Tuesday 11 February 2014

Panda and Teddy Bear Chiffon Cupcakes

I am really having lots of fun using the glass bowls to bake chiffon because the possibilities are endless! I really love to make food look cute too when there is a chance to do it and the inspiration strikes, so I couldn't wait to make these cute beary chiffon cupcakes :).

The teddies are Milo flavored (my elder kid's favorite flavor so far) and the pandas are vanilla flavored. Here's the recipe (makes about 6 bears):

Egg yolk batter
2 egg yolks
13g caster sugar
20g Canola oil
30ml fresh milk
38g + 1/2 tsp cake flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
5g Milo powder

3 egg whites
32g caster sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Compound milk chocolate (or Nutella if you are feeling lazy)

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
2. Add 1/2 tsp of milk from the 30ml portion to Milo powder and mix well to form a paste.
3. Prepare the egg yolk batter by whisking the egg yolks and sugar until it turns pale.
4. Add oil, fresh milk and vanilla essence, and whisk until well combined.
5. Gradually add in 38g of sifted flour and whisk until no trace of flour can be seen.
6. Divide the egg yolk batter into 2 equal portions. Add Milo paste to one of them and mix well.
7. Take 1tsp of vanilla batter and mix it with 1/2 tsp of cake flour in a small bowl.
8. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar together in a clean metal bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add in caster sugar until still peaks form.
9. Take 3 tbs of meringue and fold into the small bowl of egg yolk batter. Put the batter into a piping bag with a Wilton No. 3 tip. Pipe the muzzle of the teddy bear into the bowl, with the top of the muzzle positioned at the center of the bowl. Bake for 3 minutes.
10. Fold in the rest of the meringue in three batches for both vanilla and Milo batter. Carefully spoon the batter into the bowls.
11. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 150 degrees Celsius and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Immediately invert the bowls after removing from oven. If you are unable to do this, it is OK to cool the cakes without inverting your bowls/ round molds. The resulting cake will just be a little more dense. Carefully unmold the cakes by hand.

The first response that people give when they see these cuties is "How did you make their ears?!". I made a picture tutorial for the assembly of the teddy bear (the panda is assembled in a very similar manner) so you don't have to solve that mystery :). I made this tutorial the day after I made the cakes and was too lazy to melt some compound chocolate (I didn't have Nutella at home). So I used some peanut butter that is colored with black gel food coloring for illustration.

 The order of the pictures is from left to right, and from top to bottom. The tools that you will need are a small knife (butter knife will do) and a toothpick. Yes, it's that simple :). You don't need specialized tools or molds. If you have a mini melon baller, it will be very helpful but not absolutely necessary.

1. This is a picture of the cake that is undecorated. You may wish to mark the positions of the eyes and nose of the bear with edible food marker.
2. Use the melon baller to mark out the positions of the ears. Press the melon baller firmly against the side of the cake near the base. If you don't have a melon baller, you may use the back the butter knife to make imprints that mark the positions of the ears. It will just be a little harder to make the ears symmetrical without a melon baller.
3. Use the butter knife to cut along the imprints made by the melon baller to a depth of about 1cm.
4. Cut a 5mm wide strip off the top of the bear's head between the ears.
5. This picture should help you understand steps 2-4 better.
6. Tuck in the portion of the cake next to the ears to make the ears more prominent (see the position of my index finger).
7. Gently place the bear on a paper cupcake liner, taking care to pull out the ears a bit.
8. Draw the eyes and nose of the bear using a toothpick dipped in melted compound milk chocolate or Nutella.
9. And you are done :).

Have fun!

With love,
Phay Shing

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