Wednesday 28 February 2024

"Capybara in Totoro Dreamland" Vegan Marshmallows

 On and off I have people asking me if it is possible to make character marshmallows vegan. The answer is yes!


The sleeping capybara is based on a plushie we have at home. It's hilarious because the bubble at the nose can be pulled and upon release, the whole toy vibrates and produces a rumbling noise like a snore 😆. Actually I made many more Totoros and the capybara was an afterthought made using the leftover bits of marshmallow batter.



People have also asked if the recipe is in my Deco Marshmallows book. The answer is yes but only as a footnote on how to adapt the vegetarian recipe to make it a vegan one. In my vegan marshmallows, instead of egg whites and gelatin, I use agar powder, reduced aquafaba and apple puree as the ingredients that provide structure and bounce.

The technique for making vegan marshmallows is slightly different from the vegetarian one which uses egg whites instead of reduced aquafaba, because the meringue made using aquafaba is less stable and less robust than the one made using egg whites. Make sure the meringue is whipped stiffer than you would make for the vegetarian marshmallow if you want to make it vegan.

Here's the reel for the Totoro vegan marshmallows and the capybara plushie in action:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C3XaR1IyXQr/?igsh=MTA1aW93aDF2bG9lag==

Pardon the lack of piping tutorial for capybara because it was made with leftover marshmallow batter & I wasn't confident it would turn out fine. 

These vegan marshmallows are also known as zephyrs (zefir) which are apple puree based & agar is used as the gelling agent. I replaced egg whites with aquafaba to make it vegan. It doesn't taste too sweet at all, in fact it is tart because of the fruit /juice that goes into it! Texture is a cross between regular marshmallows & meringue cookies.

Feel free to upsize as this is for a small batch & a very tiny saucepan I used. 

Apple jam:
1 large Granny Smith apple 
55g sugar
12g lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt

🔸Bake halved apple until soft. Sieve. Cook with rest of ingredients until total weight reduced to 100g. Refrigerate overnight covered

Vegan marshmallow:
Agar syrup:
100g sugar
3g agar powder
13g invert sugar
50g water
Meringue:
30g reduced aquafaba (to 40-50%)
Apple jam

🔸Whip meringue until STIFF. Continue whipping at med-low speed while making syrup

🔸Bring agar syrup to a boil while whisking continuously. Keep whisking until syrup forms a thread when dripped instead of forming droplets

🔸 Turn mixer speed to med-high. Pour syrup in. Continue whipping for a short time until consistency is floppy peak. Check every 30s after syrup is added

🔸Pipe marshmallows

🔸Air dry overnight at room temperature. Dust lightly with cornstarch or mix of icing sugar & cornstarch 

✅ Work quickly & keep unused batter in warm place as it sets up much more quickly than gelatin based marshmallows.

If this doesn't work for you on the first try, it is likely due to technique issues, so don't give up. It takes a little getting used to working with aquafaba but once you get used to it, it should work!

Detailed recipe & technical tips are in my Deco Marshmallows book and upcoming classes.

with love,
Phay Shing
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Friday 23 February 2024

Polar Bear and Hanami Dango Marshmallow Class

Many people think that you need artistic skills in order to pipe character marshmallows. Not true with the templating technique I use! There is hardly any freehand piping needed!

I am pleased to present this marshmallow class which doesn't require artistic skills at all!


Cute animal hanami dango and kawaii fruity polar bear designs will be taught at this class. I use matcha powder, freeze-dried strawberry powder and strawberry paste to flavour and colour the green and pink parts. 

See how squishy they are in this reel!

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C3ByHK0yWVr/?igsh=cDZzcDZkOWc4aWp5

To find out more about this class or to register, please refer to this link.


with love,

Phay Shing

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Tuesday 20 February 2024

Puppy Heart Chiffon Cakes

 


These are puppy chiffon cakes modelled after maltipoo and bichon which I love. These were made for Valentine's day and also in collab with Tastemade. Watch the making on my IG here. The recipe is also in the caption. 
Hope you like it and that it made you smile too!  
With love, 
Susanne 

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Friday 16 February 2024

Vegan Hojicha Yuzu Capybara Macarons

As I was finalizing the recipe and processes of an upcoming vegan macaron class, I couldn't resist using the leftover batter to create capybaras!


The macaron shells are coloured and flavoured with Hojicha. Since capybaras are known to soak in onsen filled with floating yuzu, I decided to fill them with hojicha ganache and yuzu marmalade.

Swiss meringue method was used to make the macaron shells from aquafaba that has been reduced by 50%. Remember to shake the can of chickpeas hard before using the aquafaba.

Here's the template for the large capybara with yuzu on the head. 


Please resize the template to fit an A4 sheet


I only had brown and white macaron batter to work with so I used edible paint to add in all the other details. I finally found a brand of edible paint that dries fairly quickly, doesn't need dilution with water or alcohol, and doesn't dissolve the surface it is painted on!


To make the ganache vegan, I used plant based white chocolate.



Please see the reel for the piping and painting video tutorial:

Tips for vegan macarons:

🔸Make sure the meringue is whipped till very stiff. Aquafaba based meringues are not as stable & robust as egg white based meringues. There isn't a danger of over whipping so go ahead and whip away! This applies for all meringue methods using aquafaba. If meringue isn't stiff enough, you get exploding feet & batter breaks down faster
🔸Use an acid to help stabilize meringue
🔸Don't overfold the batter
🔸Pipe larger macs. Small macs tend to have lopsided feet due to weaker nature of aquafaba meringue
🔸Rest your piped batter till really dry to prevent exploding feet. You should be able to swipe a finger across the surface of the piped batter while applying slight pressure. It should feel dry & firm
🔸Try to maintain constant oven temperature as any fluctuations can cause the feet to go wonky
🔸 Don't bake at too high a temperature or you get exploding feet
🔸 Don't bake at too low a temperature or you get lopsided feet or no feet
🔸 Bake longer than you would regular macs since vegan macs bake at lower temperatures than egg white based macs
🔸 Remember you are working with something tricky & it can go all wrong if your oven decides to play punk so don't be a perfectionist. Some hollows are expected

with love,
Phay Shing
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Friday 9 February 2024

Vanilla Black Tea & Strawberry Valentine's Day Bear Marshmallows

 This is a class material for Valentine's Day that I didn't get to share earlier. These cuddly squishy bears have moveable arms that can hug a strawberry marshmallow heart! The bears are naturally coloured and flavoured with black tea.




Watch how the flappy arms work over here:


I made them again recently with shorter body and chubbier cheeks, and packed the strawberry hearts with more freeze dried strawberry powder and less bottled strawberry emulco.



Watch the squish and marshmallow heart piping video over here:



with love,
Phay Shing
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Sunday 4 February 2024

Heart Langue De Chat without using molds (Part 2: Pink Berry Ombre Cookies)

 After showing you how to make assorted heart shaped cookies without using a heart mold, I will show you how to make things a little more interesting by making it sweet ombre pink!


Recipe makes about twelve-thirteen 2" heart sandwich cookies (adapted from siZning's YouTube)

Strawberry Langue De Chat cookie:
50g unsalted butter, slightly softened
45g icing sugar
1/16 tsp salt
25g egg whites
1/4 tsp soy lecithin (optional)
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp strawberry emulsion
50g cake flour, sifted
White & pink gel colouring 

Berry filling:
45g white chocolate 
3g freeze dried raspberry or strawberry powder
1/8 tsp strawberry emulsion

1. Beat softened butter briefly with electric mixer/hand whisk/spatula

2. Add sugar. Beat until well combined

3. Add egg whites in 2-3 additions. Beat until smooth. Add soy lecithin if you wish to help with emulsification.

4. Add vanilla & strawberry emulsion. Mix until combined

5. Add flour. Fold with a spatula until combined

6. Divide into 3 equal portions. Add white or pink gel colouring to achieve desired shades to 2 portions.

7. Transfer into a piping bag with #5 tip. Pipe as shown in the video tutorial link below.

Piped batter

8. Bake at 150-160C for 10-11 min. Bake at 110C for another 5-10 min to dry it out

9. Prepare filling while cooling the cookies. Melt chocolate & add the rest of the ingredients in. Mix well. Fill & assemble sandwich cookies


You may see the piping video tutorial over here:
Please see part 1 for important notes on basic baking tips to ensure success

- Let the batter fall from the piping tip like you would when piping the border on cookies iced with royal icing. Pipe slowly to have better control of the shape. Video is sped up by 7x. To do so, you don't have to apply a lot of pressure on the piping bag but instead, let gravity do most of the work

- Using a skewer to gently nudge the boundary between colours will make the slight indent/crack between colours invisible. It's ok to omit this step if you don't mind the appearance of the indent at the boundaries.

- I added white gel colouring to make the browning less obvious but you may colour it anyway you like!

- Use a metal file used for bakes only or a fine zester to gently file off bits that make the cookie look out-of-shape (see part 1 reel) but you may skip this step if your cookies are in a nice heart shape. Most of the heart shapes in this larger batch turned out fine even though I piped on parchment so I didn't need to file down as many pieces as the smaller hearts in part 1


with love,
Phay Shing
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Friday 2 February 2024

Pineapple Tart Dragon

 


 
I was inspired to transform the Pineapple Tart roll into a Flying Dragon! 🍍🐉🥰 
Do you like it?❤️ 
Rolling is such a quick way to shape pineapple tarts, and even easier to construct into a dragon! 

Assembly video here.  

Tart crust recipe (makes 3 dragons) 
228g (2 sticks) unsalted butter 
120g icing sugar 
2 large egg yolks 
60g heavy cream 
400g plain flour 
15g corn flour 
15g milk powder 
Red yeast rice powder (or red food coloring) 

Happy CNY in advance! 

Love, 

Susanne 


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Thursday 1 February 2024

Dragon Roll Cake

 


Scaling into the new year with a long (龙) dragon roll cake (pun intended😜)! 🥰
See the video of the making here

Happy Lunar New Year in advance! 

With love, 
Susanne 

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Tuesday 30 January 2024

Sugar-Free Pineapple Tarts

 This was a bake (bakes actually) that came a little unplanned. It all started because I had leftover pineapple puree from my Lunar New Year themed marshmallow class and I thought of making pineapple tarts that some of my family members can eat without being afraid of spiking their blood sugar levels as much as regular pineapple tarts.

After some trials, I finally came up with something that I am satisfied with. I challenged myself to make pineapple tarts sugar-free without it tasting weird and while minimizing the use of sugar replacements because that's what makes bakes taste weird in general. Those that don't taste that bad aren't zero GI or impart a strong flavour of their own like maltitol (not zero GI) and maple or agave syrup (imparts their own flavour). I made both open-faced and "golf ball" types!


Since the Lunar New Year is so close to Valentine's Day this year, I made the open-faced tart with a little Vday vibes. It also gave me a reason to use a tart mold I have had for years but never used. I added some dragon scale pattern to some of the golf ball tarts since this year is the Year of the Dragon.

Take a look at the cross sections after I took a bite!



Sugar-Free Pineapple Jam
I made the jam without any real or artificial sugar at all. You won't miss it! Adding sugar replacements simply adulterate the taste of the jam when it isn't actually necessary. I tried. It tastes awful to me 🙈. What's the secret ingredient then? Apple! I have seen some people make the jam out of pineapples alone. Adding the right type of apple helps to regulate the level of sweetness/tartness to your preference. Apple is relatively neutral flavour wise and contains lots of natural pectin so it is used in creating homemade sugar-free jams by people who want to omit processed sugar in their diet. Use Granny Smith (sour green apples) if your pineapple is very sweet or you prefer a more sour jam. Use Golden Delicious apples or Gala if you prefer sweeter jam or if your pineapple is very sour. The approximate ratio I use is 1:5 for apple : pineapple by weight. Feel free to upsize your recipe as this is a small batch.

Ingredients (makes enough filling for about 20 tarts):
500g pineapple chunks (about 1 large pineapples)
100-110g apple chunks (about 1 apple)
1 tsp lemon juice (more if you prefer it more sour)
Pinches of salt
1 Cinnamon stick
Cloves and star anise if you wish

Steps:
1. Blend apple and pineapples chunks together with salt. 

2. Add fruit puree and all other ingredients into large frying pan. Cook over medium heat and stir frequently. Reduce heat when the liquid has dried up. Continue cooking until total weight of ingredients is about 30% of original weight. Your jam should be dry. It took me about 20-25 minutes to get there. I used the largest frying pan I have to maximize surface area of the jam to the heat to speed things up. Some bakers use the oven to dry out the puree without having to stand at the stove for some time. To do this, line your largest baking tray with a few layers of foil. Bake the puree with spices at 90C for a few hours or until dry, stirring gently every 1-2 hours. Of course if you have Thermomix, use it😊!

3. Let the jam cool. Spread the jam in a thin layer on a plate/bowl/tray and refrigerate overnight uncovered. This will help excess moisture to evaporate.

4. Portion into 8g balls. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

8g balls of pineapple jam


Egg wash
Ingredients:
1 egg yolk
1-2 tsp water or milk
A few drops of oil 

Steps:
1. Mix everything together and sieve. Refrigerate covered until needed.

Sugar-Free Open-Faced Tart Pastry
I adapted my recipe by chef Anup Kumar in a Straits Times article written by Hedy Khoo. You may read all about it here.

I highly recommend replacing the almond flour with cake flour as we would be more used to the wheat flour only version. Adding almond flour makes the texture a lot sturdier and the tart base tastes more like almond pate sucree used in classical French pastries. Using cake flour instead of plain flour is fine as I don't find the structure of the pastry compromised and it's overall still sturdy enough to be molded with a plunger mold. I went for the lower end of the suggested sugar amount and find that the sugar replacement aftertaste is hardly detectable at all so it tastes pretty good when eaten together with the jam! But if you are looking at a healthier tart pastry, replacing 12% of the cake/plain flour with almond flour is the way to go.

Feel free to upsize the portion as I made only a small quantity. 

Ingredients (makes about 20 open-faced tarts):
76g cake flour 
15g powdered erythritol (or icing sugar for non sugar-free)
1/4 tsp fine salt
40g cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Steps:
1. Sift together all dry ingredients.

2. Use finger tips to rub cold butter into flour mix until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

3. Add egg yolk and vanilla. Form a ball of dough with spatula. Flatten into a disc.

4. Wrap dough with cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 min.

5. Roll the dough flat between two sheets of parchment paper to thickness of about 5mm. 

6. Lightly dust the surface of the dough with cornstarch or flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the mold.

7. Press out the dough with the mold and place on baking tray lined with parchment paper about 3cm apart.

8. Apply egg wash with a soft brush. You don't have to make it fancy like I did. I coloured part of it dark brown with chocolate emulco mixed into the egg wash.

9. Place pineapple jam in the middle and press it down lightly. 



10. Decorate with leftover pastry on top of the jam if you wish. 

11. Bake in preheated oven at 170C for 15-20 min or until pastry is lightly browned.

Here's a picture of the plunger mold I took with the freshly baked tarts.




Sugar-Free Golf Ball Tart Pastry
Tart pastry for this type of tarts doesn't need to be as sturdy as the open-faced version. I think this is the more popular version in Singapore because of it's delicate crumbly texture. I adapted the recipe from Celia over here. Feel free to upsize as I made a small portion.

Ingredients (makes about 20 golf ball tarts):
120g cake flour
15g cornflour
15-20g powdered erythritol (or icing sugar for non sugar-free)
20g full fat milk powder
1/4 tsp salt
100g cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg yolk 
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Steps:
1. Follow steps 1-4 in open-faced tart pastry.

2. Divide dough into 10g portions. Wrap the pineapple filling. 

3. Place 3cm apart on lined baking tray. Use a straw cut lengthwise in half to create dragon scale imprints if you wish. Chill for 10-15 min

I left some of them plain without the imprints


4. Preheat oven to 150C. Apply egg wash. Bake for 18-20min or until golden brown. You may take the tray out halfway to reapply egg wash if you wish.

Celia mentions that little bit of cracks is fine as it will reduce in appearance after cooling down.

Cool both types of tarts completely before storing in airtight condition. It can keep well for up to a week at cool room temperature. For longer storage, please refrigerate or freeze after wrapping it airtight. Toast before consuming.

Here's the video of the process:

Update:
My parents tried eating the pineapple tarts cold from the fridge (because they didn't want the hassle of toasting it) after more than two weeks of storage and loved it! They said the tarts were still very good! I also have data from home that eating these in moderation doesn't spike the blood sugar levels!


with lots of love,
Phay Shing


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Wednesday 24 January 2024

Heart Langue De Chat without using molds (Part 1: Assorted cookies)

Langue De Chat means cat's tongue in French but they are thin crispy butter cookies. Sometimes they are made as sandwich cookies filled with chocolate and these are usually made using molds. The Japanese popularized the sandwich cookie version and you may have seen it sold in pretty gift boxes. If you have not heard of langue de chat, you may be familiar with the names Shiroi Koibito or 白色恋人饼. While the popular Japanese versions are usually square in shape, I made them in heart shapes for Valentine's Day!

If you don't wish to increase the clutter at home with yet another mold, here's how you can make them. I made mango, mixed berry, matcha and dark chocolate flavours. You can make them in any flavour you like but I feel this combination has such pleasing colours and adding sour mango to the filing makes the cookie overall less sweet. Feel free to stick with the classic white chocolate only if you don't mind a sweet cookie!

Recipe makes about twenty-eight 1.5" heart sandwich cookies.

Butter base:
100g unsalted butter, slightly softened
90g icing sugar
1/8 tsp salt
50g egg whites
1/2 tsp soy lecithin (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Flour & flavouring:
Mango: 25g cake flour
Mixed berry: 25g cake flour + 1/16 tsp strawberry emulsion
Matcha: 23g cake flour + 2g matcha powder
Dark chocolate: 22g cake flour + 3g cocoa powder

Filling:
Mango: 45g white chocolate + 3g freeze dried mango powder
Mixed berry: 45g white chocolate + 3g freeze dried raspberry powder + 1/8 tsp strawberry emulsion
Matcha: 45g white chocolate + 3g matcha
Dark chocolate: 45g dark chocolate + 3g light corn syrup or any invert sugar

Steps:
1. Beat softened butter briefly with electric mixer/hand whisk/spatula

2. Add sugar. Beat until well combined

3. Add egg whites in 2-3 additions. Beat until smooth. Add soy lecithin if you wish to help with emulsification.

4. Add vanilla. Mix until combined.

5. Divide into 4 equal portions. Add the respective flour & flavouring to each portion. Fold with spatula until combined

6. Transfer into piping bag with #5 tip. Pipe as shown

7. Bake in preheated oven at 150-160C for 10 min or until slightly browned at edges. Bake at 110C for another 5-10 min to dry it out

Freshly baked cookies!


8. Prepare filling while cooling the cookies. Melt chocolate & add the respective flavourings. Fill & assemble sandwich cookies

You may watch my reel for the process:


Important Baker's Notes:
- Use room temperature egg whites. Cold eggs will cause the mixture to split

- Add the egg whites a little at a time to prevent mixture from splitting

- Adding an emulsifier like soy lecithin helps to prevent & remedy a split mixture. Some recipes use whole eggs but I prefer it without egg yolk inside for a lighter crispier cookie although egg yolks can help to bring the emulsion together 

- The extra baking time at low temperature is to ensure that your cookie remains crisp. Although the cookies are crisp freshly baked, without the longer drying out time, it won't stay crisp for long especially when exposed to humid air

- Using a scribe tool/skewer to nudge the batter edges & middle (shown in reel) is optional if you wish to have the border visible

- Use teflon sheet/silicone mat to help with better shape retention after baking. Parchment paper may result in the baked cookie going "out of shape"

- Use a dedicated metal nail file or a very fine zester to gently file off "out of shape" cookies (shown in reel)

Stay tuned for part 2 on how to create a sweet ombre version of the cookies!

with love,
Phay Shing
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Saturday 20 January 2024

Year of the Dragon Lunar New Year Greeting

It's my annual tradition to create a new year greeting showcasing all the major genres of bakes I work with. Here's what I made welcoming The Year of the Dragon!


What's in this picture?
1. Chiffon cake mandarin oranges. This year marks 10 years since I made my first mandarin orange chiffon cake oranges back in January 2014!
2. Macaron teacups on saucers. One of my signature 3D macaron creations.
3. Choux pastry dragon suit head, horns, frills and paws. I couldn't think of how to incorporate choux and marshmallow in a coherent creation until I thought of the rabbit in dragon suit idea. Glad it worked out!
4. Marshmallow bunny face and ears, as well as dragon wings. I made a fully marshmallow version of the rabbit in dragon suit too!

Watch the video in this post to see the squish in the marshmallow parts!

https://www.instagram.com/p/C2WADcgSJVH/?igsh=MTEyczdsMzFsYXY3NQ==


with love,

Phay Shing

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Wednesday 17 January 2024

Sumikko Gurashi Lego cake

 


Playing building blocks with chiffon cake!😄 When was the last time you played with your food?😛 Assembly video on my IG here

With love, 
Susanne 

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Saturday 13 January 2024

Pompompurin Raspberry Macarons

 This is the 10th year my friend has been requesting macarons from me and this year, it's Pompompurin! 


Her favourite filling is raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream with raspberry jam, both of which are much lower in sugar than most recipes so they pair very well with sweet macaron shells. Swiss meringue buttercream is also lighter in texture than ganache so the whole confection is refreshing, fruity tasty and light. No wonder it's her favourite!

I have shared the piping tutorial as well as detailed recipe of the low sugar jam and buttercream in my Instagram reel so you may refer to it here:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C19N6BjSOqs/?igsh=MXBtb3FlcjR1ZXc4cw==

As usual, I used my default Swiss meringue method recipe to make the macaron shells.

Here's a look at the baked shells before decorating:



Besides macarons, I also made brown sugar cookie versions of these. It is also the 10th year she is having brown sugar cookies from me because to her, it's the best cookies ❤️. Stay tuned for those in a later post!


with love,

Phay Shing

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Sunday 7 January 2024

BT21 Koya Surprise Chiffon Cake

 



Does anyone recognise this surprise logo?😀
Who is going to miss our favorite supergroup as they begin military enlistment?

Watch the slicing here.

With love,

Susanne

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Saturday 6 January 2024

'Rabbit in Dragon Suit' Marshmallows

 With the Year of the Rabbit is ending in about a month's time, comes the Year of the Dragon with a roar! Here's my interpretation of the Rabbit ushering in the Year of the Dragon....in a dragon suit!


You may watch the piping video tutorial in my reel over here:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C1wf90tS61l/?igsh=MTQ1NmswOTZ1MGkxeg==

For those of you who would like to see some process still photos, here they are!


A stable base with wide, flat top surface on the body is important as you don't want the head to start slipping off when you pipe it!

Piped heads on the body

Completed piping! The wings are stuck onto the body and are piped on a separate tray 


Although I have shared the ingredient list of my basic recipe in social media, I continue to stress that decorative marshmallows is more about technique than specific recipe. You can learn all about how to tweak my basic recipe to suit your unique work environment, equipment and flavour of marshmallows in my Deco Marshmallows book!


Stay tuned for my mixed genre Chinese New Year greeting in my future post!


with love,

Phay Shing

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Thursday 28 December 2023

Matcha Ice-Cream Cake with Dan Heng & March 7th Marshmallow Toppers

 My elder kid wanted matcha ice-cream cake for his birthday and requested for Honkai Star Rail theme with Dan Heng and March 7th as the characters of choice. It's a challenge because anime type characters have tonnes of details and I have not made ice-cream cakes before and wondered if photography would be a challenge in tropical Singapore. 

Fortunately, I managed to pull it off with this delicious number!


I used my default basic marshmallow recipe and shared the ingredient list along with the piping video in this reel:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C1UItrxSC4x/?igsh=bHpndWh3ODZsdGg5

Here's a photo of all four of the marshmallows I piped. It took me many hours to complete this due to the sheer number of details! I made duplicates in case of accidental uglification or butter fingers.


Here are the completed marshmallows!


As it's my first attempt at ice-cream cakes, I needed a reference and found one I really liked. Although I used my own matcha honey chiffon sponge recipe which is really moist and soft, I followed the matcha ice-cream recipe and loved it! It is no-churn, creamy and not icy rock hard when frozen but doesn't melt into a puddle that quickly (so I had time to take photos and videos). Do choose ceremonial grade matcha powder for the best taste. I only had culinary grade on hand so it still tastes good but it would have been even better with a higher grade tea powder. I added vanilla bean paste to the whipped cream and used a combination of non-dairy and dairy whipping cream due to Singapore's perennially hot weather.

I used this blog post as my reference with some tweaks.

Matcha honey chiffon sponge
Egg yolk batter
3 egg yolks
40g oil
6g (1 tbs) matcha powder
34g warm water
10g honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
60g cake flour
pinch of salt

Meringue
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
45g caster sugar

Steps:
1. Line 10 x 12" tray with Teflon sheet or parchment paper. Preheat oven to 170C.

2. Egg yolk batter. Dissolve matcha powder, salt and honey in warm water. Add vanilla. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk egg yolks until thick. Add oil and whisk smooth. Add matcha mix and whisk until combined. Gradually sift in flour and whisk until no trace of flour is seen.

3. Meringue. In s clean metal bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks form, adding in sugar once egg whites are foamy.

4. Fold meringue into yolk batter in 3 additions. Pour into prepared tray. Bake for 15 min or until done.

5. Immediately flip onto fresh sheet of parchment. Cool completely. Cut circles out with the cake rings you are using for assembling the cake(s). I used 8cm and 10cm diameter cake rings.

Matcha ice-cream 
2 egg yolks
20g caster sugar
1/16 tsp xanthan gum (optional)
50g white chocolate
120g whipping cream (I used 40g Whip topping and 80g heavy cream)
6g (1 tbs) matcha powder
2 tbs warm water

Steps:
1. Whisk matcha powder in warm water. Set aside.

2. Melt white chocolate and keep warm. Set aside.

3. Whip whipping cream to soft peaks.

4. Set a saucepan with 1" water to simmer. In a heatproof mixing bowl, whisk together sugar and xanthan gum (if using). Add egg yolks and whisk together. Continue whisking over the saucepan until sugar is completely dissolved. The bottom of bowl should not touch the water. Temperature of egg yolks reached about 60C for me.

5. Add matcha paste and melted chocolate. Whisk until combined.

6. Gradually add mixture to whipped cream and fold gently after each addition. 

7. Transfer into piping bag and pipe onto sponge when ready to assemble.


Vanilla bean whipped cream
45g heavy cream*
40g whip topping*
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

* Use whipping cream of choice. Do not overwhip if using only dairy cream and add sugar according to taste.

Steps:
1. Begin whipping only when matcha ice-cream layer is frozen. Put all ingredients in a bowl and whip till firm peaks (not too stiff, peak with a curl).

2. Transfer into piping bag when ready to assemble.

Assembly
1. Line cake rings with acetate sheet cut to the height of cake that you want. Place the cake rings on lined tray.

2. Place a layer of sponge in the ring.

3. Pipe matcha ice-cream until the top of the ice-cream layer is about 2cm from the top rim of the acetate sheet.

4. Place another layer of sponge on top and gently press it in. Freeze for 1h.

5. Prepare vanilla whipped cream and pipe on top of the sponge. Slightly over-fill such that cream is a little higher than the rim.

6. Level the whipped cream with a spatula. Freeze for at least 1h or overnight before unmolding.

7. After unmolding, sift a little matcha powder and add matcha white chocolate decorations if you wish.



Here's the reel for making and assembling the ice-cream cake:


with lots of love,
Phay Shing

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Wednesday 20 December 2023

Orange Chocolate Hazelnut Log Cake

 I have a large unopened bottle of chocolate hazelnut spread, Hazella, from Redman. It's nowhere near expiry but it's not the habit of my family to consume bread with sweet spreads for breakfast and I only use it for bakes. This is the reason why this year's log cakes for my family and friends are orange chocolate hazelnut flavoured. 

 
Here's a closer look at the larger log cake at the back.



The log cakes consist of:
- Orange chocolate hazelnut chiffon sponge, brushed with orange syrup
- Milk chocolate hazelnut feuilletine crunch
- Orange chocolate hazelnut whipped cream
- Dark chocolate hazelnut ganache
- Candied orange mushroom decorations with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream (SMBC) as the stems

I have to say that I used SMBC because I happened to be making it for another bake. Otherwise I would have made the mushroom stems out of marshmallows when I made the characters but I forgot to do it. It may seem like a complicated bake but it's actually quite simple when you use ready-made chocolate hazelnut spreads, chopped toasted hazelnuts and feuilletine flakes. You may omit the edible decorations and use plastic ones sold at baking supplies stores if you wish to simplify the bake even further. The most common chocolate hazelnut spread is Nutella but you may use any brand you like. My hubby and I tasted both Hazella and Nutella and find that Hazella is a richer version of Nutella. Stronger chocolate and hazelnut flavour.

Since my motive was to use up as much Hazella as I could, I included the chocolate hazelnut spread in every element of the log cake while trying to maintain a good balance of flavours. You may increase or reduce the proportion of the spread in the whipped cream, ganache and feuilettine crunch according to your preference.

Candied Orange Slices
A few small tangerines, thinly sliced
300g sugar
360g water
A dash of lemon juice (optional)
Some granulated sugar

Note: This makes a lot more than you need to use. Keep the rest for snacking!

Reference recipe is taken from here.

Steps:
1. Place sugar, water and lemon juice (if using) in frying pan. Stir while bringing it to a boil.

2. Once it starts boiling, reduce to a simmer. Add orange slices in a single layer.

I included a few pieces of peel for fun

3. Simmer for about 45-60 min or until translucent.

4. Shake off excess syrup from each slice and place on parchment paper.

5. Dry in 90C oven for 1-2 hours or until no longer wet to touch but still a little tacky, turning the slices every 30 min. I placed half-dried slices on hemispherical silicone molds for the mushroom caps so that the orange slices are cup shaped when dried.

6. Cool completely. Roll the slices in granulated sugar. Store in airtight container until needed.

Remember to reserve the syrup from cooking the tangerine slices! It can be diluted with orange juice and used to brush the sponge.


Orange Chocolate Hazelnut Chiffon Sponge
(makes one 10x12" sheet sponge)
Egg yolk batter
3 egg yolks
45g orange juice with zest (I used 41g juice and 4g zest which is about 1 orange)
90g chocolate hazelnut spread (Nutella, Hazella or other brands)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
48g cake flour
1/4 tsp baking soda

Meringue
3 egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
60g caster sugar

Steps: 
1. Line baking tray with Teflon sheet/parchment paper. Preheat oven to 170C. You may use a slightly bigger or smaller pan. The sponge will just be a little thinner or thicker.

2. Make egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolks until pale and thick. Add chocolate hazelnut spread and whisk until smooth. Add juice, zest and vanilla. Whisk until combined. Gradually sift in flour and baking soda. Whisk until no trace of flour is seen.

3. Make meringue. In a clean metal bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm or just reach stiff peaks, gradually adding sugar once the egg whites are foamy. Make sure your meringue is stable but not over whipped as the high fat content of this egg yolk batter tends to deflate the meringue more quickly than other batters.

4. Quickly but gently fold meringue into egg yolk batter in 3 additions. Pour into prepared tray.

5. Bake for 15-16 min or until done. Immediately flip the cake out onto fresh sheet of parchment paper. Roll it up to cool completely.

I used a larger tray and upsized the recipe to 4 egg portion for the larger log cake. Simply divide everything by 3 and then multiply by 4 to scale it up.

Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Feuilletine Crunch
25g finely chopped toasted hazelnuts 
25g feuilletine flakes
50g chocolate hazelnut spread
50g milk chocolate

Note: Scale up the portion accordingly if making more log cakes.

Steps:
1. Whisk together feuilletine flakes and chopped hazelnuts. Set aside.

2. Melt milk chocolate with chocolate hazelnut spread. Stir until smooth.

3. Add feuilletine nut mix and fold until the flakes and nuts are coated completely. Set aside in warm place.




Orange Chocolate Hazelnut Whipped Cream
140g whipping cream of choice* 
50g chocolate hazelnut spread
4g orange zest (about 1 orange)

Note: Scale up the portion accordingly if making more log cakes.

*I used 105g Whip Topping (pre-sweetened non-dairy whipping cream) and 35g heavy cream. If using only dairy cream, you may need to sweeten with some sugar and stabilize with gelatin especially if you are in a hot climate.

Steps:
1. Whip whipping cream of choice until firm peaks. Be careful not to overwhip if using full dairy cream. 

2. Add orange zest and fold in.



3. Add chocolate hazelnut spread and fold in. You may add more spread if you prefer a richer flavour. I kept the chocolate and hazelnut light here because these elements are heavier in the crunch and ganache layers. You may omit the spread if you wish.


Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache
100g dark chocolate
75g heavy cream
25g chocolate hazelnut spread
15g hot water
Pinches of salt

Note: Scale up the recipe if making more log cakes 

Steps:
1. In a small saucepan, dissolve chocolate hazelnut spread in hot water. Add heavy cream and salt. Stir to mix. Heat until just starts to bubble at the edges.

2. In the meantime, melt dark chocolate.

3. Pour hot cream mix over melted dark chocolate. Let it sit for 1min. 

4. Gently stir in one direction until smooth. 

Assembly
1. Unroll cooled chiffon sponge. Brush surface with orange syrup. I didn't measure the dilution ratio but it is approximately 1:1 fresh orange juice : reserved tangerine cooking syrup.

2. Spread a thin layer of feuilletine nut crunch.

3. Spread a layer of whipped cream over the crunch layer.

4. Roll up the sponge into as tight a roll as you can. Freeze for 2h or overnight if you wish.

5. Cut the ends of the log cake. You may arrange the branches any way you like as shown in my two log cakes.

6. Apply some ganache on the cake board. Carefully place the main log on the board. Apply some ganache where you want the branches to be and then glue them on.

7. Coat the whole surface with ganache. Let it set briefly in air-conditioned room or in the fridge for about 10 min. 

Halfway through coating the surface with ganache

8. Use a fork to mark out the bark patterns on the ganache.

9. Add any decorations you wish. Dust with sifted snow powder if you wish. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. You may freeze the cake if storing longer than 5 days in the fridge. Defrost in the fridge overnight before serving.

Watch my reel to see how the cake is assembled over here:


Have a blessed Christmas everyone!

with lots of love,
Phay Shing
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Monday 11 December 2023

Penguin and Reindeer Marshmallows

 As Christmas approaches, I start to give some thought to the log cakes I am making for family and friends. Log cakes need some decorations too so I thought it's fitting to include some cute and squishy characters as toppers 😊.


Marshmallows can be made ahead of time and frozen until ready to use as decorations or for consumption so they make perfect cake decorations. Much more fun than fondant or plastic decorations since you can squish them!

Here are some pictures of the piped marshmallows before dusting.



Here's the reel for piping steps of the marshmallows!

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C0tlE1wSCnq/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==


Making characters like these need marshmallow batter of different consistencies. E.g. Stiffer batter for the body and head, softer batter for the white belly and face patches. Marshmallows is one genre where technique and learning how to work with your equipment and environment is more important than the ingredient list of the recipe because meringues and gelling agents like gelatin and agar are involved. Find out more about how to master this fun confection and how you can tweak the basic recipe to include different flavours and fillings in my Deco Marshmallows book!


with love,

Phay Shing

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Wednesday 6 December 2023

Angel S'mores

 You have seen my iced cookie version of angel cookies. Here's my S'mores version using the same template!


The angel S'mores are angel marshmallows on my favourite (and default) brown sugar cookie coated with chocolate! I didn't use the classic Graham cracker base as my brown sugar cookie has a similar flavour profile and I happened to bake some brown sugar cookies.

I reused the template for royal icing transfers for making the angel marshmallows but I enlarged the template a little for a larger cookie base, and spaced out the angels more for marshmallow making. You may refer to my baby Jesus and angle cookie post for the template.

Piped marshmallows using the template before the faces are painted on 

Here's the video tutorial of how I piped the angel marshmallows and assembled the S'mores:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C0gqQHZSr-Q/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==

I used to think marshmallows are one-dimensional tasting candies that are way too sweet. S'mores was the reason why I fell in love with marshmallows because the taste, texture and aroma is on another level when the marshmallows are toasted just before consuming.


If you would like to find out more about how to create marshmallow characters of your own imagination, grab a copy of our newest book in the Creative Baking series: Deco Marshmallows! 


with love,

Phay Shing

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