Wednesday 1 October 2014

Strawberry Chiffon Cupcake 'Strawberries' -- Children's Day Special

"What would you like to bring to school for Children's Day?"

"Strawberry cupcakes!"

And so I made some "strawberries" for my younger kid's Children's Day celebration at school :)

I made use of heart-shaped ice cube trays to make the really mini strawberries. The bigger strawberries were baked in eggshells that have been thoroughly cleaned. If you happen to have cakepop pans you could bake in them too! I was experimenting here :p.

I began by making some strawberry puree. Strawberries are in season now so it's cheaper to buy in bulk :). I actually made this earlier so I froze the puree and defrosted it when I was ready to bake.

Ingredients (makes about 24 "strawberries"):
Egg yolk batter
2 egg yolks
16g caster sugar
26g vegetable oil
32g strawberry puree
40g cake flour
A pinch of salt

Food colouring/ flavour
1/2 tsp pandan paste
Green gel food colouring
1/2 tsp strawberry paste
1/2 tsp beetroot powder
1/4 tsp red yeast powder
1/8 tsp red powder food colouring

3 egg whites
32g sugar
1/5 tsp cream of tartar

5g sugar
20ml hot water

1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Position the rack to second lowest position.  Line two 6" square pans with baking paper. Prepare mould or eggshells for baking. Place the eggshells in mini muffin pans.

2. Whisk together egg yolks and sugar until pale and sugar has dissolved. Add oil and whisk until thick like mayonnaise. Add in puree and whisk until well combined. Gradually add in sifted flour and salt and whisk until no flour can be seen.

3. Divide the egg yolk batter into the ratio of 1:2 for green:red batter. Add the above food colouring/flavour into the respective batters and mix well.

4. Prepare the meringue.  In a clean metal bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form and the bowl can be overturned without the meringue falling out.

5. Fold the meringue into the coloured batters in 3 additions.

6. Pour the green batter into the 6" trays. Fill the moulds/ eggshells with red batter. I filled the eggshells with 2 heaping teaspoonful of batter and the ice cube tray with 1 heaping teaspoonful of batter. Try to work quickly to prevent the egg whites from breaking down too much.

7. Bake the green cakes for 10 minutes,  ice-cube tray cakes for 15 minutes and eggshell cakes for 19 minutes.  Baking times are approximate timings as it may differ for different ovens and mould size. Immediately remove the baking sheet and cover the green cakes with another sheet to cool. Invert the ice cube tray to cool. Carefully and gently unmould by hand. To remove cake baked in eggshells, use the back of a metal spoon to crack the eggshells and gently peel the shells off. Pinch the side of the round cakes to make it more strawberry shaped.

8. Use a calix shaped cutter (or star cookie cutter) to cut out leaves for the strawberries. Assemble the leaves by using melted white compound chocolate as glue. Use a toothpick to dot the surface of the strawberries with melted white chocolate to make the "seeds".

9. Dissolve 5g of sugar in 20ml of hot water. Use a small brush to gently apply some syrup onto the cakes to moisten it some more. You may skip this step but I am doing it as a precaution to prevent the cakes from being too dry when consumed. As these cakes are really tiny, they may dry out as you work on it in open air.  Store assembled cakes in airtight container.

Sitting in cupcake liners...

Happy Children's Day! May all of you grow up to be people of wisdom and compassion. The world sorely lacks people of these qualities.

With love,
Phay Shing

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