Tuesday, 16 July 2019

'Ginger Cats on a Swing' Macarons on Mixed Fruit & Cream Cake (dairy-free)

My friend requested for a dairy-free bake for her 2-year-old twins' birthday. As usual, I ask what the recipients like and she told me they love swings, ginger cats, butterflies, the colours pink and red. She also requested for something less sweet. I took all that on board and came up with this 😊

The cats and swing are made of macarons. The butterflies are made of bean paste dough. I filled the macarons with dark chocolate and raspberry white chocolate. I also used a reduced sugar recipe for the macaron shells, keeping in mind my friend's request. The cake is made up of four layers of chocolate chiffon sponge, and three layers of non-dairy whipping cream, strawberries and kiwi.

I didn't stick the cats onto the swing because I wanted it to be a doll house concept where the "dolls" can be played with. The macaron swing can actually swing too! It took me a while to figure out a mechanism that actually works but is simple enough to put together using whatever tools I have.

I used the reduced sugar Swiss meringue method recipe for the macaron shells. You may refer to this post for the recipe. I added some freeze dried raspberry powder to the shells to colour it and flavour it as well. Just to share some photos of the process...

Piping the cats 

The cats were decorated using royal icing, edible marker and lustre dust. 

I filled the shells with dark chocolate and raspberry white chocolate. 

I experimented with using shaved cocoa butter to replace some of the white chocolate so that the filling is not so sweet but is stable in Singapore's hot weather. The filling has to be relativdly firm as the structure had to be stable.

Recipe for raspberry white chocolate filling
80g white chocolate
10g cocoa butter
20g vegetable shortening
1/4tsp salt
4 tsp freeze-dried raspberry powder

1. Place all ingredients except raspberry powder in microwave safe bowl. Heat at medium power for 10 sec and mix well. Repeat until everything is melted and smooth. Do not overheat.

2. Gradually add raspberry powder and mix well.

3. Set aside at room temperature for 15-30 min to let it firm up to toothpaste consistency. Transfer into piping bag.

Recipe for dark chocolate filling
Ingredients :
40g dark chocolate
10g vegetable shortening
1/4 tsp salt

Same as above for raspberry white chocolate but skip step 2.

I had to use some ingenuity to figure out the mechanism for the swing such that the macarons won't break.

Looking sweet 

Happy cats on the swing 

You may refer to this post for bean paste dough that I used. I used it to make flowers previously but the dough can also be used to make other things like the butterflies here.

I baked the chocolate chiffon cake using this recipe but replaced milk with water for a non-dairy version. I used 2 egg whites worth of batter for each layer of 8" round cake. I used cookie cutters to cut out strawberry hearts and kiwi leaves.

Layering the cake with non-dairy cream and fruits.

I decided to go for simple but sweet looking cake so I just frosted the whole cake and used a small spatula to create patterns on the surface. This is nuch easier than my naked cakes revealing neat layers of fruit and cream because you don't have to be neat at all with this kind of rustic finishing 😊.

Looking sweet! 

Although the macaron swing was a challenge to me, I had fun creating it, along with a simple and refreshing cake!

With love,
Phay Shing

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