Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Peanut Butter Reindeer Choux Pastry

This was a rather last minute thing that I agreed to and I only did because I thought I can squeeze it in half a day to create! My schedule is really full towards end of the year as always. But I am glad that with some jiggling of my schedule, I can be part of Newmoon's Skippy Christmas Campaign!

Presenting my reindeer choux pastries with the reindeer made out of peanut butter diplomat cream! 


The cream is made with Skippy's smooth creamy peanut butter from a very convenient squeeze bottle! 

I was sent other Skippy products like the grape and strawberry swirl spreads as well! 

You may refer to this post for the choux pastry part. I didn't use frozen batter but just piped it fresh. To be honest, I just dug out a few frozen red craquelin dough cutouts I had in my freezer and used it while I was preparing some prebaked choux cases for a class. That's why the reindeer part only took me half a day to make, assemble and take photos. 

What I want to share in this post is the recipe for peanut butter diplomat cream. I added some cocoa powder to give it another dimension of flavour and a deeper brown but you can use less or omit it. I really love how smooth the cream is! Originally I wanted to do a peanut butter mousseline cream but thought that peanut butter is rather rich and heavy so diplomat cream verison would help to balance out the heaviness as it has whipping cream instead of butter added, and it did! My kids love it! Feel free to upsize to 2 or 3 egg yolks worth as I only made a tiny batch enough to fill maybe a dozen small pastries. 


Peanut butter diplomat cream

Ingredients:

1 egg yolk

100g+1tbs milk (omit the extra 1tbs if not using cocoa powder) 

5g cocoa powder (optional) 

10g cornflour 

15g sugar (use more if you prefer sweeter) 

1/4 tsp vanilla

70g Skippy's smooth peanut butter

50g whipping cream (you may use dairy or non-dairy. Be careful not to overwhip if using dairy. Use more if you prefer lighter texture. Add sugar if using dairy. ) 

Steps:

1. Heat 100g milk in small saucepan until steaming hot but not boiling. In the mean time, place peanut butter and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Put egg yolk, cornflour, sugar, cocoa powder and 1tbs of milk and whisk until well combined. 


2. When milk is hot, pour in a thin stream into egg yolk mixture while whisking the egg yolk mix continuously. Pour back into saucepan and continue whisking and cooking until it thickens. Be careful to keep the heat low so you don't get scrambled egg. 

3. Pour custard into peanut butter bowl and mix until smooth. Sieve the custard into the bowl if there are lumps. Press cling wrap onto surface of pastry cream. Refrigerate for at least 1h or overnight. 

4. Whip whipping cream until firm peak or stiff peak. Remove pastry cream from fridge. Briefly whip pastry cream to lighten texture. Fold whipped cream in. Transfer into piping bags to fill pastry cases. 

For the reindeer assembly, I just piped some chocolate antlers onto parchment paper and let it set for a while in the freezer. The eyes are Wilton eye sprinkles and the nose is a jumbo red heart sprinkle cut into circle using fondant cutter because I don't have red mini M&Ms or red round sprinkle on hand. If you don't want to buy the eye sprinkles (which I had on hand), you may pipe the eyes using melted chocolate too. A word of warning on using red sprinkles. Try to put it on soon before serving as it will bleed colour into the cream after a while. M&Ms may be better but will also bleed colour eventually. You can also cut out circles using red sour candy strip which is unlikely to have this issue but the red may not be as intense. 

The filling is delightful for peanut butter lovers! Very strong roasted peanut aroma, a good balance of sweet and savoury, and the cream is light. 


With love, 

Phay Shing

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Sunday, 21 November 2021

Matcha-Azuki Christmas Tree Bread



Christmas Tree Matcha bread with Red bean filling! Sharing a yummy idea for Christmas. What are you baking for Christmas?

Matcha-Azuki Christmas Tree Bread Recipe
240g bread flour (2 cups)
36g superfine sugar (3 tbsp)
150g milk/soy milk (2/3 cups)
1 ¼ tsp instant dry yeast (4g)
1/4 tsp salt (2g)
25g oil/ butter (dairy-free)

8g @Suncorefoods green matcha powder *dissolved in 2 tsp water
Pinch of yellow safflower and cocoa powder

Filling - 0.4 cup azuki sweetened bean paste (95g)



1. In a stand mixer, add all bread ingredients except for salt and oil/butter. Using a dough hook, mix on medium-low speed for 10 min, then add in salt and oil/butter. Knead for another 6-8 min till the dough is smooth. Check that the dough can stretch into a thin membrane without breaking (window pane test).

2. Pinch out two 15g dough for the yellow and brown dough and knead in yellow safflower and cocoa powder till combined (optional – you can use all green dough). To the rest of the dough, knead in matcha powder till even. Further divide each dough into 2 and shape into balls (you will need two pieces of dough to sandwich the filling). Cover and let them proof for 1 hr or until doubled in size.

3. Punch down the green matcha dough and roll out the dough into a large triangular Christmas tree shape on a piece of baking sheet. Do the same for the other matcha dough. Spread azuki red bean paste over one large triangle and cover with the second triangle. Use a knife to trim the edges.

4. Flatten the yellow and brown dough and sandwich azuki bean paste. Place onto the top and bottom of the large green triangle.

5. Cut 1-inch wide strips on each side of the triangular tree shape, leaving around a 1-inch wide column in the middle of the tree uncut. Starting at the bottom, take a strip of dough and twist, forming a spiral and pinch down the end. Repeat with all of the strips of dough.

6. Use a star cutter to cut a star shape from the yellow dough and a knife to trim the sides of the brown dough to form a tree trunk.

7. Allow the Christmas tree to proof till doubled in size (around 45 mins). Preheat oven to 180C. Reduce the temperature to 140C just before placing the tree bread into the oven. Bake for 20 min or until the buns are firm and sound hollow when tapped. Enjoy! =)

With love,
Susaanne
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Fortune Tiger Bakkwa Choux Pastry Class

To welcome the year of the tiger in 2022, my first class for next year in mid Jan will be these savoury choux pastries in the form of very cheerful and welcoming tiger choux! 


I may be baking sweets most of the time but I am actually a more of a savoury food person so I am excited to be sharing something savoury for once! The filling is bakkwa diplomat cream made from bakkwa infused milk, and more chopped pieces of bakkwa! You may think it is weird but it is actually pretty pleasant to eat! It's like eating char siew polo bun but with a very light and crisp crust! 


Please click on this link for more details and to register for this class! 


With love, 

Phay Shing


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Saturday, 20 November 2021

Christmas Tree Entrement Class

 

Super excited about my new class! Christmas Tree Chiffon Entremet! This is my last class for the year.

Which is your favourite among the layers in the Entremet?
+ Mint and red velvet chiffon cake
+ Raspberry compote
+ Dark chocolate mousse
+ Toasted almond crunch
+ Dark chocolate ganache

Teaching this fun, delicious and multi-textured creation on Dec 11th, 8am GMT+8 (Dec 10th, 8pm EST) with Howtocakeit! I will be teaching live and there will also be lifetime access to the video tutorial, workbook and private FB group. Sign up link here =).

With love,
Susanne




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Sunday, 14 November 2021

Pandan and Strawberry Christmas Butter Cookies

Our church is doing a Christmas bake giveaway and it is our joy to share the love of Jesus with others! As it is a collective effort amongst the members of Culinary Arts Ministry, I have decided to share a cookie bake that is Christmasy yet simple and suitable for us busy people who are preparing the cookies. Presenting my swirly pandan and strawberry butter cookies! 


I was really impressed with Phoon Huat's super biscuit premix when I tried it out. See this blog post for my review on their National Day cookie kit. I am usually skeptical of any premix but this is an exception. All you need is butter:biscuit premix in the ratio of 1:2 to make cookies that taste pretty close to Kjeldsens butter cookies! 

The recipe I am sharing is for 1 batch of cookies. Each packet of 500g biscuit premix can make about 2 batches. Sorry about that little bit of leftover premix... I prefer working with whole numbers😂. 

If you are unable to get a hold of the premix, you may use my shortbread cookie recipe to make swirl cookies too using the same method. Just prepare the same weight of dough and follow the assembly instructions. 

Pandan and strawberry swirl butter cookies
Ingredients (Makes about 15-18 red and 15-18 green swirl cookies) :

Plain dough 
120g super biscuit premix
60g unsalted butter (use a good brand!) 

Red strawberry dough
60g super biscuit premix
30g unsalted butter 
1/4-1/2 tsp strawberry emulco (I used 1/3 tsp) 

Green pandan dough
60g super biscuit premix
30g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp pandan paste

Steps:
1. Weigh out cold butter into mixing bowls for respective colours of dough and let it sit for about 10 minutes at room temperature (about 27-30C in Singapore's home kitchen ). Add strawberry and pandan flavouring to respective bowls. 


2. Mix the flavouring into butter and beat it briefly with spatula. Beat the plain butter briefly as well to loosen it up. 


3. Add premix into respective bowls. You don't have to sift it. 


4. Mix the flour premix and butter until a ball of dough forms. Do not overwork the dough. Once it comes together, you can stop. Divide the plain dough into 90g each. 


5. Cut out 4 sheets of parchment paper, about A4 size each. Fold into half with the shorter edges aligned with each other. Fold the left and right sides in as shown below, with 15cm in length between the left and right flaps. 


6. Place a ball of dough inside the pocket you just folded out of parchment. Roll it to 4mm thickness. It helps to have rolling pin with guides like mine when you need to roll the dough to specific thickness. 


Let me open out the pocket to show you what the rolled dough looks like... 


If you don't have 4mm guides on your rolling pin, fold the A4 parchment paper into a rectangle with a pocket/cavity measuring 12x15cm. Roll the dough to fill up the rectangular cavity and you should get a rectangular sheet of dough with thickness about 4mm.

Remember to place the folded flaps facing down so that you can easily roll the dough to fill up all the corners of the rectangle. 

Opening up the 12x15cm pocket to show the rolled dough. 

7. Refrigerate all 4 sheets of rolled dough for about 10-15min or until firm enough for you to handle with your hands without it being too soft, but not so hard that it is completely not pliable. 

8. Take a sheet of coloured dough and lightly brush the top surface with a little water. Take a sheet of plain dough and carefully stack it on top of the coloured dough. The water is to help the different colours stick together better. 


9. Brush a little water on top of the plain dough. Carefully roll the dough from the straight edge that is measured 15cm long. 


Don't worry if the dough starts breaking as you roll. Simply pinch the cracks close with damp fingers and continue rolling. Try to shape the log such that it remains 15cm long and the diameter is more or less even along the length. 

10. Roll the parchment paper around the log. This next part is optional but helps to retain a little curvature as you chill the whole log of dough. Cut the center of paper towel core lengthwise into half. Place a log of dough in the cradle of the paper towel core as shown below. You may want to shape the paper towel core a little so it hugs the dough snugly. Alternatively, you can rest the rolled dough in a tray of uncooked rice with a little trough made for the log to sit in. Freeze the log for 1-1.5h or refrigerate overnight. 


This log of dough can be made in advance and stored in freezer for a month. If you are doing so, clingwrap the log of dough before freezing and defrost overnight in fridge. Frozen rock hard logs are brittle and shatter easily when you try to cut. 

11. When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 160C fan forced (170C top and bottom heat only) and set oven rack to middle position. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or in my case, I used a perforated mat. 

12. Mark out 8-10mm lines on your log to mark out positions for where you are going to cut out the cookies. 

I used a letter "I" cookie cutter to mark this out really quickly. Alternatively, you may cut a 8-10mm strip of plastic or parchment paper to mark out the intervals to make the markings. 

13. Use a knife to cut the log as marked by the position markers and lay the cutouts on the baking tray at least 2cm apart. The cookies don't expand sideways by too much. 


A few notes on this cutting step. Make sure your knife blade is pointing vertical downwards when you make the cut. Don't worry if the cutout is no longer circular after cutting. You may reshape it to be more circular after it has softened a little on the baking tray.

14. Bake for 15-17 min or until the base of the cookie is slightly browned as shown below. 

It is actually a little more browned than this but I can't quite capture it on my phone camera. Left piece shows the underside of a baked cookie and right piece shows the top side of a baked cookie. 

Do note that each oven is different so adjust baking temperature and time accordingly. You do want some slight browning especially at the base, to get that browned butter aroma. 

15. Cool completely on cooking rack before storing in airtight container. 

Some of you may want to try other swirl flavours so I have prepared a chocolate version as well. 

Brown chocolate dough
60g minus 1.5 tsp super biscuit premix
1.5 tsp cocoa powder 
30g unsalted butter

Steps:
Same as above but sift the premix and cocoa powder together before adding to the butter. 

Chocolate swirl! My elder kid went straight for these so I didn't have many to take photos with😂.  I made these earlier by rolling each sheet of dough to 6mm thickness so the swirls are slightly less compact. 

Happy baking! 


With lots of love, 

Phay Shing 

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Friday, 12 November 2021

Coconut Lollipop Roll Cake


Have you played cake dominoes before?
 
Sharing an easy way to make Rainbow Cake Lollipops by slicing!  

Everything is colored naturally using @suncorefood powders!
 
Lollipop Coconut Roll Cake
5 egg yolks 
30g superfine/caster sugar 
50g coconut oil 
75g coconut/full cream milk 
½ tsp vanilla extract 
70g all-purpose flour 
20g corn starch 
Pinch of salt 

5 egg whites
75g superfine/caster sugar
½ tsp lemon juice
 
@suncorefoods purple sweet potato with red beet, yellow safflower and blue spirulina for the colors

Whisk egg yolks with sugar, followed by coconut oil, milk and vanilla. Add in sifted dry ingredients and whisk till well combined. Divide the batter 3(plain): 1(purple) : 1 (blue) : 1(yellow). Add in supercolor powders and mix till desired colors.

In another clean mixing bowl, whisk egg whites with sugar till firm peaks. Divide the meringue 3: 1: 1: 1. Fold in the meringue to the above batters till well incorporated. Pour the plain batter into a 10-inch cake pan. Fill another 10-inch pan with the tricolor batter side-by-side. Bake at 160C for 16 mins.

Place the plain sheet cake on top of the tricolor sheet cake and roll up.

Slice to enjoy the cute lollipops! =)

Short video of the process here:


And here's another cute shot! =)

Sending lots of love!

Susanne

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Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Blackforest Choux Pastry (with bonus cute doggy version!)

Due to the ongoing Covid situation, we are still unable to have an in-person session for our Culinary Arts Ministry event by Adam Road Presbyterian Church. So I prepared a full-length video tutorial on how to make these elegant blackforest choux pastries, with a cutesy option as well! 

Elegant version complete with gold dust for added posh! 

Cutesy doggy version with exact same fillings but different presentation! 

Here's a peek at the delectable filling that goes into each pastry! 


Below is a screenshot of the video tutorial for an explanation of what filling/topping goes into each pastry. 


I tried my best to include the essence of the classic blackforest cake into choux pastry. But everyone has their own preference so feel free to adjust amount of certain ingredients when I make mention of it where appropriate. Certain things like ratio of key ingredients shouldn't be messed around with (may cause a failure if you adjust too much) but where fillings are concerned, feel free to adjust according to taste. 

Some of you may want to prepare ingredients in advance, ahead of the event, so here are the list of ingredients for the respective components. 

Chocolate craquelin is a high butter content cookie dough that gives the pastry a wonderful crunch and helps it to puff up nicely and evenly during baking. 


I chose to flavour the pastry case as well with Valrhona cocoa powder. If making plain cases, replace cocoa powder with flour. 



Special notes for filling ingredients:

-Choose the type of whipping cream you prefer according to taste and technical ability. I explained this in detail in the video tutorial. In summary, there is a trade-off between stability/ease of handling and taste. You may use dairy, non-dairy or a combination of both. 

- Use cherries that are best tasting. You may use canned cherries if fresh cherries aren't in season. Amount of sugar may be adjusted according to how sweet /sour your cherries are. I recommend using Morello or Maraschino cherries with no red colouring added if possible. 

- You don't have to buy cherry jam if you have richly flavoured syrup from canned cherries. I reduced the canned cherry syrup to remove water content and to intensify the cherry flavour.

- I demonstrated the non-alcoholic version. If you like your blackforest boozy, feel free to add Kirsch. 

Here's a pretty view of freshy baked chocolate choux au craquelin! 



Without further ado, this is the video link to the event with full length video tutorial and an evangelistic sharing! Do note that the video will be available only at and after the event date on 28 Nov 2021 at 2pm.


With love, 

Phay Shing

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Saturday, 6 November 2021

The Promised Neverland Mangoes n Cream Cake

A friend requested for The Promised Neverland themed cake for his daughter's birthday.  Here is what I made! 


Of all types of character macarons, Anime types are the toughest because of the amount of details needed for the eyes and hair. It's a test of patience!

I used the Swiss meringue method for making the macarons. 

This tray took me 2 hours to pipe! 

Freshly baked macaron shells! 

I decorated the details with edible marker and vodka wash. You may refer to this blog post on how I do anime character macarons including the edible marker and vodka wash technique. I decided to do the hair with macaron batter to make ot look 3D and without post-baking decoration. 

The macarons are filled with dark chocolate ganache and blueberry strawberry ganache.


Blueberry strawberry ganache 

I made a firm ganache so feel free to increase the amount of compote if you wish. Compote is made by reducing fruit puree with a little sugar until it weighs about half of its original weight. 

Ingredients :

60g white chocolate 

11g butter

1/16 tsp salt

10g strawberry compote

8g freeze-dried blueberry powder

Steps:

1. Melt all ingredients together using double boiler or microwave oven. Be careful not to overheat. 

2. Chill in fridge until firms up to toothpaste consistency.  Whip up with spatula or electric mixer until buttercream texture. 

3. Transfer into piping bag and use it. 


I made the macaron sofa in purple, Alethea's favourite colour. 

Norman, Emma and Ray on a macaron sofa! 

I used my default vanilla chiffon cake recipe to make the sponge. 


I filled the cake with fresh Thai mangoes, mango yuzu compote and fresh cream. The mango yuzu compote is made with 1 mango pureed with 1 tsp yuzu juice concentrate, a little sugar and a pinch of salt, cooked over low heat until weight of puree is reduced to about 70% its original weight. 


Thank God this birthday bake was very well received! 


With love, 

Phay Shing

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Friday, 5 November 2021

Hello Kitty's Birthday Cake

 


Happy birthday Hello Kitty! Thank you for bringing so much smiles to everyone around the world!

So honored to bake @hellokitty 's birthday cake this year! 💖 It's a dream come true for me! 🥰

Step-by-step recipe on Sanrio's blog here!

With lots of love,
Susanne


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Friday, 29 October 2021

Green Hatchling Salted Caramel Choux Pastry

My younger kid has taken a liking to one of the plushies at home. It's the green hatchling from Angry Birds. He has it around when he reads in bed, and brings it to the study table when he studied for exams. The hatchling is named Grip by my kids so let's call him that. Grip has become a family member and friend of sorts so that's why I decided to make Grip salted caramel choux pastries for my kid's birthday! 

Grip with various expressions! I made it so as part of my first attempt at stop motion video. 

A view of the cross section! 

Have a look at the stop motion video over here

I used my default recipe for choux au craquelin but didn't bake from frozen batter. I will share the ingredient list here since some of you may be interested in the colouring I used. But please refer to the method in the reference post. 

Craquelin ingredients:
21g unsalted butter
18g sugar
21g cake or plain flour
2 drops lime green/mint green gel colouring 
2 drops electric yellow gel colouring 
1/2 tsp white powder colouring 

Extra notes for craquelin: 
You may scale up the recipe. I was making a small batch

Choux batter ingredients:
110g water
40g bread flour
20g plain flour
20g olive oil
20g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar 
2 eggs
1 tsp white powder colouring 
A pinch of yellow powder colouring 
2 drops lime or mint green gel colouring 
4 drops yellow gel colouring (extra if necessary for the beak and feet batter) 

Extra notes for choux batter:
I divided the cooked dough in ratio of 1:4 for yellow: green, added the extra gel colours before adding the egg to the respective coloured batters. 



For Grip's hair, I used celery fibers that are blanched for 1 min and dehydrated in oven for an hour at 90-100C. 

Blanched and dehydrated celery fibers. 

So glad the "hair" and choux bun are so close in shade😍😍😍

I didn't take photos of the small parts like beaks, feet, tail and wings. They were all made of choux as well. The eyes were made from royal icing transfers. 

I drew the eyes on paper and used it as template for piping the eyes. 

The filling is salted caramel and salted caramel diplomat cream with mini crunchy chocolate balls. 

You may refer to this post for the salted caramel recipe. I thinned it with a little milk so it is more oozy. You may add crushed biscoff biscuits instead of crunchy chocolate balls. I just didn't want to buy an extra packet of biscuit for this😂. 


Salted caramel diplomat cream

Ingredients:

2 egg yolks

20g brown sugar

20g cornflour 

200g milk 

1 tsp vanilla extract 

1/4 tsp caramel flavouring (optional) 

15g unsalted butter 

20-30g salted caramel

65g whipping cream of choice (dairy, non-dairy or a combination) 

30g crunchy chocolate balls/crushed biscoff biscuits (adjust amount according to taste, omit if you prefer) 

Steps:

1. Heat milk, vanilla and caramel flavouring (if using) in a small saucepan until steaming hot (not boiling). In the mean time, whisk together egg yolks, brown sugar, cornflour and salt in a heavy bowl or glass measuring jug. 

2. Pour hot milk into egg yolk mixture in a thin stream while whisking the egg yolks continuously. Pour everything back into saucepan and heat over medium-low heat while whisking continuously. 

3. Once mixture thickens, remove from heat and continue whisking until mixture smoothens out. Place back on stove and whisk continuously while cooking to preferred consistency. 

4. Remove from heat and add butter and salted caramel and whisk until well combined. Press a cling film on surface of pastry cream and refrigerate until firm, at least 1h.



5. Whip up whipping cream of choice till firm or stiff peaks. Remove pastry cream from fridge and beat it briefly with spatula to loosen texture. Fold in whipped cream to make diplomat cream. 

6. Fold in crunchy chocolate balls or crushed biscoff biscuit crumbs. 


7. Transfer into piping bag. Fill pastries shortly before eating. Note that biscuit or crunchy cookie items do not stay crisp in the filling for long so if you want to enjoy the crunch within the filling, add in the crunchy bits only shortly before filling and serving. 

Grip is so cute I couldn't resist taking more pictures! 


Twinning! 

Pastry Grip with the real life Grip! 

As it is my kid's last year in primary school, I decided to make a graduation version as well! 

The hats are made of macarons and sour candy strips. You may refer to my Macaron Basics book for the regular sized macaron version. 

I hope this post puts a smile on your face as much as Grip (both real and pastry versions) did for my little one and all of us at home! 


With lots of love, 

Phay Shing






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