lol!
Wow! They are soooo pretty! Pretty little cakes, and yummy too, we bet!
Your patience definitely paid off. These are beyond gorgeous!
These are absolutely beautiful. I think I would die with all the waiting but like you say the wait would be worth it. I am totally knocked out by these. Lovely!
These look amazing, Sommer. Perfect, beautiful and delicious!
Oh my you are a food artist! These are so beautiful and I can almost smell the lovely flavor. Very pretty – great job. Can I give you my address so you can send some over? Thanks!
Those are so pretty!
These are gorgeous! I think it highly unlikely I’d have the patience though. I’ve always hated that saying ;)
Oh gee, these are just the cutest!
So pretty! Almost too pretty to eat!
too good!! Wow!
Just gorgeous! I need some of your patience!
These are lovely!
Petit fours are definitely time consuming, but so worth it! These are gorgeous! The layers look perfect & I love the color!
I just baked a cake with a lot of “cooling and waiting” to apply more layers. Yes, you have to be very patient which isn’t my strength either.
How about you send some west in a little small pink box? The Petit Fours look amazing. I love the color and I am sure the flavor combo goes really well.
Oh good grief, those are adorable and very impressive – I would lose my mind about mid-way through the process! Kudos!
You’re right – I would never have the patience to make these! Although yours are so gorgeous and look so delicious that I would pay top dollar for them. They’re stunning, Sommer!