Mignardises? Merveilleux!

Mignardises

Mignardises

These tempting little morsels are called mignardises, which, in effect, is another name for petits fours – little sweet bite-sized treats. Although mignardises are meant to be enjoyed at the end of a meal, I made these for another morning tea at work (we seem to have quite a few!). This recipe in particular is from the Women’s Weekly “Sweet Things” cookbook, and is called Raspberry and Pistachio Mignardises. Those quick of eye will notice a few blueberries in this picture – a shortage of raspberries (I sampled too many) led to some improvisation. To great effect, I might add, as the blueberries worked every bit as well as the raspberries.

They are baked in a mini muffin tin, which I sat on a flat baking tray to prevent the bottoms and sides from over-browning. The batter is primarily made up of a mixture of icing sugar and ground almonds, which may sound sickly sweet, but they are so small that it didn’t seem to matter. The colours make these particularly pleasing to the eye when you see a whole tin of them like this.

A little snippet of info at the bottom of the recipe says that the baking of mignardises in France goes back to the 18th Century, when pastry chefs baked such treats in the residual heat of their cooling ovens at the end of a meal. Their purpose was to extend the pleasure of the meal.

The word mignardises apparently comes from old French and meant ‘cute’, ‘graceful’ or ‘pretty’.

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