Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Dinosaur Choux Pastries on Kiwis n Cream Chiffon Cake (Dairy-free)

My friend requested for a dinosaur themed bake for her son. Her family loves the strawberries n cream cakes I bake so she requested for another fresh fruit n cream cake again. She was game to try choux pastry so I took up the challenge of creating the dinosaurs and backdrop using choux pastry!

The birthday boy and some of the family members are allergic to dairy so this bake is dairy-free (well almost...I still used dairy butter in the Choux pastry case and pastry cream but it's a small percentage in relation to the other ingredients and the birthday boy is able to tolerate.)

I will share the links to detailed recipe of some of the components of this bake but will include detailed recipe of new stuff like dairy-free but rich chocolate pastry cream and the ingredient list for my dairy-free vanilla chiffon cake.

You may refer to this post for the detailed recipe of choux pastry case and the Craquelin on top of it. I chose rather safe colours for the dinosaurs so that any browning will be less obvious. Remember to use a perforated mat for the main body pastry cases as it helps to retain the shape better. Just to share photos of the process...

Piped batter with cookie dough on top before baking.

Freshly baked cases with the various parts

Assembled choux cases using royal icing. The volcano and trunk of the tree are made using a special technique for making cylindrical shaped choux cases shared by seb.pettersson (Instagram)

Here's a peek at the nicely hollow interior of the truncated cone I baked for the volcano!

I had to stop to ooo and aahh at the final Choux creation because it's just so cute and whimsical!

T Rex looks like it ate too much and had to sit down while Brontosaurus looks like it still wants to eat 😆

The pastry cases are not glued to the cakeboard so that they can be filled with chocolate pastry cream just before consumption. Here's the rich and smooth dairy-free chocolate pastry cream recipe. You may scale it up or down accordingly.

Dairy-free chocolate pastry cream
3 egg yolks
30g cornflour
15g cocoa powder
30g caster sugar
300g + 23g soy milk (or rice/ almond milk)
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g dark chocolate couverture (or chopped dark chocolate of your choice. Add more if you prefer even more chocolatey and firmer filling)
20g unsalted butter (or dairy-free butter), room temperature
110g non-dairy whipping cream, chilled

1. Place 300g soy milk, salt and vanilla extract in saucepan and heat on medium low heat until it just starts to bubble at the edges.

2. In the mean time, sift together cocoa powder and cornflour into a heavy heatproof mixing bowl. Add sugar and whisk together until combined. Add egg yolks and 23g of soy milk and whisk until a thick smooth paste forms.

3. Once the soy milk is sufficiently heated, remove from heat and pour in the slow thin stream into egg yolk mixture while whisking constantly. This is to temper the egg yolks. Pour the mixture back into saucepan.

4. Whisk the mixture while heating over the stove on medium-low heat. Once the mixture starts to thicken, remove from heat and whisk until it smoothens out. Put the saucepan back to heat and whisk continuously until your preferred custard consistency. Remove the saucepan from heat to whisk now and then as necessary. Do not use high heat or you end up with scrambled eggs.

5. Once the custard is cooked to your preferred consistency, remove from heat and add butter and chocolate couverture. Whisk until smooth and all the butter and chocolate has melted. Sieve the pastry cream if there are any lumps. Press a cling wrap on the surface of the pastry cream and refrigerate until cool. At least an hour.

6. Whip non-dairy whipping cream until firm peaks form. Use a spatula to gently beat the pastry cream until it is loosened in texture. Fold the whipping cream into the party cream in a few additions until no trace of whipping cream is seen. You may store the chocolate pastry cream in the fridge for a few days in airtight condition

I love the fact that this pastry cream is rich and chocolatey without the taste of soy milk at all! 

I have made strawberries n cream vanilla chiffon cake quite a few times and used the same default recipe because it is always very well received. I adapted this dairy-free version from my default recipe. The only changes I made were changing the liquid from fresh milk to water and using more vanilla extract. I don't have access to rice milk or I would have used it. I didn't use soy milk as I didn't like the idea of having the taste of soy mixed with fresh fruit and cream. I prefer it to have a pure vanilla and milky flavour which compliments a tart fruit like kiwi better.

As this is a larger 8" cake, I decided to bake three separate layers of cakes instead of one large cake and then slicing into three. The ingredient list is for all three layers in total so you may bake it as one tall cake if you wish. I baked each layer for about 45 min with a tray of water at bottom of oven at 135-140℃. Note that baking time will be much longer for a single tall cake.

Dairy-free vanilla chiffon cake
Ingredients (8" round pan with removable base):
5 egg yolks
6g castor sugar
67g canola oil
67g water (or rice milk)
1 tbs vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
96g cake flour

6 egg whites
78g castor sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

You may refer to this post for the steps for making the sponge.

A freshly baked layer of vanilla sponge!

Assembling with non-dairy whipping cream and kiwis. Using acetate sheet helps to keep the assembly neat.

I added 1 tsp of vanilla extract to 300g of non-dairy whipping cream. As the whipping cream is rather stable, I didn't need to add gelatin or icing sugar as stabilizer. Sugar is also already present in the non-dairy cream.

Assembled cake!

I baked a separate orange coloured chiffon sponge for the name and glued it onto the cake using non-dairy whipping cream.

This bake is really a labour of love as I put in lots of care for each component!

If you would like to explore more fun Choux pastry designs, do check out my Deco Choux Pastries book which is currently available at bookstores in Singapore!

With love,
Phay Shing


  1. May I know what brand of whipping cream you are using . Thanks

    1. I use Whip Topping by Redman. Bought from Phoon Huat.