Monday, 23 November 2020

Nativity Gingerbread Cookies (no-chill, no-spread cookie dough recipe!)

 For Culinary Arts Ministry event with the church this December, I will be sharing how to make these simple gingerbread cookies!


The session will be a live Zoom session along with a short talk about Christmas. I will share how you can make these cookies without cookie cutters. Instead of using my default favourite brown sugar cookie recipe as the cookie base, I chose to use another recipe for ease of handling as my default recipe although absolutely yummy and fragrant, has a dough that requires chilling and can be tricky to handle in hot Singapore. 

The recipe I will share is so easy to handle kids can join in the fun. It doesn't spread in the oven so you can pack in as many cookies to bake as possible in one round of baking. The design I chose is deliberately simple as well so that you can decorate it by freehand without needing a template. 

If you are interested to sign up for this event which is free, please click on this link


With love,

Phay Shing 

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Tuesday, 17 November 2020

'Let's Paint Fluttershy' Strawberry Rose Macarons

I made this for a girl who is a fan of Fluttershy, Chrissy and Francine. She also likes to draw so this was a macaron scene I came up with for her ๐Ÿ˜Š. 


I think she can draw a nicer portrait of Fluttershy than these 2 artist wannabes ๐Ÿคฃ

I used the swiss meringue method for making these macarons. Recipe for the macaron shell can be found in this post. Just to share some pictures of the process... 

Piping the characters 

Piping the canvas and stage

Piping the easel stand and paint brushes

Freshly baked shells! 


I used a combination of royal icing, edible paint made by dissolving gel colouring in vodka, and edible marker to add in the details. 

The macarons were filled with strawberry rose whipped white chocolate ganache. 


Recipe for Strawberry rose ganache
Ingredients:
80g white chocolate, finely chopped or chips
20g cocoa butter (may replace with white chocolate) 
20g unsalted butter
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp rose water
55g strawberry compote*
1 tsp freeze-dried strawberry powder (optional) 
1/2 tsp strawberry emulco/ paste 

*Make the compote by combining pureed strawberries and adding 10% by weight of sugar, a pinch of salt and a dash of lemon juice. Cook over medium-low heat while stirring continuously until thickened to your preferred consistency. I usually reduce it until about half the original weight. 

Steps:
1. Place all ingredients except the last 3 in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on low power using the microwave oven for 10 seconds and mix well. Repeat until melted and smooth. Alternatively, you may use the double-boiling method. 

2. Let the mixtire set at aircon room temeptature (20-24C) until firm. Alternatively, refrigerate for 10 minutes or until scoopable consistency. 

3. Use a spatula to whip umtil lightened in texture and ganache resembles buttercream. Gradually add strawberry compote and fold it in. 

4. Add strawberry powder and mix well. Add strawberry paste and mix well. Transfer into piping bag and fill the shells. Store filled macarons in fridge in aortoght container for at least 24h before consuming. Let the container rest st room temperature for 25 to 20 min before opening to prevent condensation from forming on the macarons. 

With love, 
Phay Shing
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Thursday, 12 November 2020

BT21 Chiffon Cake (Tata, Cooky, Kola)


Do you think BT21 is cuter or BTS? ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ˜

Being a fan of kpop, I have made a few BT21 cakes! The latest is Tata, Cooky and Kola! Cooky and Kola are my favourites!

This time I shot it in the "sunshine" "bubble-pop" style of BTS.

Sending some cheerful vibes and looking forward to the weekend! ๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿฅฐ

With love,
Susanne


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Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Masha and the Bear Salted caramel Dark Chocolate Macarons

My friend requested for a couple of macaron cake toppers for her daughter's birthday with the little girl's favourite characters --- Masha and the Bear! 



I had fun with the new backdrops I bought because it really brings the characters to life! 

I baked the macaron shells using the swiss meringue method along with the shells for Kirby and Mario on the beach scene. So it was one crazy bake. 

Piped batter

I decorated the macaron shells with edible marker and edible paint made by dissolving gel food colouring in some vodka. 


The macarons were filled with dark chocolate ganache amd homemade salted caramel


I always make an extra set of characters in case of damage. 


With love, 

Phay Shing

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Thursday, 5 November 2020

Bento Chiffon Cake

 


Which is your favourite item in the bento? 
I've made many sushi chiffon cakes but this is my first bento version! 
The bento itself is also made from chiffon cake and I had fun piping the polka dots! Do you spot the tako and tamago as well? Both my favourite food!
I miss the cute food in Japan, but thank God we are all safe.. Do hang in there, and take care!

With lots of love,
Susanne

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Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Noah's Ark Cookies on Mixed Fruits n Cream Cake

A pair of grandparents wanted to bless their grand daughter with a birthday bake that provides and opportunity for them to share about God. So they requested for Noah's ark themed cake. Here is my cookie version of Noah's ark, on top of a fruits n cream cake!

 

I made the ark out of a no-spread cookie recipe, naturally coloured with dark brown sugar and coconut sugar. The animals are made out of shortbread cookies with minimal royal icing used. Even the little horns, spots on the giraffe and the tiny doves are made out of shortbread! 

I experimented with creating little rainbows out of green kiwi, mango and strawberry to insert into the cream layers. But that proved to be very challenging ๐Ÿ˜…. I think if I ever want to attempt something similar again, I will do it with just 2 types of fruits. I wanted to try making the rainbows because it is part of the Noah's ark story, signifying God's promise never to destroy the earth by flood again. 

I used my default vanilla chiffon recipe for the fruits n cream cake. Inside the cake is filled with fresh thai mango pieces and homemade mango compote cooked with a dash of yuzu juice concentrate. 

Be prepared for a long post as this bake consists of quite a few components. 

No-spread cookie recipe
Ingredients:
Brown dough
114g unsalted butter 
50g dark brown sugar
50g coconut palm sugar
50g egg, lightly beaten
250g plain flour 
48g cornflour 
3/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Pink dough
18g unsalted butter 
16g caster sugar
8g egg, lightly beatened 
40g plain flour 
8g cornflour
Pinch of salt 
1/8 tsp vanilla
Pink gel colouring 

Steps : 
1. Preheat oven to 170C for baking small parts like letters of name and 180C for larger pieces. 

2. Cream butter and sugar but not till fluffy. You want to minimize bubbles in dough. 

3. Add egg a bit at a time and mix well. Add vanilla and mix well. Add gel colouring if using and mix well. 

4. Sift together cornflour, plain flour and salt in another bowl. Add sifted flours into butter mixture. Fold the flour in until just combined. 

5. Roll the dough between parchment paper until about 6mm thick.  Use cookie cutters or a small knife and template to carve out the shapes required. I remove the excess dough instead of the cutouts so that it retains its shape. You may place the cookies quite close together as they don't spread in the oven. 



6. Bake smaller parts for around 10 to 12 min. Lower baking temperature for larger parts after the first 12 min to 160C and bake until done, about 20min. 

I assembled the ark using royal icing coloured in a similar shade to the cookie. You may refer to this post for the royal icing recipe. Use a zester to file the sides of the cookie so that the various parts join seamlessly. 




Animal Shortbread cookie recipe
Ingredients :
50g icing sugar
100g unsalted butter 
130g plain flour
20g cornflour 
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Gel food colouring and natural food colours like cocoa powder and charcoal powder

Steps :
1.  Preheat oven to 150C for larger parts, 140C for smaller parts. 

2. Cream butter, salt and sugar until combined but not till fluffy. 

3. Add vanilla and mix until well combined. 

4. Sift together cornflour and plain flour. Add into creamed butter and sugar. Fold in the flour until ball of dough forms. 

5. Divide dough into portions and colour them with gel or natural colouring. 

6. Shape using fingers and fondant tools and place on parchment. Freeze the tray(s) of shaped cooke dough for at least 10 min before baking. 



7. For larger parts, bake at 150C for first 10 min, lower to 130C and bake for another 10-15min . For the tiny doves, elephant ears, bake at 140C for 10 min then at 130C for another 2 min. Cool conpletely before storing or assembling. 

Tenporarily storing overnight before assembling 

8. Assemble by joining the parts with royal icing. You may gently scrape the cookie with a butter knife to get the crumbs to cover the seams a little. Use royal icing to add in the mane, eyes and mouth. 



Let the icing dry completely before storing in airtight container. 

I glued the animals to the ark using the same brown coloured royal icing. 

I added in the flood waters using stiff royal icing and glued on the name in the waves. 


The recipe for the vanilla chiffon can be found in this post. I baked a 17cm (7 inch) chiffon and a 7x7 inch sheet cake. I love how tall and fluffy the chiffon cake is! 


Slice horizontally into 3 layers with a serrated knife. Store in airtight container until ready to assemble. 

Prepare mango compote by cooking mango puree with a little sugar, a pinch of salt and a small dash of yuzu juice until reduced and thick. Refrigerate until ready to assemble. 

Slice all the fruit and place on paper towel to absorb excess water. Refrigerate overnight. 

I used a combination of dairy and non-dairy cream to get a more stable filling that still tastes good. 

Stabilized whipping cream with non-dairy cream
Ingredients:
150g whipping cream (dairy cream) 
2 gelatin sheets, bloomed in ice water
180g whip topping (non-dairy whipping cream) 
1 tsp vanilla extract 

Steps:
1. Heat whipping cream until steaming (not boiling). Add bloomed gelatin and whisk until melted. 

2. Press cling wrap on surface of cream and refrigerate overnight. 

3. Beat chilled whip topping with vanilla extract using electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Set aside. 

4. Beat dairy cream set by gelatin with electric mixer until firm peaks form. Fold into whipped non-dairy cream until well combined. 

Assembly

1. Add a little whipped cream onto cakeboars and place first layer of chiffon cake on it. I cover the hole with a separate cake cutout. Wrap the cake with acetate sheet to facilitate assembly. Coat the sponge with some mango compote 

2. Add a thin layer of whipped cream and arrange the fruits around circumference and in the middle. Drizzle some compote on top of the mango slices in the middle. 

3. Cover fruits with more cream and smooth it out with a teaspoon. 

4. Drizzle some compote on top of the smoothened cream. Carefully place the next layer of cake on top and gently press it down. Repeat layering with cream, fruits and another sponge on top. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before carefully removing the acetate sheet. 



Insert some dowels and glue a cakeboard on top using royal icing as a platform to put the cookie cake topper on. Keep cake refrigerated until ready to serve. 

Thank God it was very well received! 


With love, 
Phay Shing


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Sunday, 1 November 2020

My Melody and Little Twin Stars Anniversary Chiffon

 



My Melody and Little Twin Stars Anniversary Chiffon Online Class is here!๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–

Celebrating My Melody and Little Twin Stars 45th anniversary this year together, with this special mix characters chiffon class with a delicious cream cheese filling and hearts surprise within the same bake!

Sign up for the class here!๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ’•

These are official licensed Sanrio baking classes in collaboration with Sanrio =).

**A special FREE gift! In addition to the main My Melody and Little Twin Stars Anniversary Chiffon template, a free repeated characters template is included as a bonus!!

Baking kits with cream cheese filling, patterning batter, all food colouring and equipment for this cake are also available (for delivery within SG)!

With lots of love,
Susanne
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Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Hello Kitty Lychee Raspberry Rose Macarons (jumbo sized!)

My friend requested for a giant Hello Kitty cake topper for her daughter's birthday. I couldn't resist playing around with my new backdrops for photography! 

She looks happy on a day out! 

I was actually preparing some prebaked macaron shells for a bunny teacup class and had lots of leftover white batter. I thought why not make the Hello Kitty macaron. Although it is my preferred way to make the clothes out of macaron batter as well, I didn't want to waste the excess white batter and didn't have the bandwidth to make extra colours. This was what I piped with the batter. 

I usually make one extra just in case of damage. 

You may refer to this post for the recipe for swiss meringue method macarons. 

I used royal icing to add on the clothes, nose and bow, and used black edible marker to draw the eyes. 

Photo taken with a ruler to show how big these macarons are

I filled the macarons with lychee raspberry rose Swiss meringue buttercream. You may refer to this post for the recipe. 

Filling colour fits Kitty very well! 


With love,

Phay Shing 

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Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Boosheen Chiffon Cake


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

With love,

Susanne

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Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Among Us Salted Caramel Macarons (Imposter flavour included!)

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


Piped batter


Freshly baked shells

I used black royal icing to outline the shells. 

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

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

And more photos ๐Ÿ˜‚

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

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

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

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

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

4. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined. 

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

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

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

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

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

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


With lots of love, 

Phay Shing

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Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Giant Strawberry Milkshake Chiffon Cake

 


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

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


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

And here is another cute shot of the Strawberry cake!



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



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

With lots of love,
Susanne

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Thursday, 15 October 2020

Depressed Dave Lavender Macarons

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

A closer look at the macaron version! 


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

So glad I managed it! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Filling up the crossing. 

I decorated the macarons using black royal icing



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


With lots of love,

Phay Shing

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