Thursday, 14 October 2021

Squid Game Chiffon Cake (with Hidden surprise)


Who has watched Netflix's Squid Game? 

Here's my cake with a hidden surprise!  You will appreciate this if you watched the show. 

Here's the slicing video!


It's not the usual type of show I watch and I watched it out of curiosity from the hype. The show is really intense and very artistic with interesting themes. I liked it very much for its artistic direction and sets, and was kind of hooked, though I wouldn't encourage my kids to watch it as it is pretty graphic. I really liked the pretty pink BTS-coloured maze of stairs.

Hope you liked my cake!



I always have difficulty making things scary, so I had friends commenting this is the cute kids version lol. Hope you liked this creation too!


With lots of love,
Susanne

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Knight and Graduating Dragon Macaron Carousel

I have made many designs and themes of character macarons since 2015 but I have never made knight, dragon and castle themed ones before. So I was really excited to make one, in carousel form too! 


This is graduation themed as well so someone has to wear the mortarboard. Of course it has to be the dragon! 

The castle macarons were made as a backdrop so they are not part of the carousel so I took photos of them as loose pieces. 


I used the Swiss meringue method for making the macarons. The bake was split into 2 separate days due to the many colours and rounds of baking involved. 

Just to share some photos of the process... 

Dragon piped macaron batter. I piped some plain rounds to bake for testing of colours for icing, edible marker and paint post-baking. 

Castle piped batter. Everyone says this looks like a dress if you turn it upside down๐Ÿ˜‚. 

Knight piped batter. 

Piped batter for mortarboard pieces. I put my thumb there to show how tiny they are! 

Assembled mortarboard with royal icing and sour candy strip for the tassle. The regular sized version of this can be found in my Macaron Basics book. 

Some of the freshly baked pieces of the carousel frame. This is the first time I made a yellow frame! 

Undecorated as-baked macaron shells for the dragon, knight and castle. 

Decorated version of the dragon (minus the mortarboard), knight and castle. See what a big difference adding the details make! 

The macarons are filled with mango white chocolate buttercream and dark chocolate ganache. Crunchy chocolate balls are added for the large macaron base. 

I usually make my mango ganache with a combination of homemade mango compote and freeze-dried mango powder for a strong mango flavour. But as a carousel filling, I needed something really firm so no compote was used. My mango white chocolate buttercream is an adaptation from my usual mango ganache. 

Mango white chocolate buttercream (firm and tart filling!) 
Ingredients :
140g White chocolate (finely chopped or use chips) 
42g Unsalted butter 
A pinch of salt
28g Freeze-dried mango powder
1/4 tsp vanilla extract 

Note: feel free to adjust the amount of mango powder and white chocolate according to taste and climate. 

Steps:
1. Place everything in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt the butter and chocolate in bursts of 10 seconds on medium-low power. Mix well between heating cycles. 

2. Set aside to let it firm up in aircon room for half an hour or in the fridge for a few minutes until toothpaste consistemcy. Whip it up to lighten the texture. Transfer into piping bag for use. 

I couldn't resist taking a picture of the base as I think it is beautiful too! 

The filling was rather soft when I was assembling so I decided to share my method of assembling such that there is less risk of a carousel collapse. It's Lego to the rescue! You may use other things like retort stand or anything with adjustable height too but Lego is just so handy for me. I shared this little tutorial on how to use Lego as temporary supports during carousel assembly on Instagram. 

The wooden skewers help to take some of the weight of the heavy roof. 

To remove the skewers and Lego supports, carefully slide the paper towels under the supports away first. This will create some give between the roof and skewers so that it is easier to remove the skewers. 


You may wish to assemble 3 (instead of 2 as shown here) of the 5 poles while the supports are still there if you want to be really sure there is no chance for collapse. Once the royal icing on the poles are set firm, the structure is very stable. 

Assembling this was a breeze with the temporary supports! 


With love, 

Phay Shing 

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Sunday, 10 October 2021

Noah's Ark Choux Pastry-Cookie Construction Masterclass

Noah's Ark themed birthday bakes are a popular and evergreen theme worldwide. Instead of creating the ark and animal details in fondant, why not learn to make them in yummier mediums like choux pastry and cookies! 



The ark is made of brown sugar cookie that is not too sweet, and filled with dark chocolate ganache between layers. 

The animals are made of choux au craquelin and filled with mixed berry diplomat cream. Yes, even the tiny birds are made of choux! 

This class is open for registration and you may click on this link for more details on what is covered over the 2-day masterclass in early December. You may opt for either hands-on or online version of the class. Hands-on participants have the added perk of having unlimited access to the online class videos at no extra cost. I cover in detail the basic techniques as well as the decorative techniques. You don't need to have experience in making either cookie construction projects or choux pastry, but some baking experience is helpful as much content will be covered over the 2 days. Do note that the online class is half the price of the hands-on class. 

I can assure you it will be fun! 


With love, 

Phay Shing

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Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Cheese Pizza Chiffon Cake

 


Cute, Cheese “pizza” with Surprise cheesy filling anyone?๐Ÿ•๐Ÿ˜›

Everything is naturally colored with @suncorefoods supercolor powders!

Sending lots of love and cheerful vibes with my happy pizza cake!❤๐Ÿฅฐ

Cheese chiffon cake
2 egg yolks
10g superfine sugar
30g vegetable oil
30g milk
40g cake flour, sifted
30g parmesan cheese powder
Pinch of baking powder
Pinch of salt

2 egg whites
36g superfine sugar

Pizza base:
Suncore yellow safflower, vermillion annatto for the color

Whisk egg yolks with sugar, followed by oil and milk. Add in dry ingredients and whisk till well combined. Divide the batter 2 (yellow): 1 (dark orange): 1 (light orange). Add in supercolor powders and mix till desired colors.

In another bowl, whisk egg whites with sugar till firm peaks. Divide the meringue 2: 1: 1. Fold in the meringue to the above batter till well incorporated. Bake the yellow batter in a 6-inch cake pan at 140C for 25 mins, and the orange batters as sheet cakes for 18 mins.

Pizza “fillings”
Suncore red radish powder, yellow safflower and blue spirulina for the color

Same as above, except divide the batter 2 (red): 1 (green): 1 (plain). Bake as sheet cakes for 18 mins. *I used 1 tsp yellow safflower and 1/8 tsp blue spirulina for the green color.

Assembly

Slice the yellow cake into 2 slices and add shredded pizza cheese in the middle.
Cut out orange cake strips and wrap around the yellow cake for the border.




Cut out various shapes for fillings. Assembly video above or here๐Ÿ’•:

Add on the toppings and decorate with melted chocolate.
Microwave before serving for extra ooze effect! ๐Ÿ˜‹

With lots of love,

Susanne


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Friday, 1 October 2021

Jinbesan Yuzu and Dark Chocolate Macarons

My friend requested for some Jinbesan macarons. I couldn't resist making a couple of them listen to the sound of the sea during phototaking! 


I used the Swiss meringue method to make the macaron shells. Here are a couple of pictures of the piped batter. 



I used edible black marker and royal icing to include the details. 

The water spout is made from royal icing transfers. 

Here's a peek at the feet on the macaron shells! 



I filled the macarons with a combination of yuzu ganache and dark chocolate ganache

I hope these smiley whales put a smile on your face like theirs! 

With love, 

Phay Shing


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Monday, 27 September 2021

Hello Kitty x Pusheen Chiffon Cake

 

Have you heard of the cutest collab EVER between Hello Kitty and Pusheen #HelloKittyxPusheen ?๐Ÿ˜

Love this sooo much and thank you @Pusheen and @Hellokitty for sharing this creation too!! ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–

My chiffon cake creation inspired this dream with double dose of cuteness! ❤❤๐Ÿฅฐ

With lots of love,

Susanne

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Sunday, 26 September 2021

Starry Wonderment Macaron & Cookie Creation

"Make something with as many stars as possible, and a moon, and maybe a pig. Because the recipient said she wants to be surrounded by stars." 

If you were given a task like this, how would you put it into a picture? This was my take on it using cookie and macaron as my medium of expression ๐Ÿ˜Š. 

Matcha hojicha flavoured macarons and hojicha cookie tree! As usual, my bakes are fondant-free and this has minimal inedible items included. 

I wanted to create everything in macaron at first but thought it is too risky due to the fairly thin parts on the tree skeleton structure. I decided to use my default cookie base for construction projects to ensure a sturdier support structure is present without having to use inedible dowels. The recipe is tweaked a little by replacing the cornflour with plain flour for a sturdier structure, and hojicha and cocoa powder added for a darker colour. I adapted my cookie template from Jennifer Maker


Recipe for Hojicha cocoa cookie
Ingredients :
114g unsalted butter
100g caster or brown sugar 
1 egg (51g without shell) 
285g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs hojicha powder
1 tsp cocoa powder

Steps:
Please refer to this post for the steps. I rolled the dough to 4mm thickness before cutting the tree shape out. Add milk a little at a time if the dough is too dry and crumbly. Add flour a little at a time if too sticky and soft to work with. 

I used the Swiss meringue method recipe for the macaron shells. 

Undecorated macaron shells

I used pink lustre dust to create some of the intermediate shades of pink for the macaron stars. 

I used edible marker, lustre dust and royal icing for adding the details on the pig, moon and star. 

I used a mixture of hojicha and matcha ganache for the fillings. I added some crunchy chocolate balls for the large base macaron shell, which is around 14cm in diameter. 

Hojicha ganache, matcha ganache and crunchy chocolate balls. 

The assembled base looks pretty on its own! 

I filled the moon and stars with hojicha ganache. The stars are glued to the tree with hojicha ganache.


But before I glued the stars on, I had to take a photo of the tree on the base! It looks like something out of a children's picture storybook! I used stiff royal icing to secure the cookie tree to the base macaron. It is sturdy enough so no dowels are needed. I just reinforced the cookie structure with some royal icing on the back surfaces of the cookies. 


With love, 

Phay Shing


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Saturday, 18 September 2021

All You Need To Know About Making Anime Character Macarons

After making Nezuko and Levi macarons, I had requests for video tutorial on how to make anime type of character macarons. Although people would like to see how to make specific characters, I am not comfortable with using trademarked characters as subjects for the tutorial so I am using a caricature of myself drawn by very talented artists Duvoir and Artysaur (from Twitch). Hubby commissioned them to draw caricatures of our whole family some time back so we have the drawings for our own use. Presenting myself as a macaron, lol! 

Cat ears are included because I love cats. 

I put up two Youtube videos for this. The first video focuses on piping the macaron batter and some tips for the dos and don'ts. The second video focuses on using edible marker and vodka wash technique to include the details. Tips such as how to "erase" edible marker marks are included. A bonus portion is also included at the end of the second video showing how I fill the macarons and how to cut it such that you get a nice cross-section for photography. 

I hope you find the tutorials helpful! 


With love, 

Phay Shing 

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Monday, 13 September 2021

Tom and Jerry Chiffon Cake (Miniso)

 


Cake or plush toy?❤

Excited to collaborate with @miniso.official to create a Tom & Jerry cake based on the Miniso Tom and Jerry blind boxes! I grew up watching them on TV!


With love,
Susanne


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Saturday, 11 September 2021

Apple Black Tea 'Basket of Apples' Cake

After making the chiffon apples in biscuit basket, I made another version of the "apples in basket" theme with the same flavour (apple black tea) but with the basket made out of cake this time! This was for my dad's and uncle's combined birthday celebration.

The apples are the same as what I made for my dad's small birthday bake where each large apple has an apple black tea diplomat cream and apple dragonfruit black tea jelly filling. Here's how the cross-section looks like! 


The mini apples don't have filling because it would have been challenging to insert it in. 

The recipe for the cake (chiffon sponge, diplomat cream and jelly) can be found over here where I did my trial bake for cake flavour. I made chiffon apples back in 2014 when I first discovered that cake marbling technique can be used to create the patterns on the apple. I have done basket weave type of cake using chiffon sponge a number of times since I made the first one for my mum's birthday in 2015. But this is the first time I am making it this complicated as there is a heart-shaped hole at the side of the basket revealing the layers of goodies that the cake is made up of. While I usually make a half basket weave covered cake as the cake base to showcase the basket weave as well as the beautiful yummy cake layers, I thought this would look a little odd for the apple theme. But I am not willing to cover up the sides totally in basket weave as it is a pity to hide the goodies inside. I ended up with a compromise of a hole at the side to showcase the cake layers and basket weave. This is the first time I sliced the chiffon sponge cake into 5 layers too. Usually I slice into 3 layers only. Quite a challenge to slice it so thinly because chiffons are so soft! 

Here's a peek at the layer of filling between sponge layers. 

Apple black tea diplomat cream and apple dragonfruit black tea jelly

Here's a view of the basket cake without the apples! 


I baked very thin layer of chiffon sponges to make the basket weave. I added a little more kocha powder (black tea powder) and a little cocoa powder to make a slightly darker brown for the basket weave but I think it isn't too obvious ๐Ÿ˜‚. 

I chose a heart shaped opening at the basket because this bake is made with lots of love for the people who love me. My uncle treats me like his own daughter although he never had children, and has continued to support my family over the years. So this cake is a little gift I make in return for all the love and care. 


With lots of love,

Phay Shing

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Sunday, 5 September 2021

Apple Black Tea Chiffon Cake 'Apples' in Biscuit Basket

My dad's and uncle's birthdays are pretty close to each other and because we have 2 separate celebrations, I decided to make 2 separate but related bakes for them. Both are apple themed. For my dad's small home birthday celebration, I revisited an old bake back in 2014 but with filling this time and placed in an edible basket! 

Apple black tea chiffon cake "apples" in biscuit basket! 

A close up view of the cross-section of the insides! Apple black tea diplomat cream and apple dragonfruit black tea agar jelly! 

It actually took me 2 tries to get the basket right. The first try was my default construction cookie recipe that tastes awesome and it's easy to work with as rolled cookies. But it was difficult to handle for weaving as the dough kept breaking, and the basket fell apart when I placed it upright to dry it out a little more in the oven. Way too fragile due to the microcracks induced by the compression forces as the weaved dough expanded slightly during baking in the oven. 

I had a think and remembered that I had a biscuit dough recipe which has a texture and elasticity similar to bread dough, making it easier to handle for weaving and hopefully, remains sturdy enough after baking to keep its shape and hold the apples! This biscuit happens to be my iced gems biscuit base. I tweaked it slightly to include a little cinnamon and cocoa powder for colouring, and reduced the baking powder to minimize expansion of the dough which may cause cracks due to the weave pattern. Thank God it worked this time! 

You may refer to any basket weave tutorial for circular baskets on how to weave. Pinch seal the ends of each rope of dough when you run out of length. Use a metal bowl that is wrapped in aluminium foil as your work surface. Remember to grease it first before slapping on the dough. 


I didn't take photos of the weaved rim and handles because it was late and I was a little miffed at having to rebake๐Ÿ˜‚. I used small hemisphere slicone moulds as the work surface for the handles. The various parts were glued together using royal icing

Ta-dah! My edible wicker biscuit basket! 

Recipe for biscuit basket
Ingredients:
140g plain flour 
1/2 tsp baking powder
20g icing sugar 
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp cocoa powder

48g unsalted butter
50g milk (use less or add more as necessary) 
1/4 tsp vanilla extract 

Steps:
1. Sift together all powdered ingredients into mixing bowl. Add vanilla extract to milk. 

2. Rub in unsalted butter into powdered ingredients until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. 

3. Add milk a little at a time until a ball of dough forms. Cling wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes. This will help the dough to relax and make it more pliable.

4. Prepare the baking tray/ moulds, lining with parchment or foil and greasing as necessary. Preheat oven to 165C.

5. Portion and roll out the ropes of dough as needed for weaving. Weave the basket, pinch sealing portions where you need to join the ropes. 

6. Bake until slightly golden brown. This bake time can vary depending on size of the weaved portion. Can range from 15 to 25 min. Cool completely before assembling with royal icing as the glue. 


The basket was stored at cool room temperature in airtight condition. 

I prepared some apple dragonfruit black tea jelly and measured 1 tsp of it for each apple, set in cling wrap. You may refer to this post for the jelly recipe. 

Refrigerated until ready to fill the chiffon apples. It would be perfect if I have moulds of the right size but I didn't so this less ideal cling wrap trick will have to do.  You only need to prepare a small quantity of jelly since each apple only needs 1 tsp worth. 

Prepare the apple black tea diplomat cream and store it in a piping bag in the fridge until ready to fill the apples. Please refer to this post for the recipe. You will only need a little cream and 1 egg yolk portion recipe is more than enough. 

Apple black tea chiffon cake recipe for "apples" 
Note that I increased the sugar content in the meringue to improve its stability compared to my old recipe in 2014. This makes it easier for patterning the apple design. 

Ingredients (makes about 9-12 cupcakes) :
Egg yolk batter
3 egg yolks
42g vegetable or canola oil
3/4 tsp vanilla extract 
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/8 tsp salt
60g cake flour 
1/4 tsp baking soda (to neutralize acidity of tea) 
1/2 tsp kocha powder (black tea powder) 

Colouring for yellow and red batters
Yellow gel colouring 
1/8 tsp red powder colouring 

Meringue
4 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
80g caster sugar 

Steps :
Kindly refer to this post for the detailed steps because it is too long to type๐Ÿ˜‚. The difference is I simplified the use of many sources of colouring because some of them impart a flavour which I didn't want as it will detract from the apple black tea base that I intended it to be. 

Inverting the glass bowls to cool the chiffon apples. 

Carefully unmould the cakes by hand when cooled totally. Use a piping tip to mark out the hole and then use a toothpick to dig out a portion of cake. Don't throw the cake cutout, instead pipe in a little cream. Insert a ball of jelly and coat with more cream.  It should look like this:


Cover the hole with some of the cake cut out earlier. Shape the base of the cake to make it taper slightly inward. To do so, you may shape by hand, or use a mould/bowl with smaller diameter. Insert the base of the cake into the mould/bowl to round it out. I used a silicone mould with smaller diameter than the glass bowls they were baked in. 

To shape the apple top, make an indent on the top of the apple with a clean finger or wider end of the chopstick. 

Ta-dah! Shaped apple. The shaped portions may tend to bounce back to its original shape. Just keep pressing or inserted into the mould for a longer time and the shape should hold better. 

Insert a sliver of cinnamon as the apple stem and you are done! 

With lots of love,

Phay Shing


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