Tuesday, 18 September 2018

We Bare Bears Ice Bear Chiffon Cake

Free Bears! Who would like to take him home? 😛

Ice Bear from We Bare Bears, made from chiffon cake! I am loving my square chiffon pan from Japan, which I used to make the "box". I baked the bear in a ball pan, similar to my Reindeer cake from Deco Chiffon Cake Basics.

Hope this creation made you smile!

With lots of love,

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Monday, 17 September 2018

Ombre Pink Swirl Macaronpops

Would you like some pink ombre swirl macaron pops? 😊

I filled them with dark chocolate ganache.

I actually made these a few months ago when I was really excited when I managed to successfully create swirl macarons with two colours of batter. I was curious to know how a three coloured one would turn out so I made these :)

These swirl patterned macaron lollipops also appear in Christmasy colours in my second macaron book, Creative Baking: Macaron Basics. I made a video tutorial on how to pipe the swirls.

You may use any of your favourite macaron recipes to create three different coloured batters and fill the piping bag with all three.

Piped swirl macaron shells!

Freshly baked shells! I love them in pretty pink!

I filled the shells with dark chocolate ganache as requested.

Have fun piping!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Refreshing Mango and Milk Jelly

Besides making a Pandan Kaya Gula Melaka chiffon sponge and pudding cake topped with sweet potato Ondeh-Ondeh again for my dad's birthday this year, I also made a simple dessert. The cake was for dad to celebrate his birthday with other extended family members on another day so we had this refreshing mango jelly for dessert after a buffet lunch!

The mint leaves complimented the jelly in terms of looks and taste as well!

Here is another close-up view of this dessert just before we were about to eat it but a day after I made it.

Hubby bought some really nice mangoes so I couldn't resist making this dessert. I had to keep mum who has diabetes in mind so I didn't add too much sugar. Feel free to add more according to taste.

In order to create the layered stripe effect, I I made my own tall squarish jelly mould using plastic cake rings. I taped two pieces side by side to create a taller wall so that I can make a jelly with many layers without using too much ingredients.

Size is about 5x5 cm at the base

This plastic cake ring is sold in huge rolls with many pieces at Phoon Huat. I use it for moulding sponge and pudding cakes and as homemade cookie cutters too. Extremely versatile 😊.

I should have used cling wrap instead of aluminium foil to cover the base of the plastic walls as a little jelly leaked from below but it's not a major leak. Chill the whole mould on a small baking tray or plate in the fridge before filling with jelly.

I will share the recipe for the three types of jelly I made for this dessert, namely clear jelly, milk jelly and mango jelly. Feel free to layer your dessert any way you want it. I chose to use gelatin sheets this time as it doesn't have as strong a smell as powdered gelatin but feel free to use powder if you wish.

The striped jelly pieces are made rather firm so that it can withstand handling without disintegrating. If you aren't creating this stripe pattern like I did, feel free to use less gelatin for those layers for a softer texture.

I used Ann Low's recipe as a reference.

Striped jelly layers
Clear jelly:
90g water
2 tsp sugar (or more if prefer sweeter)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5g gelatin sheet* (about 2.5 sheets)
Some water to soak the gelatin sheets

Milk jelly:
90g fresh milk
1 tsp sugar (or to taste)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5g gelatin sheet*
Some water to soak gelatin sheet

*You may use gelatin powder but soak in cold water for a few minutes before melting it in microwave or by double boiling. Ratio should be 1 tsp of gelatin powder to 1 tbs of water.

1. Soak the gelatin sheets in water until softened.

2. Place water/milk in small saucepan with sugar and vanilla extract. Heat until just beginning to boil.

3. Remove from heat and add softened gelatin sheets. Stir until gelatin is dissolved. Cool to room temperature.

4. Gently pour about 1 tbs of milk jelly into the mould. Chill in fridge for about 5-6 min or until set. Repeat with about 1 tbs of clear jelly. Keep repeating until all jelly liquid is used up. Remember to layer on gently to prevent air bubbles from forming. If there are bubbles, use a toothpick to nudge it to the edge of the mould and try to pop it with a corner of kitchen paper towel.

5. Chill whole thing for at least 2h or overnight before slicing into strips. This is not difficult to make. Just requires patience to layer 😆.

The jelly is firm enough to be handled easily with your hands.

Mango jelly
Ingredients (Fills 6-7 small cups)
1 large to 2 mangoes (350g mango puree)
2 tbs sugar (or to taste)
1 tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
A pinch of salt
8g gelatin sheet (about 4 sheets)
Some water for soaking gelatin sheets

1. Combine sieved mango puree, salt, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Whisk until sugar dissolve.

2. Microwave om medium power for 10 seconds or double boil soaked gelatin until melted.

3. Gradually add melted gelatin to mango puree and whisk after each addition. Pour into jelly cup and refrigerate for 10 minutes or until set before layering on.

Here is a peek at how I assembled the jelly. I added a small dollop of mango puree in the middle.

I ended off the layering with a mix of milk and mango jelly (pale yellow layer) and finally more milk jelly on top.

If you want to make a refreshing and easy dessert, why not try this especially when mangoes are in season.

With lots of love,
Phay Shing

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Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Sumikko Gurashi Steamed Japanese Cupcakes

I first made Mushipan, or Steamed Japanese Cupcakes almost 4 years back, before I started blogging. They are really simple and quick to make for a snack! Recently I was inspired to make them again after seeing some cute strawberry ones made by my lovely neighbour! <3 I thought they would be great for children's day too! =) I love Sumikko Gurashi, so I decided to make the cupcakes based on my favorite characters from there =). The base recipe I used was from Ari kitchen, a pretty youtuber =). I used soufflé cupcake liners.

Sumikko Gurashi Mushipan (makes 5 cupcakes)
150g Morinaga Pancake mix
82g egg
30g butter
45g castor sugar
45g plain yoghurt
45g milk
cocoa paste, charcoal powder, pandan paste, strawberry paste, food coloring of your choice
1 tsp cake flour

1. Whisk egg and sugar in a mixing bowl.

2. Add in yoghurt and milk until well mixed.

3. Sift in pancake mix powder and fold till well blended.

4. Stir in melted butter.

5. Divide the batter into the following: 3 tbsp (add few drops pandan paste), 6 tbsp (add few drops strawberry paste, 3 tbsp (a drop of blue food coloring), 1 tbsp (cocoa paste with ¼ tsp charcoal powder + 1 tsp cake flour), leave the rest plain. Spoon all into piping bags.

6. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners (2 pink, 1 green, 1 blue and 1 plain) to around 2/3 full and tap to remove all bubbles.

7. Pipe the respective designs, eg the white polka dots over the pink, and the round patch over the blue batter. Lastly pipe on the facial features using the dark brown batter.

8. Steam the cupcake over preheated steamer for 15 mins. *Important: either wrap the lid with a cloth or tilt it with a chopstick so that the water does not ruin the cupcakes.

9. Use the leftover batter to pipe the limbs and ears on a piece of baking paper. Steam for 3 mins. Peel them off and place them onto the cupcakes.

Here’s the crumb shot! Nice and fluffy!

Hope you like them! <3

With lots of love,

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Monday, 10 September 2018

Macaron Ice Castle on Lavender Vanilla Honey Lemon Cream Cheese Chiffon Cake

I was excited as well as apprehensive about embarking on this bake as it's my first time making a castle cake out of macarons! Presenting my version of ice castle macaron cake on top of a lavender vanilla honey lemon cream cheese chiffon cake!

I often get requests for character bakes which are essentially illegal since I don't have the license to bake them. So I turn down those requests (unless they are from my family or friends). But there is a leeway where bakers can exercise their creativity to create a scenario where it is entirely out of their imagination. And it won't be considered copyright infringement anymore. That's why I have a case of Pororo and Petty meet Elsa and Anna, along with a couple of penguins at a castle that is designed entirely from my adaptation of what is feasible for macarons 😆.

It was a challenge to make these macarons as there are 12-13 different colours involved! I had to use the Italian method for an undertaking like this. You may use your favourite macaron recipe or any recipe in our blog. You may refer to my macaron books Creative Baking: Macarons and the upcoming Creative Baking: Macaron Basics for a more systematic review of the basics and piping techniques. I used the reduced sugar Italian method recipe for this batch but scaled down to 220g of almond flour.

Freshly baked shells!

Shells decorated with royal icing and edible markers. I made these along with some doughnut and seashell macarons.

I filled the shells and macaron cake base with vanilla honey lemon cream cheese filling. Recipe can be found here.

The assembly of castle macaron cake begins with layering four layers of large round macaron shells and three layers of cream cheese filling.

It takes some planning and calculations to decide how big to make each piece in the castle structure. Some Math involved which can be an interesting mental challenge 😉.

Assembled castle. I used royal icing to add on some snowflake designs.

Looking really adorable with the inhabitants!

I baked some plain vanilla chiffon sheet cakes for the name and top layer of the chiffon cake.

I love the look of the soft colours and smooth, velvety surface!

What I really want to share in this blog post is the recipe for the chiffon sponge cake and the cake frosting. The various ingredients I used here work harmoniously together to bring about a delicious flavour. It's a mouthful to read out aloud but each ingredient is crucial -- lavender, vanilla, honey, lemon and cream cheese.

Reduced egg yolk lavender milk cream cheese chiffon cake
Ingredients (makes two 9.5" cakes):
Egg yolk batter
2 egg yolks
20g caster sugar
84g canola oil/ vegetable oil
100g lavender milk*
50g cream cheese
1tbs vanilla extract
120g cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
A pinch of lemon zest

8 egg whites
1/3 tsp cream of tartar
110g caster sugar

*Boil 150g of milk. Pour hot milk into a bowl with 2tbs of dried lavender flowers. Steep for 10 min. Strain out the lavender flowers and measure out 100g of lavender milk.

1. Melt softened cream cheese in hot lavender milk. Heat over low heat if necessary. Set aside to cool.

2. Line bottom of cake tins with parchment paper. Set oven rack to lowest or second lowest position. Place a tray of water at bottom of oven (optional). Preheat oven to 160℃.

3. Prepare egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolks with caster sugar until pale and thick. Add oil and whisk until well combined. Add cream cheese lavender milk, vanilla and salt and mix until well combined. Gradually add in sifted cake flour and whisk until no trace of flour is seen. Add lemon zest and mix well.

4. Make the meringue. In a clean metal bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks form, gradually adding in caster sugar once the egg whites are foamy.

5. Quickly but gently fold the meringue into egg yolk batter in three batches. Divide the batter among the two baking trays. Use a chopstick to swirl the batter gently to pop any trapped air bubbles.

6. Bake for 5 min then reduce temperature to 140℃ and bake for another 25 min. Reduce temperature to 130℃ and bake for another 10min. The lower temperature used here is to prevent browning of the cake as the requester prefers have it as pale as possible.

The cake frosting recipe is just the macaron filling with stabilized whipped cream added in order to give it a lighter taste and texture to match the chiffon cake.

Vanilla honey lemon cream cheese frosting recipe
150g vanilla honey lemon cream cheese filling
125g whipping cream, poured into mixing bowl and chilled in bowl
1 tbs icing sugar
1 tsp gelatin powder
1 tbs water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Make the stabilized whipped cream. Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small microwave safe bowl. Let it bloom for a few minutes. Microwave on medium power for 10-20 seconds. Stir until gelatin is dissolved. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

2. Add icing sugar and vanilla extract to chilled whipping cream. Beat on low speed using electric mixer until it starts to thicken. Gradually add gelatin and whisk the cream by hand. Continue whisking until the cream is able to hold a firm peak. Be careful not to over whip or the cream will separate.

3. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese filling in a few additions.

Transfer the frosting into piping bag and fill the bottom layer of cake with frosting.

I drizzled a little more honey on top of the frosting.

Assembled cake!

I inserted 6 jumbo straws into the chiffon cake to act as dowels to support the heavy macaron cake on top.

The requester is kind enough to send me a few photos of the party in school.

Here's a picture of the cake at the party venue

Thank God that it was very well received in terms of looks and taste!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Sunday, 9 September 2018

One Piece Chopper Chiffon Cake

Anyone loves One Piece?? I used to chase the anime over nights! That was before I had kids =p Chopper must be the cutest Reindeer ever! Here is my Chopper Chiffon Cake 💖

Anyway for this cake, it was rather stressful as the top (hat) is much bigger than the base, so it wasn't really so stable. I wouldn't want to make this again LOL. Thank God the recipient was still thrilled! =) Ah I miss those One Piece days!

With lots of love,
Susanne =)

Btw Deco Chiffon Cake Basics is finally back in stock in book depository! Those who messaged me, you might want to check it out! =)

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Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Cute Animals Cream Puffs (class for kids!)

Want to have some fun making a cute and yummy treat with your child on Children's Day? Why not join me for a Choux pastry class making these adorable animal cream puffs!

Click on this link for more details of what you will learn in the class and to register. I can assure you that it will be fun! You will never see the humble cream puff the same way again!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Monday, 3 September 2018

Vanilla Honey Lemon Cream Cheese Doughnut Macarons

I usually don't accept last minute requests but since only a small quantity was requested and the requester was fine with the filling I was making for my major bake, I took on this request. I have made many designs but not made doughnut macarons before. Here's my version :)

I made these along with some seashell macarons and a Frozen cum Pororo themed bake. I usually use the Italian method for bakes like these that involve larger quantities and many colours. You may use your favourite macaron recipe or any recipe in our blog. You may refer to my macaron books Creative Baking: Macarons and the upcoming Creative Baking: Macaron Basics for a more systematic review of the basics and piping techniques.

What I really want to share here is an awesome filling recipe that is flavourful but yet not too sweet.

Just to share some photos of the process of making the shells...

Piping rings of doughnuts. Please select a piping tip that is not too large so that the hole in the doughnut doesn't close up after you pipe the batter. I used Wilton #8.

Freshly baked shells. I love the feet!

Decorate the shells with pink royal icing and some rainbow sprinkles.

I prepared a large batch of filling as it was supposed to be enough to fill many other macaron shells, a macaron cake and a chiffon cake. So feel free to scale down the recipe. For cake frosting/filling I recommend further lightening up the filling with more dairy cream. I will share the recipe in my post for the Frozen and Pororo themed bake.

Vanilla honey lemon cream cheese filling
140g cream cheese, softened at room temperature
40g honey
120g white chocolate
120g unsalted butter
30g whipping cream/ heavy cream
Zest of 2 lemons
1 tbs vanilla bean paste (or extract)
1/2 tsp sea salt

1. Boil some water in a saucepan. Turn off the heat once the water is boiled. Place white chocolate, butter and heavy cream in a heat proof bowl over the saucepan. Melt and stir the contents in the bowl with a spatula. Bring the water to boil again if the contents in the bowl stops melting. Do not overheat as the white chocolate will seize.

2. Place the melted white chocolate mixture in the fridge for 10-15 minutes or until firm but not hard. As long as the mixture doesn't flow when you tilt the bowl, you may start whipping it.

3. In the mean time, beat cream cheese with electric mixer until fluffy. Add honey and continue beating until well mixed. Add lemon zest, salt and vanilla bean paste. Mix well with electric mixer.

4. Take white chocolate mixture out from fridge. Use spatula or electric mixer to beat until light and fluffy.

5. Fold white chocolate mixture into cream cheese mixture in a few additions.

Transfer into piping bag and pipe onto bottom shells. Sandwich with top shell.

Filling doughnuts! You can see a little bit of the seashell macarons that I am filling at the same time.

Store in airtight container in the fridge for at least 24h before consuming. Let the macarons sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before consuming.

With love,
Phay Shing

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Saturday, 1 September 2018

Pastel Mooncake Chiffon Cake Minis (Lotus paste chiffon cake)

This is the 3rd year I am making Chiffon Cake Mooncakes!

This year I tried out a new flavour, Lotus paste chiffon cake, as well as making them into Mini Chiffon Mooncakes in pastel colours! While I used a 4-inch tube pan previously for the bigger mooncakes, I used cupcake liners for making the Mooncake Minis. These correspond to the small 50g mooncake plungers in terms of size. I have shared recipe for Lotus paste chiffon cake below.

I made the Lotus paste chiffon cake to be heavier than my usual recipes to correspond to what we would expect of lotus paste. So the egg white to egg yolk ratio here is 1:1. The nutty lotus paste flavour can be tasted though it is mild compared to the real thing. You may like it if you like lotus paste, and is definitely a lighter, less sweet alternative. I also made plain milk vanilla chiffon versions for the kids.

Lotus paste chiffon cake (4-inch tube pan or 7-8 30mm-cupcakes)
1 egg yolk
13g peanut oil/vegetable oil
14g water/milk
1g vanilla extract
20g Prima cake flour, sifted
30g lotus paste
Pinch of baking powder
A pinch of salt

1 egg white
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
12 g castor sugar

1. Preheat oven to 140°C.

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

3. Add in oil, then water or milk, vanilla extract and mix well. Add in lotus paste and whisk till well-combined.

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

5. 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 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. Firm peaks give finer, softer texture.

6. Gently fold in meringue gently into cake batter 1/3 at a time.

7. Pour into an ungreased 4-inch chiffon tube pan (or cupcake liners). Gently tap on counter top to remove air bubbles.

8. Bake at 140°C for 20-25 min for the 4-inch tube pan (or cupcakes), or until skewer inserted into centre of cake comes out clean.

9. Unmould the chiffon cakes by hand after cooling completely.

**If you like to bake a 7-inch chiffon cake, you can multiply the recipe by 4-5 times, and increase baking time to 1 hr.

For instructions on how to assemble the chiffon mooncakes, please see my previous post. I used similar recipe for the sheet cakes but divided the batter into 4 pastel colours (instead of using strawberry paste/jam).

For making real pastel snowskin mooncakes, see here.

Happy mid-autumn in advance!

With lots of love,

More creative ideas on Deco Chiffon Cakes here!

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Thursday, 30 August 2018

Marshall and Chase Brown Sugar Cookies

This is one of those way overdue posts 😅. I made these Paw Patrol themed cookies for my friend along with the cake with macaron cake toppers some months ago.

Marshall and Chase Brown Sugar Cookies!

Brown sugar cookie and royal icing recipe can be found here. I have always used the same recipe as it is always well received. Brown sugar cookie base may not look as pretty as regular white sugar based ones but they taste so much better!

Just to share some pictures of the process...

I use homemade templates to make cookies of customized shapes.

Icing in progress!

Nearly there!

I tried adding shadows to make the image a little more 3D using edible marker and vodka. I perhaps overdid it a little for Chase...Oops!

Anyway, the little boy was thrilled to receive his favourite characters as yummy treats!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Monday, 27 August 2018

'Baked Mooncake' Macarons with Mung Bean Paste and Salted Egg Yolk

I challenged myself to create mooncake lookalikes last year for both snowskin and baked mooncakes. It took me a few tries to get the looks right as it was tedious and tricky to get all the right "imprints" and mooncake shapes in macaron form. You may read all about it in this post. This year I thought of making macarons that not only look like the real deal, but also taste like it! Presenting my mooncake wannabes!

I didn't plan to make the snowskin version this year as I thought the baked version appears more like the real thing.

I made the mooncake shells concurrently with my Pusheen and Rilakkuma Teachers' Day bake so it's the same batter as Rilakkuma. It was a small batch of 12 mooncake macarons. I also used a bigger piping tip for the mooncake imprints this time round compared to last year as the smaller tip gets stuck now and then with batter. I had a long day of piping many Pusheens and Rilakkumas so I didn't want to go through the trouble of having to unblock the piping tip now and then! Resulting imprints from using a larger piping tip look less refined than last year's but I am not too perfectionistic about that. You may use any of your favourite macaron recipe to make the shells, or any one of my macaron recipes on the blog. What I really want to share in this post is the recipe for the filling as it is unique.

Here's a picture of the piped shells before baking.

Here is a shot of the shells after baking and after the "egg wash" effect was added. I didn't actually brush the shells with egg wash but just painted it such that it has an effect that looks like egg wash.

Checkout the feet!

I made two types of fillings to mimic the traditional mooncake filling: mung bean paste based and salted egg yolk based.

The mung bean filling recipe is adapted from my first attempt at using homemade mung bean paste as macaron filling last year. You may read about it in this post. I didn't need the filling to be really stiff over here since I am not making a macaron structure so the filling over here is quite different from my first attempt. The whole process of making mung bean paste, which is one of the common mooncake fillings, is rather time consuming and tedious. But you have the added advantage of having absolute control over how much sugar goes into the filling. This is quite an important criteria for me when it comes to macaron fillings as macaron shells already have a high sugar content. Do make the mung bean puree ahead of time and you may even freeze it for a long time. When you want to make the macaron filling, you may work with defrosted mung bean puree and you will find it less of a hassle this way. Which was precisely what I did!

I adapted the mung bean paste recipe from Christine's.

Recipe for mung bean cream 
Mung bean puree
200g dried deshelled mung beans
A few pandan leaves, knotted or cut into shorter strips

Mung bean paste
150 mung bean puree
28g brown sugar (more if you prefer sweeter)
24g milk (or coconut milk)
1 pandan leaf cut into smaller pieces
1/2 tsp salt
21g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tsp wheat starch

Mung bean cream
140g mung bean paste
40g heavy cream/ whipping cream

Note: this recipe is catered for macaron filling so it tends to be less sweet but saltier, to be paired with macaron shells that already have high sugar content. Please adjust sugar and salt content accordingly if used in other pastries.

1. Prepare mung bean puree. Wash and drain dried mung beans a few times before soaking overnight. Drain the soaking water and rinse and drain one more time. Transfer beans into a shallow steaming plate. Add pandan leaves and cover the beans with enough water till about 1cm above the beans. Steam for 30-35 min or until beans are soft. Drain away excess water and remove pandan leaves. Press the beans through a fine sieve. You may freeze any excess puree for future use. The 200g of dreid beans suggested here is more than you need so there will be excess.

2. Prepare mung bean paste. Heat milk with Pandan leaf in microwave oven or in small saucepan. Let the leaf steep for 10 min. Discard the leaf. Place all ingredients except wheat starch in a nonstick frying pan or wok. Bring to a boil while stirring with a spatula. Once it's boiling, reduce heat to simmer. Keep stirring until liquid is reduced by two-thirds. Gradually add sifted wheat starch and stir until well combined. Continue cooking the mixture and stirring/kneading with spatula until a soft dough forms and all liquid has been cooked off, about 20-30 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool completely.

Freshly made brown sugar mung bean paste

3. Make mung bean cream. Gradually add cold heavy cream to mung bean paste and use a spatula to mix well. You may use an electric mixer to incorporate the ingredients together or have a workout using the spatula all the way!

Mung bean cream

Transfer into piping bag and pipe this filling in a ring on the bottom shell.

Recipe for salted egg yolk filling 
32g sieved cooked salted egg yolk* (about 2 egg yolks)
32g unsalted butter, softened

1.* Prepare salted egg yolks by cooking the yolks. You may do so in a few ways. Steaming the yolks only or steaming/boiling the whole egg with shell on, and then extracting the cooked yolk. Press the cooked yolk through a fine sieve and measure out the amount required. Cooking just the yolk takes about 9 minutes of steaming. Cooking whole eggs with shell on takes about 15 minutes.

2. Combine the salted egg yolks in part 1 with butter. You may use a spatula or small hand whisk to combine the two together.

Salted egg yolk filling.

Transfer into piping bag and pipe a dollop of this filling in the middle of the bottom shell.

Refrigerate the assembled macarons for at least 24h before consuming. Before consuming, let the macarons rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes.

Here's a closer look at the cross-section...

No hollows! And yums!

I got hubby to help me to do a taste test and he said it tastes like mooncake! My friend who requested for this set of mooncake macarons tried it said it's yummy and not too sweet!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Sunday, 26 August 2018

Pooh, Piglet and Rainbow motif Snowskin Mooncakes

Mid-autumn is coming again! I make mooncakes every year as my hubby and kids, especially my #3, love mooncakes. So making mooncakes is a must for me every year!

This year I used a recipe based on shortening again (instead of olive oil) as it keeps the mooncake softer for a longer time. It is also whiter and prettier. Here is the recipe I used, which makes around 10 50g-mooncakes.

Snowskin Mooncake Recipe (Makes 10 pieces of 50g mooncakes)

200g Kou fien (cooked glutinous rice flour)
160g Icing sugar
60g Shortening
200g Cold water
Pandan paste, strawberry paste, food coloring, charcoal powder (as desired)
360g white lotus paste

1. Divide the lotus paste filling into balls around 20g each. Cover with cling wrap.

2. Sift kou fien and icing sugar together. Mix well.

3. Add in shortening and quickly mix by hand (wearing gloves) until the mixture is uniform and resembles bread crumbs.

4. Pour in the cold water. Use your hands (wearing gloves) and knead the dough until it becomes soft and smooth. Divide the dough into your desired colours/flavours and knead till they are uniform in colour (do not overknead). The gloves help to prevent sticking to your hands.  Cover the dough with clingwrap and let them rest for 10 – 15 minutes before they are ready for wrapping.

5. Divide the prepared dough into 30g balls. Dust your mould, hands and table top with some kou fien.

6. Flatten the prepared dough into a circle with the edges slightly thinner than the centre (I used a cling wrap around the ball to prevent sticking). Put the filling in the middle of the circle and pinch tight to seal the edges. Roll the ball smooth and press it into the mould. Lightly push out or knock out the mooncake from the mould.

7. For the rainbow motif, roll the rainbow colours: pink, orange, yellow, green and blue into thin strips. Align into the rainbow and place it into the mould before you add the mooncake ball.

8. For pooh and piglet, just shape into the animal from the mooncake ball directly. I used mooncake dough with charcoal powder for the facial features. The parts stick easily without needing any additional ‘glue’.

9. After shaping, store the cakes in an airtight container and refrigerate for about 2 hrs for the mooncake to become firming before consuming. The mooncakes stay soft at least for several days, and are still delicious!

Hope you like them! Happy mid-autumn in advance!

With lots of love,
Susanne =)

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Thursday, 23 August 2018

Pusheen and Rilakkuma Tea Flavoured Macarons for Teachers' Day

I had fun with this set of macarons. A bunch of nerdy and studious looking Pusheens and Rilakkumas filled with Matcha or Earl Grey white chocolate ganache for Teachers' Day!

They all seem to be giving teachers the message "Cher, we will study really hard as the best gift we can give you!"

If you aspire to be able to create macarons that have character and speak to volumes to you, I encourage you to get a copy of my books Creative Baking: Macarons and Creative Baking: Macaron Basics. They are companion books and have complimentary focus and content.

Like I mentioned in my second book, I choose the type of method to use depending on size of batch and colour range. For this fairly large batch of macarons, I use the Italian meringue method. I replaced some icing sugar with rice flour and a bit of cornflour as suggested in my second book too on how you can reduce the amount of sugar used if you wish, without compromising structure.

Just to share some photos of the process..

Piping Pusheen shells

Piping Rilakkuma shells

Freshly baked. All 51 of them! Checkout the awesome feet!

I actually made a small batch of mooncake macaron shells as well since it's the same colour base as Rilakkuma so stay tuned for that post!

I filled in the ears of Rilakkuma with royal icing and drew in the details in black edible marker.

I filled the shells with Matcha or Earl grey white chocolate ganache. This is a fairly firm whipped ganache that can allow for storage in air-conditioned room for three days. I scaled down the recipe to a third and reduced the amount of whipping cream used to make the ganache slightly firmer.

Wishing all teachers Happy Teachers' Day! Thank you for all your hard work and dedication!

With love,
Phay Shing

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