Little Cakes, Big World The emergence of petit gateau on the dessert scene.

written by: Derek Deitsch

The petit gateau is becoming one of the most sought-after desserts in the culinary world. Translated from French, the phrase literally means “little cake.” While this name may suggest a simple dessert, the petit gateau is nothing like your everyday cupcake.

Romina Rasmussen, owner and head pastry chef of Les Madeleines, explains that the petit gateau is a “deceptively complex” dessert. Cut in to one of her delicate desserts and you’ll instantly discover that hidden complexity.

Most likely derived from the larger entremets, the petit gateau features a variety of components. A combination of textures and flavors form a unique yet cohesive dessert. Though traditionally using chocolate as the primary flavor, petits gateaux now commonly feature bold fruit flavors with bright colors. The possibilities are limited only by the imagination of the cake creator.

The featured flavors for March and April at Les Madeleines perfectly showcase that exuberance. Take a look below at how Rasmussen develops her recipes:

Varying layers need time to set, so it often takes eight hours or more just to finish a single cake.

In developing her petit gateau recipes, Rasmussen considers presentation as much as flavor. Notice the interesting shapes and designs inside and out made from the cake’s taste elements.

A firm believer in using fresh ingredients, Rasmussen incorporates seasonal produce in her petit gateau flavors.

With pineapple, mango, passion fruit, coconut and vanilla, the March petit gateau may sound like a tropical overload, but Rasmussen has a magical way of melding the elements together into a refreshing flavor

Two tangy variations of Meyer lemon and three blueberry elements are balanced by ginger sponge cake, providing a bold sensation in the April petit gateau without overwhelming the taste buds.

Derek Deitsch
Derek Deitsch
A lover of all foods, Derek Deitsch has a serious sweet tooth, making him perfectly suited to cover Salt Lake's dessert scene for the magazine. He is always ready and willing to provide a food recommendation, whether you want sweet or savory. When he's not eating, you'll likely find Derek in the mountains, at community events and festivals, shows, or on a flight to find some adventure!

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