Wednesday, 8 July 2020

'Pusheen with Sumikko Gurashi on a Shopping Trip' Peppermint Dark and White Chocolate Macarons

I took some time to mull over this one and finally came up with this scenario involving specific Sumikko Gurashi members and another character in a scenario entirely from my imagination.

Tonkatsu, Shirokuma, Penguin and Neko on a grocery shopping trip with Pusheen! 

I used the Swiss meringue method to make the macaron shells. It was a challenge as usual, when the number of colours exceeds the number of fingers in one hand 🤣.

Piped batter

I used a mixtute of edible markers and royal icing to add in the details


As the shopping cart is a macaron structure, the filling needs to be fairly firm. I filled the macarons with peppermint white chocolate buttercream on the outside and peppermint dark chocolate ganache on the inside.



You may refer to this recipe for the dark chocolate ganache. Just add 3/4 to 1 tsp peppermint extract to it. The peppermint white chocolate buttercream is something new so I will include the recipe here. Feel free to scale it up for a bigger batch. I only needed a little for this project.

Peppermint white chocolate buttercream
Ingredients:
40g white chocolate, finely chopped or use chips*
20g unsalted butter*
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

* you may adjust the ratio of white chocolate:butter  to suit your climate and tastebuds

Steps:
1. Place all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on medium low power for 10 sec. Mix well by mashing the ingredients together against the bottom and sides of the bowl. Repeat heating and mixing until melted and well combined. Do not agitate the mixture by whipping it as it may split.

2. Leave to stand at room temperature until firm if you stay in a temperature climate. And then whip it up with a spatula until buttercream texture. If you stay in hot Singapore like me, chill the mixture in freezer for 2 min and mix well. Chill for 1 min and mix by whipping the mixture with spatula. Repeat chilling and whipping until texture is like buttercream. Alternatively, you may use an ice bath and electric mixer to chill and whip simultaneously.

After assembling the macarons, leave it to mature in the fridge for at least 24h before serving. As the fillings are firm, the macarons can keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge in airtight condition, for up to a few months in the freezer. Always let the airtight box of macarons warm up at room temperature for 15-20min before opening the box to prevent condensation from forming on the macaron surface.

They look like they are having fun! 


With love,
Phay Shing

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Friday, 3 July 2020

Macaron Dessert Box with Strawberries n Cream Cake

I made this sweet looking macaron dessert box with strawberries n cream cake for a mother and daughter's combined birthday celebration!


You can't see the goodies in the cake because it is covered with swiss meringue buttercream but inside is actually made up of vanilla chiffon sponge, fresh strawberries and a mixture of non-dairy and dairy whipped cream. What you can see, is a feminine looking purple box made entirely out of macarons, and the box is filled with all kinds of sweet food made up of macarons too.

I used the swiss meringue method for making the macarons.

Just to share some photos...

Piping the desserts. I used chocolate rice, and hundreds and thousands to add on the sprinkles

Piping the panels and base of the box. I pipe extra piece just in case of damage 

I filled the macarons with strawberry white chocolate buttercream. Recipe can be found in this post

I decorated and assembled the box using royal icing

Box filled with dessert! 

You may refer to this post for the vanilla chiffon cake recipe and assembly steps, this post for the modified fresh cream filling for better stability and this post for the swiss meringue buttercream recipe. I coloured and flavoured a small portion of buttercream with strawberry paste.

Assembling the layers

Frosted the cake with plain vanilla and strawberry flavoured swiss meringue buttercream

You may notice that my swiss meringue buttercream doesn't contain too much sugar so it is not too sweet but it is still stable enough to work with in a hot kitchen at 28-31°C.

Because the cake is soft, I had to insert dowels (I just use jumbo straws) and place the macaron box on another cakeboard, such that the cake doesn't bear the weight of the macarons.

Thank God both macarons and cake were really well received!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Wednesday, 1 July 2020

My Melody Sweet Chiffon (Online Class)


Thankful to be collaborating with Sanrio to launch a series of online Sanrio classes and baking kits! We hope to bring some joy and bonding during this period! =)


The first class in My Melody Sweet Chiffon cake. It's vanilla-almond flavoured as My Melody loves almonds! The video class is also available worldwide! And there is a also specially-designed My Melody baking kit with giftcard if you are in Singapore, as well as options to add on baking pans. Sign up link here if you are interested!



And thankful to God for providing and the support of family and friends! Here are some links you can find out more. Thankful for their features! <3

  

Enjoy baking!

With lots of love,
Susanne


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Monday, 29 June 2020

'Bunny in Teacup' Oolong Osmanthus Macaron Class

I was wondering what to make that is somewhat Mid-Autumn themed for my next teacup macaron class and this was what I came up with!

Cute bunnies in teacup filled with a tea flavour that goes well with mooncakes! 

I taught Chinese New Year themed and Bear themed teacup macaron classes previously so this is my third design for class material. My elder kid helped with the design of the bunny template, which was really helpful for me.

You will learn the basics of swiss meringue method macarons, how to pipe the batter for the various parts and assemble it. I will also teach you how to make the fragrant oolong osmanthus filling.

Please click on this link for more details and to register for the class in early August, and click on this link to register for the class in October. A silicone hemispherical mould for making the teacup will be provided and you will get to bring it home.


With love,
Phay Shing
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Thursday, 25 June 2020

Bunny, Hot-Air Balloon and Hearts Chocolate Salted Caramel Macarons

During the circuit breaker period, celebrations tend to be a cosy and small affair so my projects are mainly involve small quantities. This is actually for 2 separate requests, with some plain pink hearts not in the picture.

For Heidi who loves hot-air balloons and bunnies! 

The design of the bunny is partly done with the help of my elder kid for a teacup macaron class in the future. I converted it to a full body version.

I used the Swiss meringue method to make the macaron shells.

Piped batter. The hot-air balloon was really tedious and tricky! I piped on some royal icing to improve the definition of the hot-air balloon after baking

You may refer to this post for the dark chocolate ganache recipe and this post for the salted caramel recipe.


I hope these bunnies, hot-air balloons and hearts brought some cheer during this gloomy time!

With love,
Phay Shing
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Sunday, 21 June 2020

Muscle Bear Chiffon Cake


Not quite 6-packs, but surely strong! 😆

My muscle bear chiffon cake, inspired by the adorable muscle bread from @konel_bread! =D It certainly made me smile! 😄

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful fathers! <3 Thank God we are in Circuit breaker Phase 2 too! Everyone stay safe!

With lots of love,
Susanne

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Saturday, 20 June 2020

Lychee Rose Cat Choux Pastry

I forgot I made these in January this year! So I am finally sharing it here. I am including it in the blog as a brief post just for records. I really miss making choux pastry after making lots of macarons and cakes.

Presenting different breeds of cats in choux pastry form, filled with lychee rose diplomat cream (pastry cream lightened with whipping cream)!


You may refer to this post on how to make the basic choux pastry batter and craquelin, and this post for the awesome lychee rose diplomat cream that is full of flavour but contains no added refined sugar.

With love,
Phay Shing
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Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Rice Dumpling Chiffon Cake


Which is your favourite rice dumpling? Bak zhang, nyonya zhang or kee zhang?☺ Rice dumpling chiffon cake! 💕 I had always wanted to make this since a few years back but always too busy. Glad to finally try it!

Recipe for the "rice" chiffon cake has been shared here. Can you guess how I made the shape? I refolded 2 two paper cones into triangular shape for the rice dumplings. Thank God the experiment worked!

For the "wrapped dumpling", I further used pandan chiffon sheet cake to wrap around the "rice dumplings".

They were really fun to make and eat! Hope you liked this cute creation!

Looking forward to phase 2 reopening and dragonboatfestival! Thank God!

Stay safe!

With lots of love,
Susanne

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Monday, 15 June 2020

Lego Dairy-Free Chocolate Drip Cake

My friend requested for a dairy-free chocolate cake that is Lego themed for her son. All her children have dairy allergy to some degree so she is thrilled to have a birthday bake that the kids can actually eat with no worries. Presenting my first anti-gravity chocolatey bake!

Chocolate drip cake made up of chocolate chiffon sponge, and layered with custard and chocolate ganache. Lego bricks made out of macarons and the container made out of white chocolate. 

I used the Swiss meringue method to create the "Lego bricks". You may refer to this post for the recipe, and this post for the video tutorial of piping rectangular shells.

Piped shells! 

Freshly baked shells! Don't look too closely and they may look like the real thing

Can you make a dairy-free dark chocolate ganache? Answer is yes! I used to think that ganaches must be made with dairy cream. It turns out this isn't true. Although a lower liquid to chocolate ratio is needed, it is still possible. The result is usually a more intense ganache.

Dairy-free dark chocolate ganache for macaron filling
Ingredients:
90g dark chocolate couverture
10g vegetable shortening
25g soy milk (or other plant based milk)*
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste/extract
1/8 tsp salt

* you may use a little more liquid, up to 35g for a softer ganache. I live in Singapore which is perennially hot.

Steps:
1. Place all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 20 seconds at medium low heat. Mix well. Repeat until melted and smooth. Alternatively, you may use the double-boiling method.

2. Set aside to firm up to toothpaste consistency. If you prefer a lighter texture like I do, you may chill it for a few minutes in the fridge and whip it up to buttercream consistency.

Dairy-Free dark chocolate ganache 

3. Transfer to piping bag and fill the macaron shells. Let the filling and shells mature for a few days in the fridge before consuming. Always let macarons sit at room temperature for 15-20min before consuming.

Filling the shells

I decided to experiment with the way I made the sponge for my ultimate chocolate cake. My chocolate cake always received rave reviews so I don't really have the incentive to change anything. But then I looked at the recipe again and thought since the eggs used are already separated, I might as well make a meringue out of the egg whites. The chemical leavening can be reduced as a result too so why not give it a shot. You may refer to this post for my old default ultimate chocolate cake recipe which consists of a dairy-free German chocolate cake sponge by Rose Levy Beranbaum, a chocolate custard and dark chocolate ganache. I also reduced the amount of sugar further.

German chocolate cake sponge, chiffon method
Ingredients (Makes two 7.5x1.5 inch rounds) :
Egg yolk batter
40g alkalized cocoa powder
72g boiling water
65g canola oil
3 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Kahlua coffee liqueur (may replace with vanilla if unavailable)
45g cake flour
45g plain flour
25g caster sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Meringue
4 egg whites
135g caster sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar (optional)

Steps:
1. Line the pans with parchment paper, set oven rack to middle position. Place a tray of water at base of oven (optional). Preheat oven to 150°C.

2. In a latge mixing bowl, mix boiling water and cocoa powder to form a thick, smooth paste. Cover with cling wrap and leave to cool.

3. Whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 25g of caster sugar. Sift into another bowl and set aside.

4. Add egg yolks, oil, vanilla and coffee liqueur into the chocolate paste. Whisk or use an electric mixer to mix until well combined. Add the flour in a few batches and whisk until well combined.

5. Prepare the meringue. In a clean metal bowl, use elecreic mixer to beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks form or juat reach stiff peaks, gradually adding sugar once the egg whites are foamy .

6. Quickly but gently fold the meringue into the egg yolk batter in 3 batches. Divide the batter into the 2 pans. Bake for 35min or until skewer comes out clean. Note: the egg yolk batter is really thick so the first addition of the meringue into the egg yolk batter is better done using a hand whisk. You need not be too gentle with this one. It is to lighten up the texture of the batter so that the next 2 additions of the meringue is easier to incorporate.

7. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 min. Carefully unmould the cake using a spatula to run along the sides of the pan. Cool completely on cooling rack before slicing each cake into half horizontally.


Freshly baked cakes! I love the flat tops and taller sponges! Perfect for layering cakes


Dairy-free chocolate diplomat cream

Note: my friend requested for less intense chocolate so feel free to increase cocoa powder to 15g and couverture up to 60g

Ingredients:
200g + 30g soy milk (or any other plant based milk)
2 egg yolks
25g sugar (increase up to 35g if prefer sweeter. I used a sweetened soy milk so I reduced the amount of sugar )
20g cornflour
9g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Kahlua coffee liqueur (may replace with vanilla if unavailable)
1/8 tsp salt
15g unsalted butter/ dairy-free butter
40g dark chocolate couverture
60-80g whip topping (dairy-free whipping cream)

Steps :
1. Heat 200g milk, vanilla and coffee liqueur in a saucepan until steaming (not boiling).

2. In the mean time, sift cocoa powder and cornflour together into a heavy mixing bowl or glass jug. Add egg yolks and 30g soy milk and whisk until well combined.

3. Slowly pour heated milk in a thin stream into the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Pour everything back unto saucepan.

4. Heat sauce pan over low heat while whisking the custard mix continuously. Once it thickens, remove from heat and whisk until it smoothens out. Return to heat and continue cooking until desired consistency.

5. Remove from heat and add butter and chocolate couverture. Whisk until chocolate and butter are melted and everything is well combined. Press cling film on the surface of the pastry cream and refrigerate for 1h or overnight if you wish.

6. Whip whip topping until stiff peaks. Take the chocolate pastry cream out of the fridge and whip it briefly to loosen it.

Smooth and rich dairy-free pastry cream! 

7. Fold in whip topping and there you have a dairy free diplomat cream. The name "diplomat cream" is just a fancy name for pastry cream lightened with whipped cream.

Dairy-free ganache for frosting cake
Ingredients:
200g dark chocolate couverture (I used 100g 73.5% and 100g 54% cocoa)
30g water
30g soy milk (may replace with water)
20g vegetable shortening
1/4 tsp salt
40g whip topping
30g chocolate diplomat cream

Steps:
1. Place all ingredients except whip topping and diplomat cream into a heatproof bowl. Melt the contents over a double boiler or microwave oven. Stir until melted and smooth.

2. Leave the ganache to sit on counter top until it firms up to toothpaste consistency. You may whip it up for lighter texture.

3. Whip the whip topping till stiff. Gradually fold the chocolate diplomat cream and whip topping into the whipped ganache.

Water ganache for dark chocolate drip
Ingredients:
100g dark chocolate couverture (I used 50g 73.5% and 50g 54%)
55g water
10g light corn syrup (omit if unavailable)

Steps:
1. Place all ingredients in a heatproof bowl and melt and stir over double boiler. Be gentle when mixing to prevent introducing air bubbles and stir in one direction.

2. Let the mixture cool a bit until the consistenct is right for creating the drip. To test, take a small amount of ganache and drip it down the sides of the mixing bowl. If it flows down slowly (not too runny), it is ready.

Dark chocolate ganache for drip

Cake assembly
Cake assembly is pretty much the same as my full dairy version, except that I brush the sponge with diluted maple syrup as the sponge may be a bit drier with the chiffon method as compared to the original.

For each cake layer, I brush the sponge with syrup before layering on diplomat cream. I frost the tops and sides of the cake with dark chocolate ganache that has a bit of diplomat cream and whip topping in it. Finally, I top off the cake with the dark chocolate drip.

Layering with chocolate diplomat cream and frosting the whole cake with whipped chocolate ganache

I carefully inserted a straw and used some modelling chocolate to secure the white chocolate container to the straw, as well as to create part of the chocolate flow that "pours" out from it. I placed the Lego macarons on the cake to complete the creation.

If you can be patient, do wait for 2 to 3 days of storage before consuming. The chocolate cake tastes best after a while when the sponge and filling have had time to meld together. The flavours are deeper and richer too!

With love,
Phay Shing
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Thursday, 11 June 2020

Sumikko Gurashi on Rainbow Boat Chiffon Cake


Sending some love, hope and rainbows again with this sweet creation! 💕
My first time making a rainbow from such thin sheet chiffon cake too!

I love rainbows, if you have followed my creations, I've made many chiffon cakes into rainbows

This is my new version and my thinnest yet. It is inspired by the double rainbows we saw across the skies a week back. Very thankful for rainbows, the hope it brings and promise from God it reminds us of. The rainbow was made by piping rainbows onto a baking sheet, swissroll style.

Does the bear look like he is going on a "hopeful" journey in a Rainbow boat? =p Err this was commented by my family lol

Everyone stay safe and take care!

With lots of love,
Susanne

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Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Peppa Pig Strawberry Yoghurt Chiffon Cakepops

My cousin requested for some Peppa Pig chiffon cakes for her daughter's birthday because my niece is a Peppa Pig fan!


This isn't the first time I made these chiffon pops. I first made them about five and a half years ago in lychee flavour. You can read about it in this post. I made it again along with George and a couple of friends in a cupcake version where it is not just the head but upper body as well. You can see it in this post.

Why am I blogging the same creation again? Because I did things differently from last time. I saved time and resources by making the facial features differently. I made a simple batter, piped and baked the features separately and stored it until the cakes are ready for assembly. This allows the bake to be more manageable as it can be broken down into a 3 days. One day for making the features, one day for baking the head and ears, and one day for assembling. I used the same technique that I did for this Gudetama creation where the facial features were placed on a spherified lemon curd. Many thanks to Yuni Sweets (checkout her YouTube channel and Instagram account!) for sharing her technique for deco swiss rolls! The batter for making the patterns is a simple 1:1:1:1 ratio for cake flour: icing sugar: egg whites : unsalted butter. Simply mix all the ingredients together, portion out and colour it in different colours, pipe and bake for 6-10 min at 130-140C or until dry. I reused my macaron template for Peppa Pig for making the facial features!

Piped features. Be sure to lightly grease the teflon sheet before piping. I used 12g of each ingredient to make the batter

Strawberry yoghurt chiffon pops
Ingredients (makes about 18 eggshell worth + 7x7" sheet cake) :
Egg yolk batter
3 yolks
10g caster sugar
40g plain yoghurt (no sugar added)
60g cake flour
A pinch of salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2-3/4 tsp strawberry emulco
A tiny drop of purple food colouring  (optional)

Meringue
4 egg whites
70g caster sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Note : I chose to use plain unsweetened yoghurt so I used more sugar to counter the sour taste of the yoghurt and strawberry paste. If you used sweetened yoghurt, you may reduce the amount of sugar.

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Line 7 inch square tray with parchment or teflon sheet. Place eggshells that are wash, dried and with membrane removed on silicone cupcake cases. Place a tray of water at base of oven (optional)

2. Prepare egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Add oil and whisk until combined. Add yoghurt, strawberry paste, vanilla and salt and whisk until combined. Gradually sift in flour and whisk until no trace of flour is seen.

3. Prepare meringue. In a clean metal bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks form, gradually adding sugar once egg whites are foamy.

4. Gently but quickly fold meringue into egg yolk batter in three additions. Fill egg shells 1/2-2/3 full and the 7x7" tray.


5. Bake sheet cake at 160°C for 12 min. Immediately remove from tray and cooled covered. Bake the eggshells at 160°C 12 min, and another 30 min at 135°C. Note that baking temperature and time is oven dependent so adjust accordingly.

6. Let the eggshells cool completely bwfore carefully unmoulding the cakes. Unmould by using the back of a metal spoon to make as many cracks as possible and the gently and carefully peeling the egg shells off.

7. Use a small knife to make a small cut where the snout is supposed to be and gently but firmly press the cake into shape with your fingers.

I used baked angel hair pasta to attach the ears more securely to the head. Instead of melted marshmellows, I used cake glue bought from baking supply store as I am curious how it is like.

Brush the chiffon pops with a little syrup before storing in airtight container in the fridge to keep these small cakes moist.


With love,
Phay Shing
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Monday, 8 June 2020

'My Favourite Toys' Chocolate Macarons & Stump Cake

My friend requested for a personalized birthday cake for her son, with all his favourite characters and plushies!

Being a chocoholic, birthday boy requested for chocolate cake with chocolate macarons

I used the Swiss meringue method to make the macarons, along with a small set of dinosaurs for another request.

Piped batter 

Freshly baked shells! 

I decorated the shells with edible marker, paint made by dissolving gel colouring in vodka, and royal icing.

Decorative work was done concurrently with the princess macarons

Filling the shells with dark chocolate ganache. Feel free to adjust the chocolate: whipping cream ratio to suit your climate 

I made several of each design to pack them individually for the birthday boy to give away. 

I baked a few extra plain round macaron shells to create a mini pyramid of the characters for the cake topper.


You may refer to this post for the detailed recipe of the ultimate chocolate cake sponge and this post for the assembly steps and respective fillings and frosting of the stump cake. I know it isn't Christmas but the boy wanted a stump cake.


Thank God all were well received! Stay tuned for my next post where I experimented with tweaking my ultimate chocolate cake recipe to make it dairy free as well as changing the preparation method of the sponge to make it lighter.

With love,
Phay Shing

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