Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park set out to solve the quandry of anyone who likes to throw parties, rather than hosting sit down dinners: how to prepare cute yet delicious finger food! In their cookbook, Tiny Party Food, they’ve identified a gap in recipes for mini-foods which can be easily passed around on a tray at parties. The book is full of mini versions of old classics with a twist such as kitchmi deviled eggs, beer battered onion rings and homemade pop tarts, as well as more exotic foods like sweet corn ice cream tacos and beef empanadas.
The photos in this book are absolutely adorable – with creative ideas for styling, as well as interesting ideas as to how to style and present the food for a party. However, the book does assume a certain level of knowledge of cooking, including making pastry, and does not include photos of the actual baking process – so it is certainly targeted at the keen cook and baker.
This book is definitely recommended for experienced cooks looking for a fresh challenge and innovative ideas for entertaining.
Mini Chocolate Eclairs (from Tiny Food Party)
1 cup of water (unpictured because I absolutely forgot it!)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain flour
Once it’s heated, add buttery water into a mixing bowl with the flour. Beat for about five minutes to let the steam out, then mix in the three eggs, beating them in well, one at a time.
Let the dough cool in the fridge overnight, to make it easier to pipe. The next day, pipe the eclairs about 1 1/2 inch length (that makes them mini – I admit, I couldn’t resist making them a little bit bigger as a proper eclair! I happen to love eclairs). Bake for about 15 or 20 minutes, until the pastry goes a bit golden brown and flaky. The pastry will grow out and become a wide but flat tube which is easy to fill with piped cream.
1 cup milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 egg yolks (only one egg pictured because I separated the eggs before taking the photo and only had one complete egg left!)
Whisk the ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently and keep at a simmer for about 5 minutes, until it forms a custard-like substance which coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Slit open the eclairs and pipe some pastry cream into them.
Let the filled pastry cream chill for several hours, then melt 75g of chocolate to spread on the top. We used our amazing new Electric Chocolate Melter, which I’m loving. It works really well.
If you’re interested in finding other delicious mini baked goods, I’d definitely recommend checking out the book!