Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Iron Man Assorted Macarons

I made some assorted macarons for my friend who is a fan of Iron man 😊.

Dark chocolate, salted caramel and lemon flavours! 

I filled the macarons with whipped dark chocolate ganache for chocolate macarons. I filled the salted caramel ones with a ring of salted caramel cream cheese, followed by a generous dollop of homemade salted caramel in the middle. I filled the lemon ones with a ring of lemon whipped white chocolate ganache, followed by a generous dollop of homemade lemon curd in the middle.

As the piping of Iron man shape is rather challenging, I chose recipes for macaron shells that produce a more stable batter. Originally I only planned to use the reduced sugar Swiss method recipe but I didn't prepare enough batter 😆. I topped up with a stabilized French method recipe as it can be prepared much more quickly and is stable enough for a small batch.

I used the reduced-sugar Swiss method for head version and stabilized French method for the full body version of chibi Iron man macarons. Here are some photos of the piped batter...

Piping the full body version

Piping the head version, top shells

Bottom shells for the head version

Adding in the details post-baking is also not for the fainthearted. It took me about one and a half days of work to complete adding in the details with edible black marker and painting with royal icing. Of course with interruptions from the kids as it's the school holidays 😅.

Filling the macarons...

You may refer to this post for the recipe for whipped dark chocolate ganache. You may refer to this post for salted caramel and this post for lemon curd. I will share with you the recipe for salted caramel cream cheese and an updated lemon whipped ganache recipe.

Salted caramel cream cheese
50g salted caramel chips (I use Hershey's brand)
40g unsalted butter, room temperature
30g cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 tsp sea salt

1. In a small mixing bowl, cream the cream cheese with a spatula until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

2. Place salted caramel chips and butter in heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of freshly boiled water without the bottom of the bowl touching the water. Use a spatula to mix the contents in the bowl until melted and smooth. Be careful not to overheat. Don't panic if the mixture appears to separate. It will all come together later after chilling and whipping. Set aside to firm up in air-con room until scoopable consistency, about 30min. Alternatively, chill in freezer for 1-2min and stir/whip with a spatula. Repeat chilling and whipping until smooth, firm and creamy like buttercream.

3. Add salt and mix well. Add whipped cream cheese in a few additions, mixing well after each addition using a spatula.

Lemon whipped white chocolate ganache
55g white chocolate, finely chopped or use chips
20g unsalted butter
18g lemon curd
Zest of a lemon
1/8 tsp lemon paste
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt

1. Place white chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl and melt together using medium low power at 10 second bursts, mixing well in between heating rounds. Be careful not to overheat.

2. Chill the melted chocolate in the freezer for 1-2min and stir/beat with spatula. Repeat freezing and beating until light and creamy like buttercream.

3. Add lemon zest and salt and mix well. Add lemon paste and juice and mix well. Gradually add lemon curd and mix well.

Thank God the macarons were very well received!

With love,
Phay Shing
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Friday, 14 June 2019

Snoopy and Woodstock on Hurricane Chiffon Cake

And that is how I applied my Hurricane Chiffon Cake! To make a green pasture design for Snoopy and Woodstock! Looking at them makes me go Awww.. and reminds me of the wonderful moments we have with our best friend =).

For those who are interested how I made Snoopy, I have shared the recipe here. The same recipe and technique is used for making the Hello Kitty and Snoopy cake pops. I used a Snoopy mold. If you like a whiter cake, you can reduce the egg yolks down from 3 egg yolks to 1 egg yolk. For the house, I just cut out a block of red chiffon cake and stuck a red sheet cake over for roof using melted marshmallow cream. The woodstock is carved/cut out from yellow sheet chiffon cake.

Video and recipe for Hurricane chiffon cake has been shared last week.

Hope this made you smile!! hugs

And sorry for disappearing for over a week, was overseas and wasn't near any PC. But it was a good break away, by God's grace.

With lots of love,

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Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Dinosaur Choux Pastries on Kiwis n Cream Chiffon Cake (Dairy-free)

My friend requested for a dinosaur themed bake for her son. Her family loves the strawberries n cream cakes I bake so she requested for another fresh fruit n cream cake again. She was game to try choux pastry so I took up the challenge of creating the dinosaurs and backdrop using choux pastry!

The birthday boy and some of the family members are allergic to dairy so this bake is dairy-free (well almost...I still used dairy butter in the Choux pastry case and pastry cream but it's a small percentage in relation to the other ingredients and the birthday boy is able to tolerate.)

I will share the links to detailed recipe of some of the components of this bake but will include detailed recipe of new stuff like dairy-free but rich chocolate pastry cream and the ingredient list for my dairy-free vanilla chiffon cake.

You may refer to this post for the detailed recipe of choux pastry case and the Craquelin on top of it. I chose rather safe colours for the dinosaurs so that any browning will be less obvious. Remember to use a perforated mat for the main body pastry cases as it helps to retain the shape better. Just to share photos of the process...

Piped batter with cookie dough on top before baking.

Freshly baked cases with the various parts

Assembled choux cases using royal icing. The volcano and trunk of the tree are made using a special technique for making cylindrical shaped choux cases shared by seb.pettersson (Instagram)

Here's a peek at the nicely hollow interior of the truncated cone I baked for the volcano!

I had to stop to ooo and aahh at the final Choux creation because it's just so cute and whimsical!

T Rex looks like it ate too much and had to sit down while Brontosaurus looks like it still wants to eat 😆

The pastry cases are not glued to the cakeboard so that they can be filled with chocolate pastry cream just before consumption. Here's the rich and smooth dairy-free chocolate pastry cream recipe. You may scale it up or down accordingly.

Dairy-free chocolate pastry cream
3 egg yolks
30g cornflour
15g cocoa powder
30g caster sugar
300g + 23g soy milk (or rice/ almond milk)
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g dark chocolate couverture (or chopped dark chocolate of your choice. Add more if you prefer even more chocolatey and firmer filling)
20g unsalted butter (or dairy-free butter), room temperature
110g non-dairy whipping cream, chilled

1. Place 300g soy milk, salt and vanilla extract in saucepan and heat on medium low heat until it just starts to bubble at the edges.

2. In the mean time, sift together cocoa powder and cornflour into a heavy heatproof mixing bowl. Add sugar and whisk together until combined. Add egg yolks and 23g of soy milk and whisk until a thick smooth paste forms.

3. Once the soy milk is sufficiently heated, remove from heat and pour in the slow thin stream into egg yolk mixture while whisking constantly. This is to temper the egg yolks. Pour the mixture back into saucepan.

4. Whisk the mixture while heating over the stove on medium-low heat. Once the mixture starts to thicken, remove from heat and whisk until it smoothens out. Put the saucepan back to heat and whisk continuously until your preferred custard consistency. Remove the saucepan from heat to whisk now and then as necessary. Do not use high heat or you end up with scrambled eggs.

5. Once the custard is cooked to your preferred consistency, remove from heat and add butter and chocolate couverture. Whisk until smooth and all the butter and chocolate has melted. Sieve the pastry cream if there are any lumps. Press a cling wrap on the surface of the pastry cream and refrigerate until cool. At least an hour.

6. Whip non-dairy whipping cream until firm peaks form. Use a spatula to gently beat the pastry cream until it is loosened in texture. Fold the whipping cream into the party cream in a few additions until no trace of whipping cream is seen. You may store the chocolate pastry cream in the fridge for a few days in airtight condition

I love the fact that this pastry cream is rich and chocolatey without the taste of soy milk at all! 

I have made strawberries n cream vanilla chiffon cake quite a few times and used the same default recipe because it is always very well received. I adapted this dairy-free version from my default recipe. The only changes I made were changing the liquid from fresh milk to water and using more vanilla extract. I don't have access to rice milk or I would have used it. I didn't use soy milk as I didn't like the idea of having the taste of soy mixed with fresh fruit and cream. I prefer it to have a pure vanilla and milky flavour which compliments a tart fruit like kiwi better.

As this is a larger 8" cake, I decided to bake three separate layers of cakes instead of one large cake and then slicing into three. The ingredient list is for all three layers in total so you may bake it as one tall cake if you wish. I baked each layer for about 45 min with a tray of water at bottom of oven at 135-140℃. Note that baking time will be much longer for a single tall cake.

Dairy-free vanilla chiffon cake
Ingredients (8" round pan with removable base):
5 egg yolks
6g castor sugar
67g canola oil
67g water (or rice milk)
1 tbs vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
96g cake flour

6 egg whites
78g castor sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

You may refer to this post for the steps for making the sponge.

A freshly baked layer of vanilla sponge!

Assembling with non-dairy whipping cream and kiwis. Using acetate sheet helps to keep the assembly neat.

I added 1 tsp of vanilla extract to 300g of non-dairy whipping cream. As the whipping cream is rather stable, I didn't need to add gelatin or icing sugar as stabilizer. Sugar is also already present in the non-dairy cream.

Assembled cake!

I baked a separate orange coloured chiffon sponge for the name and glued it onto the cake using non-dairy whipping cream.

This bake is really a labour of love as I put in lots of care for each component!

If you would like to explore more fun Choux pastry designs, do check out my Deco Choux Pastries book which is currently available at bookstores in Singapore!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Friday, 7 June 2019

Penguin Choux Pastry (Video tutorial)

Besides video tutorials for making basic Choux pastry and piping Éclairs, I also made a video tutorial for creating character choux pastries for my Deco Choux Pastries book. Since the book is about to be released in bookstores, I can finally share the video tutorial of making these penguins 😊

I was so excited to receive the author's copies of the book!

Here's a peek at the back cover!

The tutorial shows you how to include small parts of the character made out of choux pastry, how to create a flat surface on the pastry case which allows the character stand and how to add chocolate features on the case.

I hope this encourages you to get a copy of Deco Choux Pastries as there are a total of 30 designs to inspire you to create Choux pastries that are cute and yummy!

With love,
Phay Shing
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Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Hurricane Chiffon Cake - Two Versions

Happy to revisit Hurricane Chiffon Cake after 1 year! My previous Hurricane Chiffon Cake had both top and side Hurricane. This round I experimented more with the side Hurricane. The bottom Hurricane in the picture above (Type 2) is similar to my previous version. The main difference in the technique between the two versions was that for Type 2, I dragged the spoon/spatula an extra "up" stroke . I managed to film videos this round to make the sketches more obvious. The new version of Hurricane chiffon (Type 1) was something I saw recently in food groups (sorry I can't remember who but thanks) and I realized it was similar to my Hurricane chiffon cake, but misses the "up" stroke and only has the "down" stroke. Interestingly, it has the same design as my Seawaves chiffon cake! The seawaves chiffon cake is made by a very different method of spooning =). Just wanted to share my fun experiments. I have uploaded a Youtube version here too combining both types =).

Recipe is also below for those who wanted to try. It is the same recipe as my previous Hurricane Chiffon Cake 1 year back. Hope you find it fun and useful!

Hurricane Chiffon Cake (15-cm tube pan)

3 egg yolks
18g castor sugar
40g vegetable/corn oil
42g milk/ coconut milk
60g cake flour
4g vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pandan paste

3 egg whites
35g castor sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 140°C.

2. Prepare egg yolk batter:

a. Whisk egg yolk with sugar using hand whisk.
b. Add in oil, milk, vanilla extract and mix well.
c. Whisk in sifted cake flour till no lumps are found.

3. Divide the egg yolk batter into two. To the green batter, add pandan paste.

4. Prepare meringue:

a. In a grease-free, dry metal bowl, using electric mixer, whisk egg whites with cream of tartar till frothy.
b. Add in castor sugar for meringue gradually and whisk at high speed till firm peaks form.

5. Divide the meringue into two and gently fold meringue into respective egg yolk batter in 3 addtions.

6. To make the hurricane pattern at the side:

Fill the base with plain batter.

Cover with green batter.

Type 1:
Using the base of a spatula/spoon, draw downwards, then circle up (without touching the side of the pan), and then draw downwards again. Repeat till you reach one full circle (see video).

Type 2:
Using the base of a spatula/spoon, draw downwards, then horizontal across, then draw upwards on the pan, then horizontal across and downwards again. Repeat till you reach one full circle (see video).

Have fun!

With lots of love,
Susanne =)

More loving chiffon cake creations here:

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Monday, 3 June 2019

Unicorn Pusheen Lychee Macarons and Brown Sugar Cookies

Not only did I make unicorn Pusheen choux pastry. I made them as macarons and brown sugar cookies too!

You may find the brown sugar cookie and royal icing recipe from this post.

Just to share some photos of the process...

Cutting out cookie dough. I make my own templates using flexible clear plastic. 

Using edible marker to mark out the lines

Adding on royal icing features. I waited until the royal icing is fully dry before adding in the fine facial features using black edible marker and painting the center of the mouths with pink gel colouring dissolved in a little vodka.

I baked the macaron shells concurrently with my Totoro and friends macaron tree project as they share similar colours. I used a Swiss meringue method recipe for the macarons.

Piping the macaron shells

Freshly baked shells

Decorated macaron shells

I filled the macarons with lychee whipped white chocolate ganache and chopped lychee. You may refer to the filling recipe and instructions from this post.

That's all for my short series of unicorn Pusheen bakes!

With love,
Phay Shing
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Thursday, 30 May 2019

'Yin Yang' Grass Jelly-Soy Milk Dual Flavoured Chiffon Cake (Nine Fresh Signature Dessert)

Specially created a "Yin Yang" Grass Jelly-Soy Milk Dual Flavoured Chiffon Cake creation for Nine Fresh's 7th birthday, modeled after their signature dessert! 🥣💕

The Grandma was a lady from Jiu fen (Taiwan) who inspired the whole Nine fresh dessert chain. So I recreated a 3D version based on their sketches and memories of the grandma =).

I am doing a cake giveaway of this creation on Instagram if you are interested!

Here is a top view of the "Yin yang" chiffon cake and the "liao" on top! It has their signature sweet potatoes, nuts and red/green beans =).

And here is a better view of the "Yin yang" chiffon cake.

The black portion is made from Grass jelly chiffon cake, and the white from "Tau huey" or Soy milk chiffon cake. This is an original creation and the recipe for this "Yin yang" chiffon cake is shared below. Do tag me if you try it! =)

Some people call this combination "Michael Jackson" in Singapore =p

"Yin yang" Grass Jelly- Soy Milk Chiffon Cake (7-inch tube pan)

Grass Jelly Chiffon Cake batter 
*you can also use the recipe for just the Grass jelly in a 6-inch tube pan

2 egg yolks
6g castor sugar
26g vegetable/corn oil
33g grass jelly or chin chow water
1g vanilla extract
40g cake flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
Pinch of charcoal powder

3 egg whites
27g castor sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar

Soy Milk Chiffon Cake batter
*you can also use this recipe for a 6-inch tube pan

2 egg yolks
6g castor sugar
26g vegetable/corn oil
5g soy milk powder
35g soy milk
1g vanilla extract
36g cake flour, sifted
Pinch of salt

3 egg whites
27g castor sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar

Grass Jelly Batter

1. Whisk egg yolks with sugar until light and well-mixed.

2. Add in oil and mix well. Then add chin chow or grass jelly water (with small bits optional but nicer) and vanilla extract and whisk till well-combined.

3. Whisk in sifted cake flour with pinch of salt and charcoal powder, and mix till well-combined.

4. Prepare meringue:

a. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites with cream of tartar till frothy.

b. Add in ½ castor sugar for meringue and whisk at high speed till soft peaks form.

c. Add in rest of the castor sugar for meringue and whisk till firm peaks form, or just the point of stiff peak.

5. Gently fold in meringue gently into egg yolk batter 1/3 at a time. *Fold in unidirectional, gentle strokes and do not overfold.

Soy milk Batter

1. Dissolve soy milk powder in soy milk and mix well.

2. Whisk egg yolks with sugar until light and well-mixed.

3. Add in oil and mix well. Then add soy milk and vanilla extract and whisk till well-combined.

4. Whisk in sifted cake flour with pinch of salt, and mix till well-combined.

5. Preheat oven to 140°C.

6. Prepare meringue:

a. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites with cream of tartar till frothy.

b. Add in ½ castor sugar for meringue and whisk at high speed till soft peaks form.

c. Add in rest of the castor sugar for meringue and whisk till firm peaks form, or just the point of stiff peak.

5. Gently fold in meringue gently into egg yolk batter 1/3 at a time. *Fold in unidirectional, gentle strokes and do not overfold.

** You can also prepare meringue for 6 egg whites and divide into two. Then fold each half into the 2 different egg yolk batters. 
I actually did it this way, but wrote the recipe in such a way that you can make a plain Grass Jelly chiffon cake or Soy milk by itself.

6. Pour the Grass jelly and soy milk chiffon batter into each half of an ungreased 7-inch chiffon tube pan till 2-cm from brim. Try to pour at the same speed. If you have difficulty, you can choose to spoon in on each side gently to fill each half. Gently tap on counter top to remove air bubbles.

7. Bake at 140°C for 55-60 min, or until skewer inserted into centre of cake comes out clean.

8. Invert pan to cool on a wire rack completely.

9. Unmould the chiffon cake by hand (see video tutorial ‘Hand unmoulding Chiffon cakes for a clean finishing’).

Piped words/logo: I used the deco-roll technique, ie, piped the patterns, bake for 2 min. Allow to cool while I prepare the chiffon cake batter for the sheet cake. Pour the chiffon batter over the patterns and bake normally.

Nuts/beans: Cut from small round cake pops (baked from silicone cake pop molds) using bubble tea straw.

Sweet potato tubes: sliced from small cupcakes (baked in mini soufflé cupcake liners).

Grandma: Face baked in a bowl, hair bun from egg shell (fill to half), hands from cake pop molds.

Hope you this work of love made you smile too!! =)) I loved the soy milk chiffon, but thought the grass jelly could come out a little stronger. But overall still nice =). Hope you like it!

With lots of love,
Susanne =)

More loving chiffon cake creations here:

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Naturally Coloured No-Bake Galaxy Tarts (Junior chef class)

I was helping my younger kid with some experiment using homemade universal indicator recently and it inspired me to come up with this class. Why not conduct a class that incorporates some fun science fact as well! Presenting my version of naturally coloured galaxy tarts!

This is another "baking" class for kids that I am planning to conduct with the theme of natural food colouring. I mention "baking" because this is actually a no-bake tart! Did you know that you can create an edible galaxy design by using natural ingredients and changing the pH of the mixture? Come and join me for this fun class suitable even for older preschool children (5-6 yo) as I teach a little bit of Science along with basic kitchen skills that little hands can manage such as crushing, mixing, pouring and simple decoration techniques such as creating nebula swirls and the splatter of stars on the galaxy canvas.

Please click on this link for more information and to register.

With love,
Phay Shing
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Monday, 27 May 2019

Unicorn Pusheen Lychee Choux Pastry

I finally made Choux pastry again and this time, it's Pusheen as a unicorn wannabe!

The horn is made out of choux pastry too!

I must admit that I was quite apprehensive about getting the pastry to retain it's shape well enough while not browning too much during baking. I am glad I managed both! The key to this is good temperature control and a perforated mat. Do note that each oven is different so use the baking temperature and time as a gauge only.

I have written a detailed recipe for Choux au Craquelin so you may refer to this post. The only difference is I used charcoal powder to colour the cookie dough and pastry batter. I added a little white gel food colouring for the cookie dough and to colour the batter for the horn.

Just to share some pictures of the process ...

Piping pastry batter for the horns

Piping batter for the main body and topping it off with cookie dough. I make my own templates. Baking the main pastry case on perforated mat helps the pastry to retain it's shape better

Freshly baked case with choux pastry horn!

I added on the fine features using royal icing and the tail using candy melts. I coloured the candy melts before shaping it. As Singapore is rather warm, I had to work in an air-conditioned room when shaping the candy melts. I reshaped the pastry case base so that Pusheen is able to "stand up" instead of lie flat. I made a video tutorial for making such cases for the penguin Choux entry in my Deco Choux Pastries book. Store baked and assembled choux pastry cases in airtight condition at cool room temperature.

My friend requested for lychee filling so I made lychee pastry cream with chunks of chopped lychee, and lightened with some whipped cream. I have made lychee pastry cream before but without whipping cream added so I will type out the updated recipe here.

Recipe for lychee pastry cream with added whipping cream
2 egg yolks
20g cornflour, sifted
25g castor sugar
A pinch of salt
1.5 tsp freeze dried lychee powder*
200g fresh milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
12g unsalted butter, slightly softened
150g chopped canned lychee, woody part removed
100g whipping cream (I used non-dairy for better stability)

* If you are unable to get this, you may replace 50-80g of milk with strained lychee puree.

1. Place milk, vanilla extract, lychee powder (or lychee puree) in small saucepan and heat on medium-low heat until bubbles just start to appear around the edges.

2. In the mean time, whisk together cornflour, sugar and salt in a heavy mixing bowl. Add egg yolks and whisk until a smooth paste forms.

3. Once the milk is sufficiently heated up, remove from heat and pour in the slow thin stream into egg yolk mixture while whisking continuously. Pour the egg mixture back into saucepan.

4. Cook the custard by whisking continuously and heating over medium-low heat. Once the mixture appears to thicken, remove from heat and continue whisking vigorously until smooth. Return back to heat and continue whisking and cooking until your preferred consistency, removing from heat to whisk whenever necessary. Do not use high heat or you may end up with scrambled eggs.

5. Remove from heat and mix in unsalted butter until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a clean bowl if there are any lumps formed. Press a cling wrap onto the surface and refrigerate until cool, at least half an hour. You may prepare this a day in advance.

6. Remove pastry cream from fridge and beat it briefly with spatula to loosen it up. Fold in chopped lychee a tablespoon at a time.

7. Whip up the cold whipping cream until firm peaks form. Fold into pastry cream in a few additions until smooth.

Folding whipping cream into pastry cream

Store covered in the fridge for up to a few days.

Remember to fill your pastry just before consuming in order to enjoy the crisp pastry case with cold and refreshing lychee pastry cream! I always don't recommend filling the cases way in advance as it will turn the cases soggy.

Please click on this link for more unicorn Pusheen bakes in other forms!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Wednesday, 22 May 2019

'Basket of Roses' Pandan Kaya Cake (diabetic friendly)

This is a bake that I mulled over the design and details for a couple of months, and took time to pick up a new skill for it too. Presenting my version of diabetic friendly "basket of flowers" pandan kaya cake!

I did a partial basket weave with chiffon sponge because I feel the insides are too pretty to be hidden!

Why the focus on it being diabetic friendly? Because I made this for mum's birthday and she has diabetes. The pandan Gula melaka chiffon sponges and pandan Gula melaka pudding are made using half Stevia (ilite brand) and half coconut palm sugar (Gula melaka). Coconut palm sugar has a glycemic index a third of refined white sugar and imparts a wonderful aroma to the bakes. And Stevia is a sugar replacement. I was hesitant to use any sugar replacements in my bakes for fear of weird chemical after taste or a less stable meringue for the chiffon sponge but was encouraged to try this brand since I have heard reviews that it's not that noticeable especially if there are other strong flavours in the bake.

The flowers aren't made of chiffon for once. They are made of bean paste and I colour it naturally using purple sweet potato, blue pea flower and raspberry powder. I took time to learn how to make bean paste flowers just for this bake and perhaps for future bakes. Check out my earlier blog post for details! Bean paste flowers also contain a lot less sugar than regular sugar paste flowers. They taste like bean flavoured mochi. These can be made ahead of time and stored airtight in the fridge or left out in the open with good ventilation for a couple of days.

Making bean paste roses for the cake

Making bean paste leaves too! I used gel food colouring for the leaves 

The Pandan chiffon cake is adapted from neo_sook_bee (Instagram). She uses the cooked dough method all the time so the recipes for chiffon sponges are using this method. I didn't use my regular pandan Gula melaka chiffon recipe although it is also refined sugar free and always has great reviews as this time I am baking it in a round tin with removable base and I wasn't sure if it will work out the same way. But as usual, I prepare concentrated pandan juice a few days before baking for a more intense flavour and colour. I blended and sieved out the juice and let it settle in fridge for a few days, using only the dark green part that settled at the bottom for baking.

Recipe for diabetic friendly pandan chiffon cake
Ingredients (makes one 6" round cake):
Yolk batter
22g coconut oil
35g pandan juice concentrate
20g coconut milk
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp pandan paste
60g cake flour, sifted into mixing bowl
3 egg yolks

3 egg whites
1/5 tsp cream of tartar
22g granulated Gula melaka
22g ilite sugar (Stevia)
1/2 tsp cornflour

1. Preheat oven to 160℃. Place rack at second lowest position. Place a tray of water at base of oven (optional but I used it as I didn't do a slit cake).

2. Make the yolk batter. Place all ingredients for the yolk batter except egg yolks and flour into a small saucepan. Heat until 80℃. Remove and pour into mixing bowl with sifted flour. Mix well until a soft dough forms. Leave it to cool for a few minutes. Add egg yolks one at a time and mix well between each addition.

3. Prepare meringue. Combine sugars and cornflour in a small bowl and whisk everything together. In a clean metal bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks form, gradually adding in sugar mixture once the egg whites are foamy. Take your time to build up the meringue by beating at low or medium-low speed and to avoid making huge bubbles in your meringue.

4. Quickly but gently fold the meringue into yolk batter in two or three additions. Pour batter into 6" tin with removable base. Use a chopstick to run around the batter to pop any air bubbles.

5. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 135℃ and bake for another 60 minutes or until skewer comes out clean and the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Cool upside down. I didn't have the special cooling rack for the tin so I used two identical ceramic mugs to support the tin. Note that baking temperature and time varies from oven to oven.

6. Carefully unmould by hand when cooled completely. Slice the cake into three layers before assembly. Each layer is about 2-2.5cm in my case.

Freshly baked cake!

Recipe for diabetic friendly pandan Gula melaka pudding
240g coconut milk (may replace partially or all with other milk of your preference)
110g water
10g pandan juice concentrate
30g granulated or finely chopped Gula melaka
30g ilite sugar (Stevia)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp pandan paste
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp green food colouring (optional)
1/8 tsp caramel essence (optional)
1 tsp Agar powder

26g cornflour
130g water

1. Prepare B). Place ingredients in a jug and stir to mix well. Set aside.

2. Put all ingredients in A) in a saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring continuously. Make sure that all agar powder is dissolved.

3. Stir B) again and pour in a thin stream into saucepan while stirring contents of saucepan continuously. Keep stirring and bring mixture to a boil. Let it boil for another minute while stirring.

4. Remove from heat and strain the mixture to remove any lumps that may have formed. Press a cling wrap onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming if you aren't ready to assemble yet.

5. When ready to assemble, place a layer of pandan cake on cakeboard and wrap an acetate sheet around it to form a wall. Gently scoop some pudding on the cake. Let it rest for a few minutes in the open or a minute in the fridge to set it a little. Stir the pudding in the bowl frequently to prevent it from setting. Carefully place second layer of sponge on top and press it down to release any trapped air bubbles. Repeat layering pudding and last sponge layer. Measure the height of assembled cake for reference for making basket weave. Cover the top with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours. Remove the acetate sheet before assembling with basket weave.

Assembling pandan sponge and pudding

Recipe for diabetic friendly pandan Gula melaka chiffon sponge
Ingredients (makes one 10x12" and two 7x7" thin cakes. You may not need all the sponge for basket weave depending on how much cake you want to cover with the weave. Use whatever baking tray size you have to bake. Just make sure you spread as thin a layer of batter as you can):

Yolk batter
35g coconut oil
57g pandan water (boil some water with 5-6 pandan leaves cut into shorter strips for about 10 min, sieve out leaves and cool)
57g cake flour, sifted into mixing bowl
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp cocoa powder (optional, for colouring cake a darker brown shade, sift together with flour if using)
3 egg yolks

3 egg whites
22g granulated Gula melaka
22g ilite sugar (Stevia)
1/2 tsp cornflour

1. Preheat oven to 180℃. Set oven rack to second lowest position. Do not use steam bake for this. Line baking tray(s) with Teflon sheet or parchment paper.

2. Prepare batter the same way as pandan cake above.

3. Spread the batter as thin a layer as possible in baking trays. Bake for 8-9min. Remove from oven and immediately flip the cake onto fresh sheet of parchment paper. Cool completely before cutting pieces for assembly.

I didn't take photos for in-between steps of making the basket weave but essentially it's the same technique as making the weave with fondant or buttercream so you can google for videos of those to have an idea. I cut the thin layer of sponge into pieces and glue them onto the pandan kaya cake using melted marshmellows. If your sponge is baked right and baked thin, you shouldn't have issues making the weave with the rope patterned border. If the sponge layer is thick, it will break easily. I flatten the baked sponge a little after baking by pressing it between two sheets of parchment paper.

I absolutely love the view of this unadorned cake 😍😍

I just arranged the flowers onto the cake, leaving a short segment of the wooden skewer on each rose so that it is easy to insert into the cake.

Top view of the cake! I nearly forgot to take a photo of it and only remembered as I was packing into cake box 😆

Do brush the exposed sponge with some syrup (10g sugar dissolved in 20g hot water) to keep it moist during storage in the fridge. Store it in airtight condition. Best served a day or two after assembly.

Here's the cake at mum's birthday celebration lunch.

Here's a peek at the insides...

My dad wanted the service staff and one of the restaurant chefs to try the cake so they had a slice each too.  They loved the cake and said it tastes really good, not too sweet like commercially sold ones! Even hubby with picky palate said the balance of flavours is spot on. It's a pity I didn't take a photo of mum eating one of the bean paste roses 😆. Just to show you that they can be eaten too!

Those of you who would like to make a diabetic friendly bake that is flavourful but doesn't taste too sweet, you can give this recipe a try 😊. My regular pandan Gula melaka sponge and pudding cake that uses only Gula melaka as sweetener is more diabetic friendly than cakes baked with refined sugar but still raises blood sugar a little. With half of it being replaced by Stevia in this cake, the glycemic load is even less.

With lots of love,
Phay Shing

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