Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Boosheen Chiffon Cake


Found Boosheen from Pusheen so cute that I just had to make it! 
As you know, I love Pusheen very much, and was so thankful to have the opportunity to collaborate with Pusheen on a Pusheen cookbook! I have made many Pusheen cakes over the years out of my love for the cute cat!
Have this cute cake makes you smile too! Have a boo-eautiful week ahead! <3 

With love,

Susanne

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Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Among Us Salted Caramel Macarons (Imposter flavour included!)

How time flies! When I first started on my baking journey, my kids were both preschoolers. They are now in their tweens/teens! Over the years, what they request for birthday bake evolves as they grow. My younger kid is turning 11 soon and for his birthday bake, Among Us macarons was requested. This game is the latest craze among teens today. He loves salted caramel anything so I filled the macarons with salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream and a dollop of salted caramel in the middle....


.... Well... Not all of them are filled with yummy salted caramel. Of course I had to include an imposter, or two ๐Ÿ˜‰. You can't tell which one is the imposter just by looking at them. 

I made sure that even the filling looks like the real deal. 

One of them is the real deal and the other is the imposter. Can you guess which is which? 

I must admit that the idea of filling the imposter with a weird filling came from a meme I saw where the imposter was filled with wasabi amongst the others which were filled with Matcha. 

I filled the imposter with oyster sauce soy sauce swiss meringue buttercream and oyster sauce salted caramel in the middle ๐Ÿคฃ. My kid gave a funny face when he ate it๐Ÿ˜‚. 

I used the Swiss meringue method to make the macarons as it is not a huge batch but it has many colours. You may refer to this post for the recipe for the macaron shells. I used Wilton #6 tip for piping. 


Piped batter


Freshly baked shells

I used black royal icing to outline the shells. 

I love this shot! Puts a smile on my face๐Ÿ˜Š

I had to take more photos of these because they look so cheerful! 

And more photos ๐Ÿ˜‚

You may refer to this post for the salted caramel recipe. You may double the portion if you would like to make more salted caramel. Extras can be frozen for several months. 

Salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream
Ingredients:
75g egg whites (about 2 large eggs worth) 
50g caster sugar 
1/8 tsp salt
135g unsalted butter, cut into tbs sized cubes, firm but not cold and hard
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g salted caramel

Steps:
1. Bring a saucepan filled with about 1 inch of water to simmer. Place egg whites, salt and sugar in a heatproof bowl set on the saucepan without the base of the bowl touching the water. Whisk the egg whites continuously until 70C, using candy thermometer to monitor temperature. 

2. Remove from heat and beat using electric mixer until stiff peaks form and meringue is cooled to room temperature. 

3. Add butter one cube at a time while beating with electric mixer. Don't worry if it appears to curdle. It will all come together eventually. Once all the butter is added, beat on high speed for 2 minutes more. 

4. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined. 

5. Weigh out 200g of swiss meringue buttercream. Leave a little vanilla smbc for the imposter(s). Add 100g of salted caramel to the 200g of smbc. Beat with electric mixer until smooth. Transfer to piping bag to fill the macarons. 

I filled the macarons with a ring of salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream and a dollop of salted caramel in the middle. 

For the imposters, I didnt really measure precisely. I just added oyster sauce and soy sauce to the vanilla smbc until it looks like the real deal. I added some oyster sauce to the salted caramel. 

Ta-dah! The imposters! They look like the real thing, don't they

Store filled macarons in the fridge in airtight container. Best to wait for a couple of days for the filling to mature the macaron shells before eating. Remember to let the container rest at room temperature for 15 min before opening to avoid condensation from forming on the shells. This is ideal but the way I presented for my kid to "play" meant that the same container had to be taken in and out of the fridge several times (he is only allowed one macaron to eat each time). To avoid the condensation from turning the remaining macarons soggy, I placed a paper towel in the container to absorb moisture, and open and closed the container as quickly as I can. 

I usually bake enough for my younger kid's whole class but due to the Covid situation, he can't do that for his birthday this year. Nonetheless, it is one of the more fun birthday bakes for him ๐Ÿ˜Š. 


With lots of love, 

Phay Shing

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Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Giant Strawberry Milkshake Chiffon Cake

 


Do you dream of a Giant Strawberry Milk Shake? ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿฅฐ This was inspired by a giant plushie, and I thought it was super adorable with strawberries in it!

This is a caffeine-free, level up version of the Giant Boba Milk Tea Cake! ๐Ÿ˜› Instead of "pearls", we have "strawberries" inside the drink =).


Which one do you like more? Strawberry or tea? =) I am already feeling thirsty looking at them!

And here is another cute shot of the Strawberry cake!



There are many fun techniques to pattern the sides of the chiffon cakes, shared in my Deco Chiffon Cake Basics cookbook! This uses the patterning and pre-baking method.



Hope this made you smile too! Have a wonderful week! ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ˜˜

With lots of love,
Susanne

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Thursday, 15 October 2020

Depressed Dave Lavender Macarons

Hubby's book on depression is finally launching! He wrote a book based on his Depressed Dave comics about depression. This is not just another self help book for mental health wellness full of platitudes or toxic positivity. It is written by a depression sufferer and rooted in real life. Despite its seemingly heavy content, there is humour in there. It covers what a person with depression feels like, treatment options, how friends and family can help to support the sufferer, as well as what are some of the unhelpful things that people do to mental health sufferers. Hubby wrote the book in the hope that it will help those who are suffering to understand their condition better, to seek help and get the support they need, as well as for people in general to have a better understanding of depression. Here is my macaron version of the book cover but done in reversed colours! 

A closer look at the macaron version! 


You may checkout @depdavecomics (Instagram account) for a glimpse of what the comic is like. Hubby's focus has always been about the message and not so much about the art. So he used stick figures for his comic. While these are easier to draw, it is a challenge to create in macaron form ๐Ÿคฃ. All the stick thin limbs and floating heads! I had to ponder how to make it work. 

So glad I managed it! 

I had lots of leftover white batter from premaking some macaron shells for class so I made the macarons. You may refer to this post for my Swiss meringue method recipe that I used for the white based macaron shells. 

I filled the macarons with lavender white chocolate ganache because lavender is known for its calming properties. Apt for helping to lift the mood although it is not a cure for depression hehe. Water based ganache are great for tea flavours as you extract the flavour from tea leaves or flowers better than using milk or cream. 

Water-based Lavender white chocolate ganache
Ingredients:
72g white chocolate couverture or finely chopped 
12g cocoa butter (may substitute with white chocolate) 
15g unsalted butter 
1/8 tsp salt
40g boiling water
10g dried lavender flowers

Steps :
1. Steep lavender flowers in boiling water for 10 min. Strain out the flowers and squeeze as much liquid out of the flowers. Don't need to top up with more water. Set aside the lavender tea. 

2. Combine white chocolate, cocoa butter, butter and salt in a microwave safe or heatproof bowl. Melt everything and stir until melted. Be careful not to overheat. Set aside to firm up at room temperature if you live in a temperate climate. You may want to chill the melted chocolate mix in the fridge for 15 min or until toothpaste consistency. 

3. Use an electric mixer to briefly whip the chocolate mix until light and fluffy like buttercream. 

4. Add lavender tea into the chocolate mix one tsp at a time and whip until combined. Transfer into piping bag and fill the shells. 

Filling up the crossing. 

I decorated the macarons using black royal icing



You may refer to this blog post about the book and the related events which are happening via zoom. Registration is free! I will be involved in one of the sessions as part of the panel which includes the caregiver (me), a psychologist (his ex-therapist) and a friend who has been supporting him in his journey. 


With lots of love,

Phay Shing

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Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Animal Crossing Tom Nook Chiffon Cake

 


Can you tell which character is this from Animal crossing: New Horizons?? ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ˜

Yes it's Tom Nook! I promised someone before that I would try it ๐Ÿฅฐ. Was really busy so took a long time to get to it. I am very excited to finally make it!

Tip to bakers: Always remember to flip your templates! ๐Ÿ˜˜ The clothes was the most challenging part.


Hope you liked this labour of love!

With lots of love, 

Susanne

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Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Cute Chocolate Bunny Choux Pastry Class

This is one class that was full before I even had a chance to advertise for it! 

Chocolate bunny choux pastries! 

Fret not if you are interested. There will be a rerun of this class on 3rd April 2021 with ArtZ Baking and Culinary Studio. 

You will learn the basics of choux au craquelin, how to assemble and decorate this bunny design, and how to make chocolate diplomat cream. 

I found some really cute backdrops at Popular bookshop I could use for photography and I couldn't resist having fun with them! 



It looks almost like a storyboard of sorts! 


Do contact Sharon from ArtZ Baking and Culinary if you are interested to join the class in April 2021. 


With love, 

Phay Shing


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Tuesday, 6 October 2020

No-Churn Salted Caramel Biscoff Ice-cream

I seem to have many macaron classes these days so I am generating too many egg yolks, more than I can comfortably incorporate in cooking for the family. So I decided to make some ice-cream ๐Ÿ˜Š. Salted caramel biscoff flavoured! 


My younger kid's favourite flavour! 

I found out by accident some time back that the frozen diplomat cream I make for choux pastry fillings make excellent ice-creams when frozen. I did some research recently and found that one of the versions of no-churn old fashioned ice-cream is precisely frozen diplomat cream! 

Why use egg yolks in ice-cream making? Because egg yolks are natural emulsifiers! Many cheap commercial ice-creams sold in tubs contain artificial emulsifiers to keep the ice-cream creamy and scoopable. Many no-churn ice-cream recipes are condensed milk based. While the condensed milk version is simple as it contains few ingredients, you can't control the amount of sugar in your ice-cream and it does tend to be rather sweet. You can have total control over how much sugar goes into cooked custard based ice-creams, like this one that I am sharing. 

I make my own salted caramel and usually keep some in the freezer, so making this ice-cream wasn't too troublesome. If you don't have salted caramel on hand, you may refer to this recipe to make some before you make the ice-cream. I make and store my salted caramel in quite a firm state. For incorporating it into ice-cream, you have to thin it a little with milk or the salted caramel bits will be really hard when frozen. Prepare some salted caramel with consistency thin enough to flow off a spoon easily. You may choose to fold the caramel into the ice-cream or drizzle over each scoop. The great thing about homemade ice-cream is there's so many things you can adjust according to taste ๐Ÿ˜Š so feel free to adjust the ingredient quantity based on your preference. 

Salted caramel that is thinned with milk and some biscoff biscuits in the process of being crushed. I do the old fashioned way of using a pestle to grind the biscuits. 

Ingredients :

4 or 5 egg yolks
20g cornflour 
50g brown sugar (use white sugar for other flavours that don't go well with brown sugar. This level of sugar is already quite low but you may increase or reduce according to taste. ) 
2 tsp vanilla extract /beanpaste
1/8 tsp salt
240g fresh milk
240g heavy cream
2 gelatin sheets, bloomed in ice water
1/4 cup homemade salted caramel, thinned with milk
100g biscoff biscuits, coarsely crushed

Steps:

1. Heat heavy cream in saucepan until steaming (not boiling or bubbling), about 70°C. Remove from heat. Combine bloomed gelatin sheets (squeeze out excess water) and hot cream in a bowl. Whisk until gelatin is melted. Press a cling wrap on the surface and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. 

2. Heat milk and vanilla in saucepan until steaming (not boiling). In the meantime, whisk egg yolks, brown sugar, cornflour and salt together in a glass measuring jug or heavy mixing bowl. 

3. When milk is hot enough, remove from heat and pour in a thin stream into the egg yolk mixture, whisking the egg yolk mixture continuously. Pour everything back into saucepan. 

4. Cook the custard over medium low heat while whisking continuously. Once the mixture starts to thicken, remove from heat and continue to whisk until mixture is smooth again. Return the saucepan back to heat and keep whisking and cooking until thickened, about 2 minutes more. Be careful not to use too high heat or you get scrambled eggs. 

5. Sieve custard into a bowl and press cling wrap on the surface. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1h or overnight. 

6. Take out set heavy cream from fridge. Consistency is like panna cotta. 

Use an electric mixer to beat until stiff peaks. 



7. Take out set custard/pastry cream from fridge and whip briefly with a spatula to loosen it up 


8. Fold whipped cream into custard in a few additions.

9. Fold in crushed biscoff biscuits. 

10. Fold in salted caramel (optional if you are serving ice-cream with salted caramel drizzled over) . 


11. Spread the mixture in a thin layer in a container or lined baking tray. As thin a layer as possible as it helps the diplomat cream to freeze quickly. Ice-cream that is quickly frozen is easier to scoop too because any ice crystals that form will not have chance to grow too big. Freeze for 1.5-2h for a softer-serve, overnight for a firmer ice-cream. 


You may serve the ice-cream with more crushed biscoff biscuits and/or salted caramel! 


Enjoy! 

With love, 

Phay Shing 


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Share Bear Chiffon Cake (Care Bears)

Very honored and excited to be commissioned to make a Share Bear cake by Carebears!! ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’–
Really thank God for providing! I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw their email! 
I've been a super big fan of Carebears since young so its a dream come true for me! Hope this cute cake makes you smile too!! ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ’•

Which is plush and which is cake?? Hehe =)

With lots of love,
Susanne
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Saturday, 3 October 2020

'Kirby and Super Mario at the Beach' Strawberry and Dark Chocolate Macarons

I had fun creating this scene for a fan of Nintendo games ๐Ÿ˜Š.


Kirby and Mario at the beach with some sea creatures! The rocks, sand and sea are all edible and not made out of fondant! 

I used the Swiss meringue method to make this batch of macarons along with another request. It was a whooping 12 colours from one batch of macaron batter! I worked till past midnight for this one, which isn't usual for me. You may refer to this post for the macaron shell recipe. Just to share some pictures of the process... 

Piping the coconut trees. It was a foolish move to make the trunk so long and thin ๐Ÿ˜…. But I found a way around working with such fragile structure. Not thinking straight when I was designing this 

Piping Super Mario. This was actually piped last so I was pretty tired by then ๐Ÿ˜ด

Piping the sea creatures and Kirby in a float! 


Freshly baked shells along with the other set! 

Decorated macaron shells! I used black edible marker, some royal icing and white sprinkles with black royal icing in tbe middle (for some of the eyes). 

The macarons were filled with firm strawberry ganache or dark chocolate ganache. You may refer to this post for the dark chocolate ganache recipe. I was hard pressed for time so I didn't make the strawberry ganache by using homemade compote. I used freeze-dried strawberry powder instead, which still tastes great! But more costly. Using freeze-dried strawberry isnt what I usually do so I will share the recipe in this post. You may refer to the version using homemade jam/compote in this post.

Firm strawberry ganache (using freeze-dried strawberry powder) 
Ingredients:
66g White chocolate, chopped or chips or courveture
12g Unsalted butter 
18g Heavy cream
1/8 tsp Salt
8g Freeze-dried strawberry powder 
1/8 tsp Strawberry paste (optional) 

Steps:
1. Place white chocolate, butter, cream and salt into a microwave-safe or heatproof bowl, depending on how you are melting the mix. Use medium-low power at 10 sec bursts to melt or set heatproof bowl over pot of freshly boiled water without water touching the base of the bowl. Be careful not to overheat white chocolate. 

2. Add freeze-dried strawberry powder and mix well. Add strawberry paste and mix well. 

3. Chill in freezer for 1 to 2min and use spatula to mix well. Repeat freezing and whipping until buttercream-like. Transfer to piping bag to fill the macaron shells. 


Strawberry and dark chocolate ganache

Filling the macaron shells! 

If you google for how to make edible rocks, you probably come across recipes that call for white chocolate/candy melts, condensed milk and crushed oreo cookies. My version uses either 2 or 3 ingredients, depending on whether you are doing the conventional way or my short-cut method. 

I made some rocks by kneading in crushed oreo crumbs into white modelling chocolate but realised that you can do a shortcut of simply kneading white compound chocolate chips together using heat from your fingers, and then kneading in the crushed oreo. If you are interested in the firm white modelling chocolate recipe, you may refer to this post. I reduced the amount of corn syrup by 1 gram as I wanted it firm and easy enough to work with. Always use cling wrap as a barrier between your fingers and the chocolate, to make it easier to work with. 


Ta-dah! It looks so real but you can make this in less than a minute!
I made the pearl in a similar way. Just roll 2 white chocolate chips together to form a ball then brush on some silvery lustre dust.
I used lighly toasted ground almond for the sand and stiff royal icing for the sea.
I hope this creation brought a smile on your face as it did mine ๐Ÿ˜Š.

With love,
Phay Shing





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Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Tomato, Cheese and Herb Cakelets

I have made a savoury chiffon years ago in the form of tomato chiffon cake "tomatoes". You can read about it in this blog post. I decided to revisit it again but adding another savoury element between layers of the savoury chiffon sponge this time round in the form of tomato aspic (tomato gelatin)!


I have to admit that you need to be mentally prepared that you are eating a savoury cake because if you are expecting something sweet, this may come as a shock ๐Ÿคฃ. Think of this as a savoury cold dish, like an appetizer, and as hubby said, it is yummy because he was prepared for the flavours! 

I modified the recipe I used years ago slightly by adding in more sugar in the meringue for more stability and I used canned tomato paste (no salt or seasoning added) so some dilution was needed. You may refer to my original recipe and post over here

I will share the updated recipe for the chiffon sponge and the tomato aspic in this post. I baked the sponge as a flat sheet cake which can be cut into circles to assemble as cakelets in moulds or in cupcake cases as a savoury cupcake. 

Tomato, cheese and herb chiffon recipe
Ingredients (makes one 10x12" sheet cake):
Egg yolk batter
2 egg yolks
11g canned tomato paste  (mine is not seasoned) 
24g water
22g olive oil
10g finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/4-1/2 tsp salt (according to taste. I used 1/2 tsp but a recipient said it could do with less salt) 
1/16tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
40g cake flour

Meringue
3 egg whites 
1/5 tsp cream of tartar
20g caster sugar
1/2 tsp cornflour (optional, mix with caster sugar) 

Steps:
1. Line baking tray with parchment paper or teflon sheet. Preheat oven to 170°C. Position oven rack in the middle. 

2. Make egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolks until thick and pale. Add olive oil and whisk until well combined. Add tomato paste, water, salt and seasoning and whisk until well combined. Gradually sift in flour and whisk until no trace of flour is seen. 

3. Prepare meringue. In a clean metal bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form, gradually adding in sugar once egg whites are foamy. 

4. Quickly but gently fold meringue into egg yolk batter in three additions. Pour batter into prepared tray. 

5. Bake for 12-14 min or until skewer comes out clean. Immediately flip the cake onto a fresh sheet of parchment paper and cool completely with another parchment paper over it. 

6. Use round cookie cutter to cut out pieces of cake for assembly with tomato aspic according to size of your cupcake cases/moulds. Store cutouts in airtight container. 

Freshly baked and cut chiffon sponges! 

Recipe for tomato aspic
Ingredients:
100g canned tomato paste
350g hot water (doesn't have to be roiling boil) 
10 gelatin sheets bloomed in ice water 
1/4 - 3/4 tsp himalayan pink salt (or salt of your choice. Adjust according to taste) 
1 tsp honey (or to taste) 
1/8 tsp Tabasco sauce (optional) 

Steps:
1. Squeeze excess ice water out of bloomed gelatin. Place bloomed gelatin in a microwave safe bowl (or heatproof bowl if you don't have a microwave). Melt the gelatin in using low power in 10 second bursts, or place heatproof bowl in a pot of hot water to gently melt the gelatin. 

2. Mix tomato paste, hot water, salt honey and tabasco sauce until well combined. 

3. Add melted gelatin to tomato mixture and whisk until gelatin is dissolved. 

4. Strain the mixture if you prefer to remove the tomato fibres out. You may use the tomato mixture as it is if you prefer to leave the fibres in. 

To assemble, alternate layering sponge and tomato aspic. Chill in fridge overnight or at least 2h before unmoulding if you are using silicone moulds. 

This is the cupcake version. 



If you are adventurous enough to try making a savoury cupcake, give this a try ๐Ÿ˜Š! 

With love, 

Phay Shing


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