Sunday, 12 August 2018

Macaron Playground on Strawberries n Cream Chiffon Cake

This has got to be one of the most involved piece of work I have done so far. A customized macaron playground with moveable parts on top of a large strawberries and fresh cream chiffon cake!


You can only guess at what this creation is supposed to mean. I didn't ask the requester 😅. This is my third macaron playground but the first one I am putting on top of a cake.

Characters wearing rainbow coloured exercise suits and different expressions at the playground

Here's a back view to show the step ladder I made for the slide.

Watch the playground in action!

I used the French method to make the characters and Italian method to make the playground structures on separate days of baking. Because the characters have so many colours but the quantity is small. I am not putting the recipe here because you can find them on the blog or in my macaron books.

Freshly baked shells!

I decorated the faces with black edible marker, white gel food colouring dissolved in a little vodka, and peach coloured lustre dust brushed on for rosy cheeks.

Raspberry white chocolate and Earl Grey white chocolate flavours were requested for the filling. As this structure has to be stable in Singapore's hot climate, no butter or cream is used in the filling.

Raspberry white chocolate
Ingredients:
90g white chocolate, chopped or chips form
20g vegetable shortening
1/8 tsp salt
4 tsp freeze-dried raspberry powder

Earl grey white chocolate
Ingredients:
90g white chocolate, chopped or chips form
20g vegetable shortening
1/8 tsp salt
3.5 tsp Earl grey tea powder

Steps:
1. Place white chocolate and shortening in a microwave safe bowl. Heat at medium power for 10 seconds. Mix well. Repeat until melted and smooth.

2. Add salt and mix well.

3. Gradually add raspberry or Earl grey tea powder and mix well after each addition. Do a taste tear. You may add more if you wish.

4. Transfer into piping bag and pipe onto macaron shells. Let the mixture firm up a little in mixing bowl or piping bag if it is too runny to pipe.

Piping raspberry white chocolate

Piping Earl grey white chocolate

I assembled the structure using stiff royal icing and some food-grade materials to create the playground.

I made a three layered vanilla chiffon sponge cake with two layers of strawberries and fresh cream. I won't provide the recipe for vanilla sponge as you can find it here. It is always very well received and goes very well with strawberries and cream.

Just to share a photo of one of the layers of vanilla sponge. I baked each layer using a 5 egg yolks and 7 egg whites recipe and baked in a 12x12" tray.


Previously in my unicorn macaron carousel on top of a strawberries and cream cake creation, I used full dairy whipping cream (35%fat) with gelatin and icing sugar to stabilize. It was really scary as the cream does not hold up for long in Singapore's weather. A lot of care was taken for transport and I warned my friend not to serve until about time to consume so that the cream doesn't melt. I didn't want the case of heart attack again so I decided to use whipped white chocolate ganache to get a very similar yummy fresh cream taste but better stability. I used a mix of non-dairy whipping cream and pure dairy whipping cream to get the best of both stability and taste.

Whipped white chocolate ganache
Ingredients:
75g white chocolate, chopped
200g whip topping (non-dairy whipping cream)
275g dairy whipping cream (38% fat)
1/8 tsp salt

Steps:
1. Place white chocolate in a large and deep mixing bowl. Heat whip topping and dairy whipping cream in a saucepan until bubbles just start to appear.

2. Pour heated cream into mixing bowl and slowly stir in one direction to melt the white chocolate. When chocolate is all melted, add salt and mix well. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

3. Prepare the strawberries before you whip the cream and make sure all cake pieces are cut to size that you want so that assembly can take place once the cream is whipped. Whip the chilled ganache on low speed using electric mixer. Once the mixture starts to thicken. Continue to whip by hand. Watch the consistency carefully. Whip until stiff peak but the cream should still be smooth. Do not over whip.


I used 750g worth of strawberries for the cake.

A peek at the insides

Dowels have to be inserted as the macaron playground is substantial in weight. I let the straws stick out of the cake so that it's easy for the recipient to arrange the playground on top of the cake on site.

Thank God that the whole bake was very well received! Both young and old loved the looks and taste of the cake and macarons!

With love,
Phay Shing

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