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a taste of yellow: lemon petits fours

Recipe: lemon petits fours

lemon petits fours glacés

The last time I participated in a cancer-related food blogging event was for the Boobie Bake Off. I hate the color pink. I really do. All of my life I have fought the girly-girl look and pink was pretty central to being a girly-girl in my mind. But I could overlook that aversion for a good cause. What a hoot when a month after the Boobie Bake Off, I was diagnosed with… you guessed it – Boobie Cancer aka breast cancer at age 36. WTF, right?

WTF, indeed.

The news was more of a shock for others than for myself. Some folks reacted as if I had died while others assured me that I’d get through this, no problem. Still others said nothing and some said too much. The two best things I was told: “Love you. Anything you need,” [Sam(antha)] and “We’ll do this together,” [Jeremy].

slicing the sheet of lemon chiffon cake

As my regular readers know, I am undergoing my chemo treatment now. My oncologist is a very sweet man who reminds me of Captain Kangaroo. He poisons me every three weeks – he even got me on Valentine’s Day. But he tells me that I’m going to be okay. I would like to believe him.

I don’t blame anyone. I don’t pity myself. I don’t want pity. Cancer blows, but I know there can be worse in life (um, my PhD comes to mind). Reading this blog, it looks like I’ve been a total ski whore during my chemo, but I fight hard for my good days. I put my carcass on the treadmill, the bike, the rower and work my ass off as soon as I can walk again after each chemo even though it hurts in ways I never knew I could hurt. I work to take back my body, keep my mind sane, and maintain a positive attitude. I bounce back and feel great and then I get hit again and it gets harder each time. I don’t drag you guys through my personal hell because… it’s mine and it’s personal and you might stop reading :)

layering buttercream then lemon curd

The first time I met with my surgeon to have the lump biopsied, he was sure it was some sort of cyst. I asked if I could sign up for a women’s telemark ski program. He said to go ahead and do it. When he called me a week later to tell me the results were cancer, my mind wandered to the ski program. I’d have to withdraw. But eventually I decided not to. I decided I needed that program as long as I could physically participate. With the cooperation of my surgeon and anesthesiologist and oncologist, I missed only one out of six classes. One morning, while waiting for my advanced group to show up at the lifts, I was chatting with some of the ladies in the intermediate group. Someone, we’ll call her Leslie, learned I had breast cancer and she said, “I have lumps in my breasts.” Another woman chimed in, “I have lumpy breasts too.” Leslie corrected, “No, I have lumps in my breasts.” Turns out she’s had these for years and she was too afraid to see a doctor because… because she didn’t want to know. I wanted to cry. I wanted to take her by the hand and drive her to my surgeon and have him take care of her the way he took care of me. At the same time, I couldn’t whole-heartedly recommend chemo (freaking chemo…) – couldn’t tell her it’s great and she’ll be fine and it’ll be worth it. I encouraged her to see a physician, to please see someone about the lumps. Please. I don’t know if my words had any impact, but she thanked me before she got on the lift and I never ran into her again.

brushing limoncello simple syrup

If I make it through my treatments, will I call myself a cancer survivor?

No. I’ll not don the cancer survivor label because I don’t believe in letting cancer define me as an individual. I know a lot of folks who were diagnosed with cancer said it changed their lives. I don’t doubt that it did. Cancer has royally inconvenienced me, but I have been through tragedy boot camp before. I suppose that prepared me to deal with cancer better than I would have otherwise. So instead of calling myself a cancer survivor, I think I will say that I kicked cancer’s ass. I accept that cancer could come back and kick MY ass. One way or another, one of our asses is getting wupped. I’m hoping medicine will get its act together in due time so that I will be the one to serve up the final can of Cream of Whoopass Soup should it come to that.

glazing with poured fondant

A Taste of Yellow is an event hosted by Barbara of Winos and Foodies in support of LiveSTRONG Day which is on May 13 this year. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to participate since the deadline was so close to one of my chemo days, but I managed to pull it off today. I’m not blogging this entry for me…

It took me all day to make these petits fours. While I folded the batter for the chiffon cake, I thought of Leslie. As the lemon curd thickened, I recalled the kind words of support from loved ones. Okay, I swore like a sailor when I glazed the darn things, but these tiny bites are made with hope, thanks, and love. These petits fours are for Leslie, for Jeremy, for friends, family, my doctors and nurses, my readers, for anyone touched by cancer. Live life. Live Strong. The Soup du Jour: Cream of Whoopass Soup.

a small bite with big meaning

Lemon Petits Fours Glacés
[print recipe]

1/2 sheet chiffon cake
2 cups lemon swiss meringue buttercream
1 cup lemon curd
1 cup limoncello simple syrup
poured fondant icing
blackberries and lemon zest for garnish

chiffon cake
makes 2 11×17-inch sheets or 2 9×3-inch rounds (you need only 1/2 of one sheet)
this recipe originally intended for baking at 5300 ft.

14.5 oz. cake flour
8.75 oz. confectioner’s sugar
6.75 oz. whole milk
6 oz. canola oil
3.25 oz. eggs
0.5 oz. baking powder (omitted at 8500 ft.)
13 oz. egg whites
9.5 oz. granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 oz. lemon juice

Oven 375°F. Prep pan by buttering bottom and sides. Place parchment in pan and butter the parchment. Sift dry ingredients (except granulated sugar) into a large bowl. Mix all ingredients (except the 13 ounces of egg whites and granulated sugar) in the large bowl until combined. Whip whites and granulated sugar to medium peaks. Fold into batter gently. Bake until set, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and remove from pan. Let cool on a rack. Cut one sheet in half. Wrap the other half and the other full sheet for other use. With a large serrated knife, cut the cake into two layers.

lemon swiss meringue buttercream
makes about 2 cups

4 oz. egg whites
8 oz. sugar
1/2 lb. butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsps lemon juice

Combine egg whites and sugar in a Kitchenaid mixing bowl. Whisk constantly over a bain marie until 140°F is reached. Place on mixer with whisk and whip until stiff. Turn down whip speed to 3rd and whip until cool to the touch (this takes a while – should be cooler than your hand). Change to a paddle and gradually add soft butter by tablespoon pieces. Mix to emulsify. Once desired consistency has been reached, add vanilla and lemon juice.

lemon curd
makes 3.5 cups

6 oz. fresh lemon juice, strained
9 oz. sugar
3 oz. butter
3 oz. heavy cream
6 eggs
1 tbsp fine lemon zest
pinch of salt

Boil lemon juice, sugar, butter, salt, and heavy cream in a saucepan. Place eggs in a bowl and whisk to loosen up the whites and yolks. Temper hot lemon mixture into eggs. Add mixture back into saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened and nappé consistency. It should be quite thick or else it will be too runny in the final product. Strain, add zest, and stir. Place plastic wrap directly on curd and cool over an ice bath. Refrigerate when chilled. Can be frozen for up to 4-6 months.

limoncello simple syrup

4 oz. sugar
4 oz. water
2 oz. limoncello

Heat water and sugar in a pot until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil and turn off heat. Let cool. Mix in limoncello.

poured fondant icing

4.5 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon extract
drop of yellow food coloring (optional)

Combine all in double boiler except coloring. Heat until lukewarm. Remove from heat and stir in food coloring. Ladle over petits fours.

Set first cake layer on a sheet of wax paper on a cutting board. Use a pastry brush to apply the limoncello simple syrup to the layer. Spread a layer of buttercream frosting, then carefully spread a layer of lemon curd on top. Set the second layer of cake on top and brush with more simple syrup. Using a ruler and a good sharp serrated knife, cut the cake into 1×1-inch squares. Place the squares on a rack over a pan or wax paper (to catch the drips) with enough space between each square for glazing. Take warm glaze and pour over the squares. [A really helpful tip that works much better is to fill a squeeze bottle with the poured fondant and apply the glaze to the petits fours. That way you don’t have nearly as much wasted fondant on the pan compared to if you used a ladel.] Garnish and serve.

73 nibbles at “a taste of yellow: lemon petits fours”

  1. Maja says:

    Hi, Jen,

    we’ve come to love you as well and if you feel like talking about what a shitty day you had and need some cheering up, we’ll be here. You’re making a great impact on my life through food blogging (cooking and baking is a great part of my identity, but i don’t need to tell you how creative and rewarding it is! :)) and i can’t wait for tomorrow when i try your chinese beef recipe. Yesterday i made a beet risotto, which is also thanks to you linking to “the kitchen”, and with this post you just took my fear of petit fours away, i saw a picture of them in a book of desserts when i was 13 and the description was so complicated and it was pointed out how complicated it all is, that i’ve just been looking at the photo for many years now, saying, one day … and now your photos go to show me that the day is now. So thank you. :) And kick that cancer’s ass for good, i’m sure you and Jeremy both can join forces in kicking it out, the tele/skiing legs coming in handy!
    Enjoy your day!


  2. manggy says:

    Jen, for the entire few months that I’ve known you, you’ve been a cancer patient (twas shortly before you dyed your hair). But I’ve never identified you with the disease. This post sums up all the things I think about you– strong willed, smart, sweet, and ski-crazy. (uh, and kind of actual-crazy… Kidding :P ) Pardon me for being sentimental.. We have a term in Tagalog, “Pusong Mamon”, which is closely translated to “Heart Made of Chiffon Cake.” (uh… someday I may make Mamon. Maybe.) It’s kind of fitting that I feel sentimental in your post about petit fours then, haha :) I get a bit verklempt when I hear people’s stories of personal tragedy/triumph (even if I know you didn’t mean and don’t want for this to be a sob story), moreso than my own troubles. Which is why I don’t watch Oprah or The Biggest Loser– conserve water. Anyway, I’m rooting for you (Well, THAT was obvious)– even if the side effects seem to be getting peskier, at least you’re about to be chemo-free in a short while. I use too many parentheses.

    Haha, the glazing looks fine! You wasted all those dollars for the imaginary swear jar. I love lemon+cake.. I don’t get to make it as often because my brother hates it, though. He has crap taste. I’ll be joining this event too, shortly before the deadline (maybe later or tomorrow), I hope you’ll like it :)

  3. linda says:

    Hope you feel better from this chemo soon.
    Love the petit fours, love the addition of limoncello.

  4. peabody says:

    Whoopass soup sounds good.
    I think it was definitely the right idea to keep the skiing program. I know some of my friends and family think I am crazy to play hockey(as you know why). But it helps me feel normal. And some days you just need to feel normal.
    The petit fours turned out beautiful. I have had the touch of disaster on everything I have baked the last two days so I have been swearing like a sailor too…that and my hockey team lost with 7 seconds left today. Grrr.

  5. Shoshanna says:

    Sending you a HUGE can of whoop@$$! Kick some butt and hope you got to enjoy your yummy petite fours… I’m salivating here (again!). :P

  6. Nicisme says:

    Your petit fours are always so beautiful Jen.
    I always come away from your blog feeling inspired and in awe of your photos.
    Take care, and kick ass my friend.

  7. Woolly says:

    Your AWESOME!!! That sums it up. No need to write more.

  8. Bridget says:

    Way to go Jen. You’re almost through this.

  9. Mollie says:

    You do kick ass. In so many ways.

  10. Sarah says:

    A beautiful post. And the petit fours look amazing as well!

  11. Patricia Scarpin says:

    I’m with Mollie. You are a fighter and I admire you deeply.

  12. Amy says:

    I am a huge fan of your blog & read it every day. I usually am happy to sit back and admire you silently. But I have to say that this post was so inspiring. You are a force to reckoned with!! I just want to say “Thank You” for sharing your life and talents with us. My life is more enriched because of it. You rock girlfriend!!!

  13. Warda says:

    I am sure I won’t surprise you by telling you that I was checking my boobies from all sides while reading your post. I am sure other women did it as well. Though “Leslie’s” three years decision wasn’t the best, I can understand her fears. I have a lump in my lower back for a little more than a year now. And while I did go to see my doctor, who thinks it’s just a cyst, I haven’t been to see a surgon or any specialist because:1- it’s the same size as it was before .2- Just like Leslie, I am afraid of what it could really be. Most of the time I forget about it, but what if.

    I know you don’t want pity, and I don’t pity you because you are a fighter and a kick ass woman and I know everything is gonna be fine. But, you will be in prayers anyway whether you like it or not :)

  14. Lucy says:

    Thank you for an incredibly well-written, beautifully photographed, and always inspiring blog. I read you every day.

  15. Anita says:

    Hi Jen,
    Your courage and grace are a total inspiration. I was drawn to your blog at first because of your amazing photography and cooking skills, but after learning more about you I know you just an amazing kickass person all around! Kudos for making such delish petit fours for A Taste of Yellow – I wish I could have a bite!

    Sending happy thoughts from California – when I think of you, I always imagine you flying down the ski slopes, which makes me smile:)

  16. Holly says:

    I don’t know what to say other than I think you are incredible and inspiring. I love visiting your blog, not just for your recipes and incredible photos, but because your amazing attitude always serves to help give me a well deserved and needed kick in the butt when I need an attitude adjustment. This winter has been hard for our family starting last fall with the abrupt end to a very difficult pregnancy when our son was born almost two months premature. Though this doesn’t have anything to do with cancer, I too know what that tragedy bootcamp is like. We have been lucky and our baby is growing healthy and strong now, but we have been quite literally cut off from everyone until RSV season is over (which actually still isn’t until Mothers’ Day). When I start feeling really low and lonely reading blogs and seeing strong women like you has really helped get me through it. It reminds me that the point isn’t to focus on the bad, but to live end enjoy the good for all you can. You reminded me of this again today when you said you are not defined by your cancer. So, I guess what I really want to say here is simply, thank you. Thank you for sharing and inspiring others, in more ways than you might realize.

  17. Bri says:

    While I’m a very infrequent commenter, your post today touched me and I felt I had to let you know how much you inspire and encourage me. Sending you all my best wishes, today and every day.


  18. Meeta says:

    Oh wow! These are adorably cute! A touching post that brought tears to my eyes! If we had half of your strength Jen we’d all be better people!

  19. Christina says:

    Your perseverance throughout the obstacles you face is a lesson to us all. You struggle, but you pull through. You are a role model to everyone and I admire your strength.

    Gorgeous post, yet again. Your pictures are absolutely stunning!

  20. Amanda says:

    Without getting overly sappy here because let’s face it, waterworks and cancer are pretty much synonymous , I just wanted to tell you that the way you face your fight with cancer is how I want to face life and any of the obstacles it throws at me: full-force tenacity, a balls blazing attitude, and refreshingly positive outlook no matter what.

    Kudos for redefining what being a “cancer” patient might look like to the untrained eye, like myself :) Your blog is and will always be a great read for all of us.

  21. Rachael says:

    Wow, I just came across your blog, and not only is it gorgeous and awesome, but you’re a really good writer, and, not gonna lie, I totally just squeezed out a tear for ya, a total stranger. It’s really awesome that you’re fighting back and refuse to pity yourself, because I know I lay in bed for a week with a cold, so I can’t imagine handling something as life-altering as cancer.

    I truly hope all goes well with you, and that you continue to post beautiful things on your blog, because it’s really enjoyable!

  22. Hillary says:

    So beautiful! I plan on making something yellow tonight or very very soon. This was a great post to read beforehand! Mmmm nice petit fours!

  23. PlantLust says:

    Someone mentioned your blog on a forum that I frequent (CooksTalk via FineCooking) & I have to say that I envy you your petit fours. My big idea of a fabulous dragon cake ended up looking “white, cute & fluffy”. sigh Definitely NOT the awesomely fierce ice dragon that I pictured in my head. I wonder if Michaelangelo went thru the same thing doing David or the Sistine Chapel?

    Best wishes to you & yours.

  24. Diana Banana says:

    cancer? petit fours? you can kick both of those suckers’ asses out to timbuktu! i have no doubt in my mind about that…

  25. jennywenny says:

    Same here, you’re an inspiration to me and congratulations to you for not letting cancer define you. I hope you feel better soon as I love to read your recipes and hear about your skiing.

    Petits fours look delightful, next time I have a whole day to myself I may well give them a try!

  26. Isa says:

    Wow! I really admire you. Your way to face cancer is amazing. And don’t worry, your recipes are way too good to stop reading your blog… ever! Cheers and lovely petits fours :)

  27. Kalyn says:

    What a wonderful inspiring post. Your photos are really wonderful too. I’ve been reading your blog since I discovered it from A Menu for Hope and I’m always inspired by your writing and photography, not to mention your incredible outlook on life.

  28. Nabeela says:

    Whoopass soup indeed!!!
    I hope you feel better from the chemo soon.
    P.S: Read all your posts from your archives last week. That’s the only thing that kept me sane from my midterm woes…so thanks!

  29. Susan says:

    You’ll have to share the recipe for your Whoopass Soup because it’ll be your legacy :D
    Btw, I never cared for pink or red or dolls or or dresses or being a girly-girl either. The irony is I have 3 girly-girls (at least 2 very and 1 tbd), everything is PINK in my house – down to the bathroom and their bedrooms – puke, eh? And, we have to get sets of 3 or there’s lots of fighting and screaming and tears. Actually, love is blind because I now find pink to be as cheery as they do. Really, it’s not so bad :>

    Sending you strength, peace and love. Bravo!

  30. Christine says:

    Jen – your petit fours are the bomb! They really do mean a whole lot — they show that you have perseverance (cutting petit fours), patience(lemon curd), and resilience (fondant icing). If this cancer has done anything, I think it’s shown what you’re made of, Jen — some serious Whoop-ass!

  31. zoe / puku says:

    go Jen, kicking the asses of cancer AND petit fours! they look so fiddly too – I recently spent a day making mini lamingtons (pretty much same procedure as your pf’s) and wondered about doing lemon ones for the Taste of Yellow event… but couldn’t face a repeat procedure just yet. sounds a bit weak in comparison to you.

    she uses real butter AND dominates!

    PS. this seems in the spirit, don’t you think? (and makes me ROFL every time):

  32. Susan at StickyGooeyCreamyChewy says:

    Oh Jen, what an eloquent and moving post. Your courage and determination inspire me. I know in my bones that you will beat this. You have to. I need you to teach me how to ski! ;)

    Promise me that when you’re making that Whoopass Soup, you’ll let me help. I’ve got a mammoth-sized bone to pick with Cancer. That arrogant bastard!

    Those petits fours are such beautiful little works of art! Like bright, sunny little bits of hope! I’ve been trying to write my Livestrong post for two weeks now. I can’t sem to get through a paragraph without blubbering!

  33. jenyu says:

    Maja – you’re a dear. Thanks. I think about my shitty days enough that I don’t need to rehash them here :) Just be warned that I find glazing of petits fours to be a pain in the butt. It’s finicky. xxoo

    Mark – that’s sweet of you. And I am crazy, but you wouldn’t love me if I weren’t! Use your parentheses, I feel as if it’s a real conversation ;) I’ll check it out – I saw it come up on my feed just now!

    Linda – thanks!

    Peabody – I’m so with you on that. I have tele, you have hockey… funny how some people just don’t understand how necessary it is to be normal, to be active. Sorry about the loss, but I’m sure you’ll make up for it next time ;)

    Shoshanna – the petits fours are finding their way to friends, neighbors, and my medical team!

    Nicisme – you’re too kind. I only photograph the good petits fours! Thanks for your kind wishes. xxoo

    Woolly – thank you, love.

    Bridget – *fingers crossed*!!

    Mollie – xxoo

    Sarah – thanks!

    Patricia- you wouldn’t if you saw the tumbleweeds of dog hair blowing through our house ;) thanks for your sweet thoughts.

    Amy – thanks for writing. I think the food blogging community is filled with remarkable people. I am not that special, just a little belligerent and outspoken ;) okay, a lot belligerent… *snort*

    Warda – yeah, I still check my boobies and don’t know what the hell I’m looking for. So I too have a lump on my back and I had asked several docs about this in the past and they all assured me it was nothing – a cyst. I had my surgeon look at the bugger minutes before my lumpectomy and he said he rarely makes such declarations but was sure it was not cancer. I trust him. Thanks for the good juju.

    Lucy – thank you :)

    Anita – you’re the best, honey. Thanks and big hugs.

    Holly – experiences shape your life and how you deal with what comes next. If everything was hunky dory, we’d take the good times for granted and maybe even become bored. My life “tragedies” don’t define me, but they have helped me realize where I stand and how I want to live my life. They forced me to take stock of what is important, what isn’t. That isn’t to say I’m grateful for them. I’d give anything to have my sister back. Anything. Best of luck to you and yours. I hope it will all work out.

    Bri – oh, that’s so very sweet of you to say. Thank you. xxoo

    Meeta – are you kidding me? Babe, you’re a rock star! You’re *my* inspiration every time you post :)

    Christina – thanks, you’re very kind.

    Amanda – I’m blushing, woman. My attitude doesn’t always work for me. Sometimes I have found myself on the losing end, but I suppose I still had my dignity ;) I’m still learning as I go. I guess we’ll all learn together, right? Thanks for your wonderful comment.

    Rachael – oh, I used to lie in bed with a cold and whine and moan ;) I hope you continue to do so when you have a cold and never have to know what freaking chemo is like. Some chemos are pretty mellow – apparently not mine. I wouldn’t want anyone to know what it’s like though. I would be perfectly happy to be completely ignorant about it myself ;) I’ll keep posting as long as I am able. It’s quite therapeutic and the blogging community is tight.

    Hillary – thanks!

    PlantLust – yeah, well the petits fours are deceptively cute for the amount of work required, so don’t be fooled! I think maybe you just need some more practice at that cake and you’ll have it down pat. Thanks for your comment.

    Diana – you’re so sweet – thanks!

    Jennywenny – there may be fewer ski whore reports, but I am looking forward to tackling some new recipes this summer once chemo gets the boot :) Thanks so much.

    Isa – thank you, love. I think people give me too much credit. We all have a great deal of strength within – it sometimes takes something big to discover it, no?

    Kalyn – you flatter me, hon. Thank you. I love *your* positive outlook.

    Nabeela – anytime. Everyone could use some procrastination :)

    Susan – that *would* be a good recipe… ha ha. I actually find myself shopping for pink things for my 4-year old niece. She’s all about pink and being girly, although if my sister were alive, I’m not sure she would have turned out that way! I can tolerate it for others, but it still isn’t my cuppa :) Thanks!!

    Christine – oh girl :) if the cancer has done anything, it’s made me vocally pissy – ha ha. Just one more thing to rant about and get through, right? When it’s done, I hope you and Pierre will find yourselves in need of a Colorado vacay sometime. You know how I love to feed men with gazelle metabolisms :) You’re always welcome here, friend. xxoo

    Zoe – no no no, I *completely* understand the avoision factor. It’s several months between petits fours forays for me because it takes that long to forget how much I hate making them :) Thanks for that link – it is HI-larious!

    Susan – sweetie pie, I have a coupon for a free ski lesson with YOUR NAME ON IT. I may not be some hot Swiss Ski Instructor, but I bet I can cook better than he can ski ;) Hurry up and get your Livestrong post in – only three more days to deadline! xxoo

  34. Ellie @ Kitchen Wench says:

    Your story and strength are absolutely amazing – I seriously admire your gusto and zest for life, if only others could value it and take it by the balls half as marvellously as you do! And – those petite fours are gorgeous! I’ve seen them around but never contemplated making them, though I have a girls dinner this weekend that might be a perfect reason to try :D

  35. Ivonne says:

    You’re an inspirationg! As are these adorable little treats! We’re with you!

  36. Dyana says:

    Hey there – your blog has been one of my daily reads for the passed couple of months (referred by Peabody of Culinary Concoctions By Peabody) and I just wanted to say hi.

    I’d also like to tell you how great and inspirational you are, but I’m guessing you’re the type of person that would simply “pishaw” that. So, let me just say that your recipes, attitude, food photography and blog are all awesome. Keep up the good work!

  37. Bridget says:

    LOVE this post! So glad I found your blog. Keep serving up that Cream of Whoopass!

  38. Taylor says:

    Stay strong and thanks for sharing. You are truly amazing and I so admire your strength and attitude. KICK ASS!

  39. Tartelette says:

    … words are completely meaningless after this…
    You’re a Whoopass Rockstar, that’s all!

  40. cindy says:

    Glad you’re moving to a place where you can talk about IT. Let it out! Damned right it’s inconvenient! I was “lucky” enough to be able to schedule my treatment around ski season. I had my mastectomy in August–perfect! And then I halted my reconstruction for . . . you know, the season. Cause I can ski just as well with half a boob.

    About self-exams: Now that you’ve joined the club, other people will probably take care of this for you. I totally know what you mean that you don’t know what you’re looking for, so I’m glad to get an exam from my surgeon every six months. The last time I was in he said “I can see why you don’t want to check your own breasts.” Dense, fiberous, and full of scar tissue. Jeez. At least they look ok. Well, sorta. At least under ski clothes.

    You’ve obviously nailed poured fondant. I’ll have to email you the next time I try it. The last time I ended up with a big gloppy mess, but then I was going for the opaque look, which was probably a mistake.

  41. Jenny says:

    Jen: Found you yesterday – I don’t remember how – but have almost read very post and viewed all the beautiful pictures…amazing… Wishing you everything good. God Bless.

  42. LINA says:

    Yes, I agree. Cancer blows. You are brave for fighting cancer, and all the while making these wonderful recipes. You rock!

  43. Lynn says:

    Wonderful post, wonderful attitude, and wonderful petit fours. I keep coming back to your blog to read because you don’t make it all sound sunny and wonderful, but you look for the sunny and wonderful.

  44. Francesco says:

    We have a cousin who had the same diagnosis at 25. I say we still have. She pulled through after being also diagnosed another one at 30. She is now 35 and cured.
    Your attitude is exactly as strong as hers … so I will be asking again about this fabulous recipe few years from now. Stay strong.

  45. Sam says:

    “Cancer blows, but I know there can be worse in life (um, my PhD comes to mind). ”

    Thanks for making me snort my tea ;)

    The lemon petit fours look SO good. Do they always have cake in them?


  46. My Sweet & Saucy says:

    Your Petit Fours look amazing! What a fantastic blog you have…bravo!

  47. Pim says:


    You’re amazing. Of course you know that already, I just had to say it out loud. What an inspiration. Yellow looks great on the blog too.


  48. jenyu says:

    Elle – thanks! If we don’t have zest for life, what else is left? :) Hope your gal dinner was a hit!

    Ivonne – thanks, love :) xxoo

    Dyana – ah that Peabody, she’s good people :) Thanks for commenting and your kind words!

    Bridget – thank you.

    Taylor – thanks!

    Tartelette – your words are never meaningless, my friend. xxoo

    Cindy – the season es muy importante! Long live the season! As for exams, all I know is that an inordinate number of people with whom I have no intimate relationship have been feeling my boobs in the past six months. It’s okay, I understand. I just find it hilarious the way the men always look past you at the wall or the ceiling while talking to you and handling your boobs. P.S. The poured fondant is a bitch.

    Jenny – thank you.

    Lina – oh, I’m not so brave for fighting cancer… it’s either that or ?? Just doesn’t seem to make sense to make it worse than it already is, right? :) thanks for your comment.

    Lynn – thanks! I think there’s wonderful everywhere. Besides, I’d make myself crazy if I just bitched and moaned all the time… so I just do it half of the time ;) *snort*

    Francesco – you’re so sweet, thanks for that :)

    Sam – you know it, girl!!! sorry about the tea ;) Not all petits fours have cake. Some are like tiny little tartelettes. A petit four is any small pastry bite that can be consumed in one or two bites. Yum!

    MSS – thank you!

    Pim – oh lady, you made my day with your comment… you’re one of my favs :)

  49. barbara says:

    Jennifer thanks for sharing your journey. Chemo’s a bitch for sure. I love your approach. I totally admire you can bake such fabulous petit fours during chemo. Thank you for supporting LiveSTRONG With A Taste OF Yellow.

  50. Maya says:


    You inspire me. Those petit fours look absolutely wonderful!

  51. jenyu says:

    Barbara – thanks, love. Thank you for hosting the event. xxoo

    Maya – thanks, that’s sweet of you :)

  52. Spicy Fresh Corn Salad - A Taste of Yellow 2008 | Sunday Nite Dinner says:

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  53. Dana Zia says:

    Wow, Jen. I’ve been feeling sorry for myself, a bit, about the fact that I’m going to need a knee replacement at the tender age of 46. It all started with a brutal skiing accident at 17. But I am reduced to lemon curd and wiggle humbly at your feet. You are the Lance Armstrong of the food world, BAKE STRONG! Yeah! Go get em girl. Thanks for the reality check. BTW, these look divine!
    Humbly yours
    Dana Zia

  54. sam says:

    Something drew me to the picture of your petits fours in Barbara’s round up. Now I am here on your site, I know why. I was meant to read this. I had a breast cancer scare last year and had a lump removed but it turned out to be benign. Had it not have been, I am not sure I would handled everything as gracefully as you have. You are an inspiration. Thank you.

  55. jenyu says:

    Dana – everything is relative. Don’t feel bad for feeling down about something. I’d rather that be your worst concern than something as shitty as cancer. Just keep things in perspective and remember to cherish those things that are good in your life too! :)

    Sam – it’s scary, isn’t it? My mom went through that, and luckily it was just a cyst. I was so ready to hear it was a cyst that when I learned it was cancer I didn’t have much reaction at all – just a “huh, how about that?”. The universe is indifferent, so I don’t take it personally ;) I’ve learned over the years to let go of things I don’t have control over and I think that helps me through this – to accept what happens and move on, hopefully with a positive outlook. Thank you for dropping by, I read your blog regularly :) xxoo

  56. Allie says:

    This dessert is absolutely lovely as is your photography. Thank you for sharing, and I do hope you are on the road to recovery soon!

  57. bee says:

    jen, thank you for being an inspiration. i was complaining about cutting my finger today. shame on me.

  58. jenyu says:

    Allie – thanks, I’m doing well now :)

    Bee – no, not shame on you. I would much rather that be your complaint than something as severe as chemo. xxoo

  59. Britni says:

    Hi Jen,
    Totally in the process of making your petits fours into a big cake and so far, so good. The chiffon cake is delectable, however the lemon curd turned out in a less-than-ideal state. Runny is not what we’re looking for. Do you think I can throw it back on a double boiler to try and thicken it up a bit? I don’t think I cooked it long enough to start with. Ugh :/
    Let’s see if I can make the pourable fondant!!!

  60. Britni says:

    Oh god, this line just caught my eye: PS The poured fondant is a bitch.


  61. jenyu says:

    Britni – yup, I think using a squeeze bottle to apply the poured fondant is a really helpful way to glaze the petits fours.

  62. eleanor says:


    was looking for perfect petti fours recipe for my mothers birthday.
    and was also putting off getting a lump in my right breast checked out.

    now i can do both. thank you for the added inspiration and courage.

  63. jenyu says:

    Eleanor – so glad you will get it checked out and happy bday to your mother. xxoo

  64. amy says:


    I love you positism its nice to hear someone can go through something so bad and come out so well grounded.

    a quick question. its about the chiffron cake recipe is it 3.25g of egg yolk or the whole egg (yolk and white). sorry i’m a little slow.


  65. jenyu says:

    Amy – it’s eggs (whole).

  66. bob says:

    This site is terrific. I just stumbled upon it. I have a couple comments for you and just subscribed. Though I don’t see a way to send you email. Suffice to say, I do have a request here. The standards of measure you use are not familiar to me and I can’t follow this recipe as I do not have a scale and don’t know if some of the measures are oz by weight or fluid ounces if liquid. Can you help me translate the figures here into traditional measures like 1/3 cup, etc? I honestly have no idea how much 3.5 oz of eggs are. Sorry, but am excited to dive into this one for sure. Look forward to hearing from you.

    Charlotte, NC

  67. jenyu says:

    Bob – hi there! My email information is on the about page, but as far as the measures go… This recipe was one I learned in my pastry class. They do not use volume measures for things like flour because the amount of flour varies with the density (sifted, unsifted, and everything in between). All of the ounces are by weight. A kitchen scale isn’t all that expensive and if you are serious about baking, highly recommended. You can find them in most kitchen stores and probably at stores like Target. Good luck!

  68. bob says:

    okay, thanks for this. but what about the egg? how many eggs are 3.25 ounces or 13 oz of egg whites? or do you put them on your scale as well?

  69. jenyu says:

    bob – same with the eggs, weigh them. i’d say 2 med eggs are 3.25 ounces. for 13 oz. of egg whites, target about 8 egg whites (but weigh them – it’s easy once you separate the eggs and can pour them into the bowl to be weighed)

  70. Danielle says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, all your recipes are amazing and I think of your blog every time I want to try something new. I actually joined the Daring Kitchen because of you, even! This is the first time I’ve come across this blog post. I’ve read in other posts your allusions to chemo and cancer, but didn’t know what kind of cancer you had. I just wanted to say that you are such an inspiration to me! Way to go on kicking that cancer’s ass! I think you are such an amazing person!
    Thank you for sharing this personal story!

  71. Anne says:

    My dear, I read your blog while looking for a lemon petit fours. I have been reading your blog for only a few weeks now, imagine my surprise when you and a delightful recipe for just what I was looking for and another delightful surprise of your opinion about breast cancer. I will have my final reconstructive surgery in August. My oncologist told me that I can say I don’t have cancer. I was uncomfortable of the cancer survivor label as well. Bless you for you amazing recipes. It is a joy to read your blogs.

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