There's something so irresistible about miniature food, the treats we love made into tiny packages you can just pop into your mouth - virtually guilt-free! (Unless you're me and can't help but eat your weight in them.) Fiona Pearce, owner of Icing Bliss in London where she specialises in vintage-inspired cakes, knows the 'Alice-in-Wonderland' charm of little delectables and has brought us 42 recipes for mini bakes and bites in her second book, Treat Petite. The sweets cover everything including sponges, meringues, chocolate, pastry, choux, and biscuits, while the savoury section begins with a lesson in making perfect puff pastry, followed by seven recipes for tasty, bite-sized canapes.
What I love most about this book is the simplicity of the recipes so anyone can make them, regardless of baking experience. It's also great for introducing novices to certain dishes that may otherwise be intimidating. You can start off small - quite literally! - and master your technique before attempting the full version - if that still holds any interest after going tiny! And you can have lots of fun playing with presentation, arranging Micro-meringue Kisses, Mini Dacquoise Towers, and Pistachio and White Chocolate Florentines (one of many possibilities) on pretty plates to wow your family or guests - or yourself! And it may inspire you to experiment with your own creations - I'm beginning to imagine everything I cook in its scaled-down version.
Treat Petite is published by Ivy Press and is available to purchase at Amazon (£12.99).
Here's a peek inside the book, packed with beautiful photos of every recipe and detailed, easy-to-follow instructions:
I love madeleines and can't wait to try this even smaller version, flavoured with freshly ground Earl Grey tea leaves and glazed with sugar, honey and orange.
Coffee Bean Biscuits are made with fragrant coffee shortbread to resemble the real thing - wouldn't that make a charming and delicious accompaniment to your cup of Java?
The artwork that introduces each chapter is so wonderful and fun:
Gilded Caramel Shortbread Squares and Chocolate Ganache-filled Tartlets with chocolate pastry - yum!
A savoury-sweet burst of flavour in a single bite, these Caramelised Onion Galettes with Goat's Cheese would be hard to walk away from after just one:
How delicious do these Caesar Salad Bites sound, with garlic butter-infused bread tart, crispy bacon, parmesan cheese and half a quail's egg? Add Mini Blini Stacks with Smoked Salmon for a very special brunch.
In addition to running Icing Bliss, Fiona Pearce also teaches cake decorating classes at Cakeology in South-west London. Her first book, Cake Craft Made Easy, was published in 2013.