The characteristic head shape is made with the help of eggshells so yes, each Peppa head was baked in an eggshell!
Lychee flavour was requested so I made some lychee puree...
Blended and strained canned lychee with syrup
I couldn't get hold of fresh lychees so I used canned ones. The good thing about this is the lychees can be blended in syrup that is saturated with lychee flavour, thus increasing the lychee flavour in the cakes. I didn't measure the exact amounts. I just blended about 9 lychees in enough syrup to cover the fruits.
Ingredients (makes about 15 eggshell cupcakes and one 7" square layer cake):
3 egg yolks
20g caster sugar
42g canola/ vegetable oil
45g lychee puree with lychee syrup
60g cake flour
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
Red, white and pink gel food coloring
4 egg whites
40g caster sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1. Line 7" tray with baking sheet and arrange eggshells on a mini muffin pan lined with silicone cupcake moulds or use aluminium foil with holes poked in covering a baking tray to be your eggshell holder if you don't have what I used. Preheat oven to 160°C and set rack to second lowest position. The 7" tray is for the layer cake for Peppa's head features like eyes, ears, rosy cheek, mouth and nostrils. Make sure that the inner membrane of the eggshell is removed.
2. Beat egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Gradually add oil and whisk until thick like mayonnaise. Gradually add lychee puree and whisk until well combined. Gradually add sifted flour and salt and whisk until no trace of flour is seen.
3. Scoop out 1.5tsp of egg yolk batter into 3 small bowls. Add red, pink and white food colouring into respective bowls. Add pink colouring to main egg yolk batter.
4. Prepare the meringue. Use an electric mixer to beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in meringue into each of the egg yolk batter in three additions. Add about 4tbs of meringue into each of the small bowls.
5. You may find it easier to transfer the main batter into a piping bag or batter dispenser to quickly fill all the eggshells to about 1/2-2/3 full. Scoop out the three coloured batter and some of the main batter into the 7" tray. Bake the layer cake for 10 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Bake egg shells for 10 minutes at 160°C followed by 140°C for 7-10 minutes. Baking time may vary according to size of eggshells used. Mine were 60-65g eggs.
6. Immediately remove layer cake from pan and gently peel off baking sheet. Cool with another sheet over it. Leave egg shells to cool completely before cracking the shells and carefully removing them. Use a small sharp knife to make a cut on the eggshell baked cake to create the snout and face of Peppa.
7. Melt some marshmellows with a bit of water as glue to stick on the ears, eyes, rosy cheeks, mouth and nostrils. It was quite challenging to stick the mouth and nostrils on since the parts are so small and thin! Keep a small bowl of syrup handy to keep the cakes moist by brushing syrup on. Do use the lychee syrup if you have! It will enhance the lychee flavour of the cakes. Keep the cakes and small parts covered to prevent them from drying out. Dissolve some charcoal powder in water to make black ink. Use a chopstick to stamp on the blacks of the eyes.
Almost done! A little spooky without the blacks of eyes...hehe..
All packed and ready to party!
It was tiring and challenging to complete all three sets of Peppa themed bakes (cookies, macarons and cupcakes) for one party but very rewarding to receive very good reviews for the bakes :).