My friend is very kind to provide me with the cake toppers and a design for reference. It is particularly helpful during the period when I was in the midst of finishing up all the macarons for the Creative Baking: Macarons book photoshoot. This cityscape design with shooting stars is made out of chiffon layer cake, surrounded by a ring of canned lychees stuffed with lychee rose pudding. I used blue pea flowers to minimize the use of artificial colouring to colour the pudding. As the pudding is custard powder based, I can't make it entirely blue due to the yellow colouring already present in the custard powder. The result is more teal coloured.
Baymax in the city!
You may refer to this recipe for the sponge, pudding and stuffed lychees as the size is the same, 9". The only difference is I replaced 50g of water in the pudding with 50g of hot water to soak 1 tbs of blue pea flowers for half an hour. Be sure to squeeze out as much water as possible from the blue pea flowers to extract as much blue dye as possible. As natural colouring tends to be dull and mild, I still had to add about 1/3 tsp of liquid blue food colouring. I use liquid food colouring to colour the pudding as I find it more even and smooth than using gel.
Use a toothpick to secure each lychee to the cake to prevent them from rolling around during transport.
I baked some black, red, yellow and white reduced-yolk vanilla layer cakes in two 25x30cm trays to create the cityscape and wordings. As the shapes are simple, I used cookie cutters and a fruit knife to cut out the shapes. No complicated carving was required. No marshmellow glue is required to stick the decorations onto the pudding as they will stick naturally :). I only had to use melted marshmellows to stick on the windows of the buildings and the stars to the silver wire tie. Use some lychee syrup from the can to brush onto the small cake cutouts to keep them moist.
Here's the ingredient list for the layer cakes:
1 egg yolk
10g caster sugar
36g canola/vegetable oil
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp lychee flavouring (optional)
60g cake flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp charcoal powder
1/16 tsp red yeast powder
1/2 tsp Queen's yellow natural powder colouring
White, yellow and red gel food colouring
4 egg whites
40g caster sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
You may refer to the steps found in the link above for making chiffon sponge. Divide egg yolk batter and meringue into ratio of 3:1:1:1 for black:red:yellow:white.
Bake for 10 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.
Just to share some photos of the process...
Freshly baked lychee rose chiffon sponge layers. Soft and fluffy!
Blue pea flowers in hot water
Blue colored pudding mixture.
Layering sponge and pudding in 9" springform pan.
My friend kindly took a photo of the cross section of the cake. A sight I seldom get to see :p.
Thank God the cake was very well received by her family as the cake was not too sweet. Her nephew who doesn't like cakes with cream loved the pudding :).
Blessed belated birthday 乐耀! May you grow up to love God more and more each day!
Auntie Phay Shing