February 23, 2010

Petite Sweets - Bite-Size Desserts to Satisfy Every Sweet Tooth: A Review and Fresh Lime Pies

If you follow my blog regularly, you will remember that I recently celebrated completing two years of posting here with a give-away of Petite Sweets: Bite-Size Desserts to Satisfy Every Sweet Tooth by Beatrice Ojakangas.
I chose that particular book for two reasons. The first reason being that I have a couple of Ms. Ojakangas’s books and have found her recipes extremely do-able. The recipes I have tried have always turned out well.
The second reason was that the idea of bite sized desserts sounded very good to me. It seems like the perfect way to have your dessert and eat it without feeling guilty about it. In my opinion it’s definitely the way to go whether one is baking dessert for the home or for a large number of guests.

The publishers of this book, Sellers Publishing, came across my giveaway post and were kind enough to send me a copy of Petite Sweets (and a couple of other books too). Having gone through the book, I know this is one that I am happy to have on my cook-book shelf.

Beatrice Ojakangas, a James Beard Award winner, has 26 cookbooks and articles in various magazines to her credit. She has also featured on television series “Baking With Julia” and “The Baker’s Dozen.

In her introduction to Petite Sweets, Ms. Ojakangas mentions that downsizing desserts to bite-size servings solves the “one and four syndrome” (one dessert and four forks!) as well as the “sliver syndrome” (I’ll have a sliver of this and a sliver of that!). Given the general trend towards healthier lifestyles, rich and sweet food is definitely not what the doctor ordered. Yet who can stay away from deliciously tempting desserts?
So with Petite Sweets, Beatrice Ojakangas provides a solution in the form of bite-sized desserts. In this book she presents 50 recipes, with almost as many beautiful photographs, for making delicious bite-sized desserts at home. She hasn’t forgotten chocoholics like me either, while putting her recipes together for this book.
The recipes are well presented, quite easy to make, and mostly require ingredients easily available in an average baker’s kitchen.

Fresh Lime Pies

The recipes in the book are presented and categorized under Little Cakes; Petite Pies and Tarts; Fruit and Berry Desserts; Mousses and Chilled Desserts; Creams, Custards, and Frozen Desserts; and Pastries and Sweets. Many of the recipes in this book are mini versions of all time favourites like Velvet Cake, Rum Babas, Whoopie Pies, Bread Oudding and Crème Puffs to mention a few. The recipes in this book range from simple, homely comfort food at one end to very fancy desserts.
As she does in her other books, she also provides an insight into how she arrives at her bite-sized desserts with advice on how one could downsize one’s own choice of dessert.


The only down side to this book, as I see it, is that most of the desserts would require small sized tins/ moulds/ ramekins which would perhaps not be available in the average kitchen. Ms. Ojakangas does offer solutions to this problem by suggesting baking in mini-muffin tins.

Personally, I think investing in some of these items would not be a bad idea if one was considering continuing with making/ baking mini-desserts. I have a tendency to sometimes collect unusual bakeware when I can find it (which is not very often), but I do have small ceramic ramekins as well as what I now discover are sandbakkelser moulds.

Orange Crepes

I had made the Sandbakkelser from Petite Sweets earlier and this time I tried the Fresh Lime Pies and some Orange Crepes. They turned out well and we liked them too.

Here is the recipe for Fresh Lime Pies. You can use 2 ounce (about ¼ cup) ceramic cups or ramekins if you have them. Otherwise, you can line mini-muffin tins with foil liners. Ms. Ojakangas also advises the use of fresh Key limes if available.
I would advise increasing the sugar for the lime filling, if your lime juice is on the tarter side.


Crumb crust:

5 double graham crackers (10 squares), finely crushed

2 tbsp sugar

4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter

Lime filling:

2 large egg yolks

1 (14-ounce/ 400gm) sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

2 tsp grated lime zest (green portion only)


1/2 cup whipping cream

2 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract


Put the graham crackers, sugar and butter into a heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat. Stir and toast till lightly browned.
Line 24 miniature muffin cups with fluted foil liners or use 24 (2-ounce) unlined ceramic cups. Divide the crumb mixture between the cups and tamp down firmly using a spoon or something similar with a flat end.

Preheat your oven to 350F (180C).
Make the lime filling. In a glass 2-cup measure, mix the egg yolks, condensed milk, lime juice and lime zest until well blended.
Pour mixture into the crumb –lined cups, filling them to the very top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until set. Cool thoroughly and then chill.

Just before serving, whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla. Spoon whipped cream over each little pie. Garnish with lime zest.
This recipe makes 24 (2-ounce) servings.


Asha said...

I love her books, have about 5 of them except this book you mentioned. Desserts looks wonderful! :)

Madhuri said...

All of them looks so professional. I love that Orange crepes.

Curry Leaf said...

Love the crepes.The concept of petite size is interesting but yes,as you said everything should be small.Where did you find the sandbakkelser moulds?Thanks for thereview,I am yet to try a recipe from Ojakangas.Infact I came to know about her through you only.

Happy Cook said...

That was so nice of the company to send you a couple of books, lucky girl.
What i would love is the lime pie. Well actually i would love all the dessert from this post :-)

Cham said...

I am in love with orange crepe, looks fantastic- all the try!

Vaishali Sharma said...

Petite size desserts r a very good idea to satisfy ur dessert craving n avoiding large portions that brings extra calories :) love ur presentation n all the yummy treats.

Sayantani said...

petit sized desserts are real pretty. that would be perfect for persons like my with a major sweet tooth. great presentation dear.

Rachana Kothari said...

Oh!!!! I love them all...its hard to pick up a favourite:)

Asha @ FSK said...

Sighh.. that looks good!! I want that book!

Btw, where did you get those cute spoons for the lime dessert?

Pavithra said...

Loved all the dessert from this post....yummy.

Superchef said...

now i just HAVE to get this book!!

simply.food said...

Good book review and I love the crepes.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Lovely! Thanks for a great review, I shall put this one on my (giant) wishlist.

mallugirl said...

u made all that cute desserts!! i will check out the book. thanks Aparana!

arundati said...

everything looks lovely....am specially fond of desserts with a citrus angle to them...must try this out... and the pictures are just gorgeous...

Raaga said...

I love these desserts!

Manggy said...

Well-deserved attention from the publisher, Aparna! The tarts (and everything else) look phenomenal!

Ivy said...

Lucky you getting some of those lovely books. I love everything you have made, especially the crepes.

jayasree said...

Petite size suits persons who has great sweet tooth like me. Beautiful clicks and esp. liked those orange crapes.

Lucky to get few more books of the same author.

collin said...

Yummmy....the recipe sounds good. i will surely try this.

Take the Dessert Personality Test and find out your personality on the basis of your favorite Dessert. Have Fun!!

Suma said...

Ah Lovely!! Petite desserts you bet are a great idea to indulge without much guilt:-) Lucky to get that book.
Am J:-)

notyet100 said...

looks so yum....nice review of book too,..

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Looks like a fun book - and I'd use it as an excuse to buy all of those fun little molds, ramekins, etc! LOL these tarts sound great.

Shabs.. said...

Woowww....i am sure that book should be too good!!There is sale going on here now and i shud chek out for her books then.....Your pics are fabulous.....Loves those key lime pies!!!Loved the colour combinations and those spoons and that white dish....whats that?..:)...looks like a marble dish......Is that a green wall paper-the back ground?...U have done it so well......

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Anything petite melts my heart, splly desserts I just fell in love with them, would love to try them sometime!!!


Vaishali said...

This sounds like a a good addition to any serious baker's library. Everything looks amazing, but I really love the Fresh Lime Pies.

Soma said...

The small sized portions esp. for desserts sounds perfect! I am in love with those orange crepes.:)

Divya Kudua said...

Love the way you've presented them in cutey ramekins..:):)

Lena Rashmin Raj said...

suerly i wl search for it... :) its really useful.. :)

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Ooh lucky lucky! How I wish some publishers would send their books to me too! :P

I love mini sized stuff too, no mess, no fighting, so easy. And soo adorable. All the pics look amazing! We need to see a picture of the inside of the pie though, please!!!! I'm craving it bad!

sra said...

The pix are really nice!

rajani@eatwritethink said...

so are these baked? stupid question i know because u do mention preheating the oven... but for how long?? sounds yum but i can never eat desserts that contain any part of a raw egg.

Lien said...

I love her books too, very accurate. These little dessert bites sound and look like a lot of fun!

Aparna said...

I enjoyed cooking from this book. I have always had success with Ms. Ojakangas's recipes and athy're usually very uncomplicated.

Rajani, oops, a mistake! Thanks for pointing that out.They have to be baked at 180C for 15 to 20 minutes.
have edited my post to include that. :)