Thursday, 31 May 2018

Lemongrass, Tumeric and Ginger Macarons (An experiment with carton egg whites too!)

Even though I have been really busy with book writing and other stuff, I couldn't resist trying out a couple of things...Using liquid egg whites sold in cartons to make macaron shells and this very unique flavour combination...

Lemongrass, tumeric and ginger macarons! All naturally coloured from the spices!

I was inspired by someone from a macaron group to try this flavour out. Since no recipe was shared, I thought I just give it a try based on my experience with baking spiced cookies. I went easy on the ginger here as I didn't want it to be too spicy so even kids are able to take it. You may increase the amount of ginger if you like it spicier. But I must say that the proportion I suggested is a good balance. A great home chef tasted it and said that it's got to be his favourite macaron flavour because it's savoury and hits that umami sweetspot. If you are a fan of aromatic spices, you will love this treat!

This is the liquid egg whites that I tried straight from the carton.


It took longer to whip to stiff peaks than regular egg whites even though I used a higher speed than usual. I also find that the batter tends to be wetter than usual. So my advice is if you want to use liquid egg whites, try using the Swiss or Italian methods where the egg whites are partially cooked. If you want to be lazy and use the French method like I did, be prepared to increase drying time or increase the proportion of almond and icing sugar to counter the increase in water content of the egg whites. Use more icing sugar and almond flour than I suggested in this recipe to be on the safe side. But if you are game enough, my recipe here yields a fantastic texture.

Meringue made from liquid egg whites

Taste and texture wise there is no difference between using liquid egg whites and using fresh eggs so if you don't want to have to deal with excess egg yolks, this would be a great option. Just keep in mind the differences in working with liquid egg whites and fresh egg whites that I mentioned above.

You may refer to this video tutorial that I made for the showing the techniques involved in making macarons using the French merhod.

Lemongrass, tumeric and ginger macaron shells
Ingredients (makes about 12-14 macarons):
50g superfine almond powder
50g icing sugar
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp ground tumeric powder
1/4-1/2 tsp finely ground dried lemongrass (I ground my own from teabags)
1/8 tsp ground ginger powder

Meringue
40g liquid egg whites (or regular egg whites)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp cornflour (optional. I added to help dry up the meringue a little)
36g caster sugar

Steps:
1. Line baking tray with parchment paper. Place a template below if you wish. Set oven rack to lowest position.

2. Sift together all powdered ingredients. Set aside.

3. Make the meringue. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add caster sugar and cornflour and beat until stiff peaks form.

4. Scatter half of dried ingredients over meringue and gently fold until almost incorporated. Add in the rest of the dried ingredients. Gently fold until totally incorporated. Fold and press the batter against the sides of the bowl to deflate some air. Test the consistency often. Once the batter is able to fall off spatula in an almost continuous manner like ribbon and any peaks in the bowl melt back in when you tap the bottom of the bowl, stop folding.

5. Transfer batter into piping bag fitted with a Wilton #10 or #12 tip. Pipe rounds...Or if you wish, do the little chick design. This chick design will appear in my upcoming book too except it will look prettier. I was lazy and used edible marker to decorate everything.


6. Bang tray on table hard a few times to release any trapped air bubbles. Let the shells dry in air-con room or under a fan until they are dry to touch.

7. Bake in preheated oven at 150℃ for the first 10 min and reduce temperature to 130℃ and bake for another 5-10 min. Note that each oven is different so adjust the temperature and time accordingly.

Freshly baked shells! Checkout the awesome feet and full and fluffy insides! Texture wise is perfect too. Crisp and thin outer layer and soft chewy interior!

Lemongrass, tumeric and ginger white chocolate ganache
Ingredients:
66g white chocolate, chopped
6g unsalted butter
20-25g whipping cream
1/4 tsp fine sea salt (a bit more if you prefer really salty)
1/2 tsp tumeric powder
1/16 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp ground and sifted dried lemongrass
1 teabag/ 1 tbs dried lemongrass*
1 fresh lemongrass, white part only, chopped*

* I used a combination of dried and fresh lemongrass as they impart a different aroma and flavour. The dried lemongrass has a more earthy flavour whereas the fresh lemongrass has a sharper, more refreshing flavour. You may stick to either one if you wish.

Steps:
1. Heat up about 50-60g whipping cream until it starts to bubble. Steep the chopped fresh lemongrass and dried lemongrass for 10 minutes. Sieve the cream and weigh out 20-25g (more if you prefer softer ganache and less if you prefer firmer). Squeeze as much cream out of the lemongrass as possible to extract as much flavour as you can.

2. Place white chocolate, unsalted butter, lemongrass flavoured whipping cream and salt in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 20 seconds at medium power. Mix well with spatula. Repeat heating and mixing until totally melted.

3. Add tumeric and ginger powder and mix well.

4. Chill the ganache in freezer for 2 minutes. Mix well with spatula. Repeat freezing and mixing until you are able to whip the ganache to buttercream consistency.

5. Transfer to piping bag and fill the shells. Refrigerate filled shells for at least 24h before serving. Leave the macarons out at room temperature for 10 min before eating.

Besides being yummy, lemongrass, tumeric and ginger have great health benefits too! You can google for the information easily  so I shall not put it here.
Enjoy!

With love,
Phay Shing


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Monday, 28 May 2018

Peppermint Chocolate and Red Velvet Cream Cheese Mini Chiffon Cupcakes

My friend requested for 70 mini cupcakes to give out to his colleagues. A couple of flavours were suggested and I gave my own take to what peppermint chocolate and red velvet cream cheese cupcakes should look and taste like :)

Cooked dough chiffon cupcakes topped with frosting, sprinkles and mini macarons!

I began the bake by making lots of plain heart macarons and chocolate round macarons.

Piped hearts!

I drizzled some melted dark chocolate over the chocolate shells.


You may refer to any of the recipes on the blog for the macaron shells. To be honest I am really busy now that's why I am not providing the macaron recipe 😅. The focus on this post is in the chiffon cupcakes and frosting too.

I used cooked dough method for both flavours of cupcakes as they are both chocolate based. Blooming the cocoa powder in hot oil will help bring out the chocolate flavour of the cocoa powder more.

Mint chocolate cupcakes
Ingredients (makes about 40 38x28mm cupcakes):
4 egg yolks
56g vegetable oil/ canola oil
56g milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tsp Kahlua coffee liqueur (optional)
1 tsp peppermint extract
26g Dutch processed cocoa powder
52g cake flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 tsp baking soda

5 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
80g caster sugar

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 140℃. Set oven rack to second lowest position. Place a tray of water at the base of oven (optional).

2. Prepare egg yolk batter. Sift together flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking soda. Heat oil in a small saucepan until 90℃ (this temperature is higher than what I suggested earlier as I find that the cocoa flavour is more awake with higher temperature) or when you start seeing swirl lines in the oil. Pour the oil into the flour mixture. Whisk until well combined and let it sit for a few minutes for the cocoa powder to bloom.

3. Mix together milk, vanilla, coffee liqueur and peppermint extract. Gradually add milk mixture into egg yolk batter and whisk until combined after each addition. Add one egg yolk at a time and whisk until well combined.

4. Prepare merinuge. In a clean metal bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks form, gradually adding caster sugar once the egg whites are foamy.

5. Quickly but gently fold in meringue into egg yolk batter in three additions. Fill the cupcake cases until about 80% full.

6. Bake at 140℃ for the first 10 min then 130℃ for the next 25-35min or until skewer comes out clean. Use a shorter baking time if using higher temperature and no steam. Cool completely before frosting.

Peppermint white chocolate ganache
Ingredients:
300g white compound chocolate chips
60g unsalted butter
98g heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs peppermint extract
A few drops of liquid green food colouring

Steps:
1. Place all ingredients except peppermint and colouring in a microwave safe bowl or double boiler. Melt over medium-low power for 20 seconds and mix well. Repeat until chocolate is melted and smooth.

2. Chill in freezer for 2 min and mix well with spatula. Repeat freezing and mixing until you are able to whip the ganache to cream-like texture.

3. Gradually add peppermint extract and mix well. Add green colouring a drop at a time until desired shade. Mix well with each addition.

Transfer after into piping bag fitted with an open star tip and pipe a swirl on the cupcake.


 Add sprinkles if you wish. Fill the macarons with the same filling before placing them on top of the cupcakes.

Red velvet cupcakes
Ingredients (makes about 40-45):
4 egg yolks
52g vegetable oil
72g buttermilk (or 65g milk and 7g lemon juice mixed together)
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
72g cake flour
13g Dutch processed cocoa powder
1 and 1/3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp red gel food colouring

5 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
85g caster sugar

Steps:
Same as mint chocolate cupcakes. Sift baking powder with flour and add red gel colouring to buttermilk.

Freshly baked!

Cream cheese white chocolate frosting 
I love this recipe because it's not too sugar overloaded like the traditional cream cheese frosting recipe and yet it's firm enough to pipe and hold it's shape. Increase the proportion of white chocolate if you have a sweet tooth.

Ingredients:
240g cream cheese, room temperature
120g unsalted butter
120g white compound chocolate chips
4 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp salt

Steps:
1. Melt butter and white chocolate together using microwave of double boiling method.

2. Chill the melted mixture in the freezer for 2 min and then mix well with spatula. Repeat freezing and mixing until you are able to beat the ganache until creamy.

3. In a other bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy with electric mixer. Add whipped white chocolate ganache and continue beating with electric mixer.

4. Add salt and vanilla and beat until well combined.

My friend fedback that the cupcakes were yummy!

With love,
Phay Shing



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Sunday, 27 May 2018

Donald Duck Ufufy Chiffon Cake


I realized I have a "thing" for things that are round! =D I find them sooo adorable! So my characters are getting rounder and fatter hehe =p.

This is a Donald duck Ufufy Chiffon Cake for my friend's adorable 2 year old (who is so adorable as well!!). This recipe used is similar to my previous Marie Cat Ufufy Chiffon Cake that I made for my own daughter. It uses the Reduced Egg yolk Angel Cottony Cake recipe that naturally produces whiter chiffon cakes without use of coloring, which I also used my Cloud Chiffon Cake in Deco Chiffon Cake Basics.

Don't you just want to hug the cake?? My friend shared it was so difficult for her to cut the cake hehe.

On another note, school holidays are here, so will be very busy for me again *nightmare* lol. Wishing everyone a blessed week and holidays (for those going oversease)!

With lots of love,
Susanne


                  3rd book (Basics techniques)      2nd book (Deco)           1st book (Rainbow)


Updates:
Deco Chiffon Cake Basics now on Book depository with free shipping worldwide (and on discount)!


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Friday, 25 May 2018

Space Themed Brown Sugar Cookies

My friend requested for some space themed and Mickey and Minnie mouse cookies for her son's birthday.



This is a way overdue post that I couldn't find an opportunity to post earlier due to more pressing bakes to post first. I made a more "grown-up” version of the planets and sun for my elder kid's birthday end of last year. This cute version was actually made months before that 😅.

You may refer to this post for the brown sugar cookie and royal icing recipe.

Just to share a couple of works in progress pictures...

Icing the cookies


Thank God these were so well received that they were all finished during the party along with the cupcakes that my friend baked for her boy, much as mummy wanted to reserve some after the party.

With love,
Phay Shing

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Monday, 21 May 2018

Pulut Hitam and Purple Sweet Potato Chiffon Sponge and Pudding Cake

My mum has diabetes so I have to be creative in coming up with birthday cakes that are tasty but yet low in GI. It is my preference to use wholesome natural ingredients without resorting to artificial sugar and so I came up with this cake that you most probably can't find elsewhere :)


Pulut hitam (black glutinous rice) chiffon cake with purple sweet potato pudding and topped off with sweet potato Ondeh-Ondeh! Absolutely no artificial colouring is used.

I used only Gula melaka or coconut palm sugar as the sweetener in the chiffon cake, and the pudding is adapted from here with only 20% of caster sugar that the original recipe suggested. You may think that this cake will be bland tasting but far from it, it is really flavourful from the harmonious blend of black glutinous rice, coconut milk, pandan, Gula melaka and sweet potato, but yet it is not too sweet!

This cake may appear simple but it is made from scratch with a lot of love. I began by cooking the black glutinous rice porridge. You may refer to this post for the recipe for the porridge. Although I provided the recipe for the pulut hitam chiffon sponge in that post, I tweaked it to make it suitable for baking in a chiffon tin as it needs to be more structurally stable than when you bake a flat layer cake. You may choose to use a recipe that uses black glutinous rice flour but the flour as not as easily available as the raw black glutinous rice grains and I find the flour sold in Singapore isn't as fragrant as the ones from Indonesia that my friend gave me a few years ago. Personally I prefer the version baked by using the porridge. I also usually sneak a bowlful to eat as it is one of my favourite Asian desserts!


Recipe for pulut hitam chiffon cake
Ingredients (for one 17cm chiffon tin or one 15cm chiffon tin + one 7" square sheet cake):
3 egg yolks
33g Coconut oil
180g black glutinous rice porridge
15g coconut cream or coconut milk
80g cake flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp charcoal powder (optional)

4 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
50g granulated coconut palm sugar (use more if you have a sweet tooth as mine is not a very sweet version)

Steps:
1. Set oven rack to second lowest position. Place a tray of water at base of oven (optional). Preheat oven to 150℃.

2. Whisk egg yolks until pale and thick. Add oil and whisk until well combined. Add coconut cream and porridge and whisk until well combined. Gradually add in sifted flour, salt and charcoal powder and whisk until no trace of flour is seen.

3. In a clean metal bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks form, gradually adding in Gula melaka once the egg whites are foamy.


4. Quickly but gently fold the meringue into the egg yolk batter in three additions. Pour into the prepared chiffon tin (and square tray if you are baking a sponge cake to cover the hole of the chiffon cake). Use a chopstick to run through the batter to pop any trapped air bubbles

5. Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 130℃ and bake for another 30 min. Reduce the temperature to 110℃ and bake for another 10-20 min or until skewer comes out clean. Bake the sheet cake for 15 min or until skewer comes out clean.

6. Invert immediately when removed from oven to cool. When completely cooled, carefully unmould the cake from the chiffon tin by hand.


7. Slice the chiffon cake horizontally using a long serrated knife into two, three or even four slices as you wish. I use a ruler and toothpicks as markers to indicate where to slice horizontally. Keep the sliced cake in airtight container while you prepare the pudding.

Recipe for purple sweet potato pudding
Ingredients:
A)
400g pandan water (boil a several torn up pandan leaves in water for 10 min)
16g Caster sugar (please use more sugar if you prefer it sweeter)
1/3 tsp salt
1 tsp agar powder

B)
147g purple sweet potato puree (steamed and mashed)
180g coconut milk

C)
40g cornflour
67g fresh milk
1 and 1/3 tsp coconut oil (optional)

Steps:
1. Place all ingredients in A) in a saucepan. Mix together B) ingredients in a bowl. Mix together C) ingredients in a jug.

2. Bring A) to boil, stirring frequently. Make sure that all the agar powder is dissolved.

3. Add B) to A) and bring to boil while stirring.

4. Stir C) again as the cornflour would have settled to the bottom. Slowly pour in a small and steady stream into the saucepan while stirring the contents in the saucepan. Continue stirring while heating over medium-low heat for another 2-3 minutes. The mixture will thicken.

5. Pour the contents of the saucepan through a sieve to remove any lumps that may be there.

Assembly
You may use a springform pan or flexible clear cake plastic rings like what I used. If using the plastic rings, make sure that you prepare the bottom layer of sponge on the cakeboard with the plastic ring secured before you make the pudding.

1. Place a layer of sponge on cakeboard with the cake plastic ring. You may cover the hole with a round sheet cake cutout from the sheet cake if you wish.

2. Use a ladle to scoop some pudding to cover the sponge. You may layer it as thick or thin as you want.


3. Place the second layer of sponge on top of the pudding carefully. Gently but firmly press it down such that the pudding comes into contact with the sponge.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have the desired number of alternating layers.

5. Cover the top of the assembly with cling wrap. Refrigerate for 2h or overnight. Carefully remove the plastic cake ring.

I chose to decorate with some purple sweet potato pudding flower cutouts and sweet potato Ondeh-Ondeh. You may refer to this post for the recipe for Ondeh-Ondeh.


This cake is really lovely for those of you who love pulut hitam and coconut milk combi but want something not so sweet. My friend who took some extra cake that I made let her parents-in-law try. They loved it so much that she wants me to bake that for her father-in-law’s birthday!

Needless to say, my family enjoyed the cake too! Here's a peek at the cross section of the cake


Update: this is the cake I made for my friend's father-in-law. I put the pudding on top instead of the sponge 😊


The freshly baked chiffon cake looks so inviting I just had to take a photo of it!

I made a bigger 17cm chiffon cake.


With lots of love,
Phay Shing

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Sunday, 20 May 2018

3D Totoro Chiffon Cake


Cute Totoro Chiffon Cake! I hope I captured his innocent, sweet expression well! =p
Briefly, I baked a Bamboo Charcoal Chiffon Cake in a big ball pan and small bowl. The arms and legs are from cake pops from cake pop molds. I joined everything up using melted marshmallows/chocolate. For the white patch, I had reserved 10 tsp plain batter and spooned it into one side of the pan. I made this for a very sweet mother (made it last week during Mother's day but I was too busy to post =p). Wishing everyone a Totoro-rific week ahead! =)

With love,
Susanne


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Thursday, 17 May 2018

'Graduating Potted Cacti' Chocolate Macarons and Chiffon Cupcakes

My friend had a rather unique request for graduation themed macaron/cupcake bake that incorporates plants for a friend who finally completed her ACCA. That's how this bunch of smiley potted cacti wearing graduation caps came about :)


The bake consists of macarons filled with dark chocolate ganache on top of chocolate chiffon cake covered with dark chocolate ganache and crushed oreo cookies. Even the little graduation hats are made of macarons!

I used the reduced sugar recipe for the macaron shells here. Both regular and reduced sugar recipes can be found here. You may refer to my Creative Baking: Macarons book for a systematic presentation of the basics and complex shaped macarons. You may refer to my video tutorials for macaron basics and piping of complex shapes on the blog too.

Just to share some pictures of the process...


Piping the cacti

Piping little squares for the hats

Decorated shells. Checkout the awesome feet!

See how tiny these hats are! I can't provide too much details here because the hats will appear in my upcoming Creative Baking: Macaron Basics book!

The macarons were filled with a firm dark chocolate ganache.


Please refer to this post on how I made the chocolate chiffon cupcakes. I used the exact same recipe.

The cupcakes were topped with a softer ganache than the macaron filling. I made about 120g of soft ganache, using a ratio of 1.5:1 for dark chocolate:cream. I added 30g of crushed oreos into the ganache and topped up the surface with more crushed oreos. This quantity is enough to fill about 18 cupcakes.

Coating the cupcakes with Oreo and dark chocolate ganache 

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

With love,
Phay Shing

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Monday, 14 May 2018

Ufufy Winnie the Pooh Raspberry Custard Cream Puff

I am excited to announce that there will most likely be a Creative Baking: Choux Pastries book in the future as Marshall Cavendish is keen to add this genre to the Creative Baking series 😊. In the mean time, I am having fun trying out various things to gain more experience and see how far I can stretch the boundaries for this genre of bake to create bakes that you probably don't see elsewhere much. I am in love with Choux pastries because for once, it's something that is not that high in sugar content but very tasty. The contrasting but complementary textures is so lovely that it will leave you savouring the moment with a smile :). Crisp outer pastry shell with cold and smooth custard...Mmmm-mmm! Most Choux pastries are so limited in design that it's making my fingers itch to create something more exciting but yummy at the same time. As compared to chiffon cakes and macarons, choux pastries are easy too!

And so, I decided to play around with non-dairy Choux pastry shell recipe instead of my usual butter and milk recipes. This is not the first time I am using a non dairy recipe but the previous designs are possibly items that may go into the book so I am withholding it first. The shells tend to be really delicate and melt in your mouth yet crisp with an audible crunch when you bite into it. Not as flavourful as the butter versions but it's not a big loss because when paired with rich and creamy custard, it is perfect! The colour of the shells is also a lighter shade of brown than the recipe with butter.  Here's my humble attempt at making Ufufy Winnie the Pooh with raspberry custard!

Hubby says they look like they are lining up for a gang fight...

...And this looks like the aftermath of the fight 😆

It's my first time playing around with modelling white chocolate to coat the pastry shells. I think I prefer my previous white chocolate-shortening combination but if I don't try this, I won't know. Or maybe I just need more practice working with modeling white chocolate for Choux pastry. I will not touch fondant for deco as chocolate tastes much better. I am sure you will agree!

I will provide the basic recipe but not detailed steps for making Pooh design so you may still try this out and enjoy a delectable dessert at home.

Raspberry custard filling recipe
Not a fan of raspberry? You may replace with strawberry, blueberry or blackberry.
Ingredients:
2 egg yolks
40g sugar
18g cornflour
4g freeze dried raspberry powder ( leave this out if you don't have freeze-dried fruit powder. Add more chopped fresh fruit instead)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
200g milk
Frozen thawed or fresh raspberry chopped (25g or any amount you like)
10g unsalted butter, room temperature

Steps:
1. Whisk together egg yolks, cornflour, sugar and raspberry powder to form a thick paste. Set aside.

2. Heat milk with vanilla until it starts to bubble. Slowly pour into egg yolk mixture while whisking continuously. Pour mixture back into saucepan.

3. Heat the mixture over medium low heat while whisking continuously. Once it starts to thicken, remove from heat and continue to whisk. This is to prevent the custard from turning lumpy. Return to heat and continue whisking until the custard thickens to the consistency that you like. Some like it rather runny, thickened until it is able to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Some like it so thick it is able to hold a firm peak.

4. Remove from heat and sieve the custard into a bowl. Add butter and mix well. Fold in the chopped raspberries.

5. Press a cling wrap over the surface of the custard and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.


Recipe for light, non-dairy Choux pastry shell
Ingredients (makes about 18-20 small puffs):
100g water
50g olive oil or vegetable oil
60g bread flour, sifted twice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten (about 100g, may not use all)
Yellow gel food colouring (optional. I added to give the pastry a more yellowish hue)

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 190℃ set oven rack to middle or second lower position. Line baking tray with silicone mat or parchment paper

2. Place water, oil, salt and sugar (and gel food colouring) in a small saucepan. Stir continuously while bringing to a boil.

3. Once water is boiling, remove from heat and pour the flour in all at once. Quickly use a spatula or wooden spoon to mix the flour into the liquid until a dough forms.

4. Return back to low heat and cook over the stove for another 2-3 min to let some of the water evaporate. The dough should be smooth, free from lumps of flour.

5. Remove from heat and transfer into another bowl. Use a spatula to knead it for a minute or so and then leave it to cool to at least body temperature.

6. Add half of the beaten egg and mix well until mixture is homogenous using a spatula. Add the rest of the egg a little at a time and mix well between each addition until the mixture is firm but shiny and smooth, and falls off the spatula slowly when scooped up, leaving a letter "V" hanging from the spatula. The mixture should not be too runny or your choux pastry will not rise properly.

7. Transfer batter into piping bag fitted with a large round piping tip or open star tip if you like. Pipe rounds that are slightly smaller than ping-pong ball size, leaving about 5cm between piped rounds.

8. Wet a finger to tap down any peaks in the piped batter to prevent it from burning. Dab some droplets of water into the parchment paper around the piped batter. This is to create some steam to help the pastry to rise more in the oven.

9. Put into oven and reduce temperature to 180℃. Bake for 30-35 minutes. If it is browning too much, you may reduce the temperature to 160℃ for the last 5-10 min of baking time. Do not open the oven door too early to prevent the pastry shells from collapsing. Turn off the heat at leave it in the oven for another 10 min to dry out the shells. Cool completely before filling.

To fill the pastry shells, you may poke a hole at the base and then pipe the filling in. Alternatively, you may cut it in half and sandwich the filling in between. Some like to add in whipped cream to lighten up the texture but I find it optional. Depends on your preference :). Choux pastries taste best when freshly filled so try to keep the pastry shells and filling separate for as long as possible!

Enjoy!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Rose, Osmanthus and Lavender Rosette Macarons

There's a certain charm about rosette macarons and I made these for an event :)

Rose, Osmanthus and Lavender rosette macarons!

I love floral teas so it's been quite like aromatherapy for me by creating these macarons. I made my own floral extracts, flower powder and infused the cream with the dried flowers before making the ganache.

You may refer to this post for the macaron shell recipe. I modified it a little by increasing the icing sugar and almond flour to 40g each. I didn't add any floral extracts or flower powder into the macaron shell so as to let it remain uniformly coloured and in a pastel shade. You may add some flower powder (ground and sifted dried flowers) if you don't mind the shells appearing speckled.

Just to share some photos of the process...

Piping pink rosettes

Cross section of a baked macaron shell

I made the floral extracts by storing the dried flowers with vodka in small glass bottles for a few days. Ideally you should prepare this two weeks before time but I didn't have the time to do it. I compensated it by packing each bottle full of flowers. Store the bottles in a cool and dark place. Give the bottles a little shake now and then.

Homemade floral extracts!

I brushed a little extract on the underside of the macaron shells and added some to the ganache.

I used a coffee grinder to grind the dried flowers and sifted them. I must admit that it wasn't easy to get the rose powder as compared to lavender and osmanthus. Anyway I used some rose water to enhance the rose flavour such that it is still strong despite less powder used.

Rose, Osmanthus and Lavender powder

I added the flower powder into the ganache. You may add to the macaron shells if you wish.

Recipe for whipped floral ganache (piped as roses)
Ingredients (enough to fill 15-18 rosette macarons):
132g white chocolate, chopped (or compound white chocolate chips if you are afraid of overheating white chocolate)
12g unsalted butter
12g vegetable shortening
3/8 tsp salt
36g heavy cream with dried flowers infused*
1 tsp osmanthus or lavender extract, or 1 tsp rose water + 1/4 tsp rose extract
1.5 tsp dried osmanthus powder, 1 tsp lavender powder or 1/4 tsp rose powder
A drop of gel food colouring

Note that I am making a stiff version of ganache as Singapore is rather warm. You may add more cream if you wish.

* Heat about double the amount of cream required until it starts to bubble. Pour into a bowl with 1 tbs of dried flowers (2 tbs for dried rosebuds). Let it steep for about 15 min at room temperature. Cover and let it continue steeping in the fridge for several hours or overnight. Strain the cream and weigh out the amount needed to make the ganache.

Other logistics
Flower nail
Baking paper cut into small squares for each piped ganache rose
Petal piping tip

Steps:
1. Place all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and melt it at medium low power for 20 seconds. Mix well with spatula. Repeat until completely melted and smooth. Alternatively, you may use double boiling method to melt the chocolate and all the ingredients together

2. Chill the bowl in freezer for 2 min. Stir with spatula and return to freezer for another 2 min. Repeat freezing and whipping the ganache until texture lightens up and is smooth and creamy.

I love the natural colour of osmanthus from the extract!

3. Add a small drop of gel food colouring and mix well. Transfer the whipped ganache into piping bag fitted with a small petal tip (I used Wilton #101). Dab a little ganache onto the flower nail and stick a small square of baking paper on it. Pipe a rose on it and transfer the paper with the rose onto a baking tray. You may Google for video tutorials on how to pipe the roses. Sorry I didn't do a video tutorial for this 😅. It is advisable to use a small round tip to pipe a cone before piping the petals using the petal tip but I didn't want to waste resources by using an additional piping bag and tip so I just used the petal tip to roughly pipe a cone in the middle.

Tray of piped roses. I don't pipe it perfectly because to be honest, this is the first time I am piping them!

4. Freeze the tray of piped roses until firm. The ganache in piping bag may soften until it becomes difficult to pipe due to hear from you hand. If that happens, empty the piping bag and chill the ganache again. Rewhip and fill the piping bag.

5. Pipe some ganache in the middle of the macaron shell. Quickly add on the flowers using tweezers or chopsticks. Top up the middle with more ganache of necessary. Gently place the top shell on. Press it down a little after the ganache roses have soften a little. Return the tray of piped roses into the freezer if they get too soft to handle. For this reason, I piped each coloured rose on a few small trays such that at any time, one or two trays are chilling in the freezer.

Adding the ganache roses

I love this pretty sight!

You may leave the assembled macarons as they are or add on leaves like I did. I prepared vanilla white chocolate ganache that is coloured green for the leaves and used a small leaf tip to pipe the leaves between the roses.

Rose macarons

Lavender macarons

Osmanthus macarons

I must admit that making the filling took longer and was much more tedious than making the macaron shells for once! Thankfully at the end of it all I was rewarded with a pretty sight :)

With love,
Phay Shing
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