Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Teddy Bear Lychee Rose Choux Pastry Class

Quite a few people asked about character Deco Choux Pastry classes and this is what I intend to teach as the simplest but cute design for a full body character. Back to bascics - - - Teddy bear choux pastries!

Please don't ask me to teach trademarked characters because there are copyright issues involved 😂. Techniques learned at class can be applied to those characters and you can make them on your own once you know the techniques. 

This class is suitable for beginners as there isn't a need to be too concerned about browning in oven and the decoration is as minimalist as it can get. I am also sharing how to make a pastry filling that is refreshing and has no additional white sugar added - - lychee rose pastry cream lightened with whipped cream.

Click on this link for more information and to register.

With love,
Phay Shing

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Monday, 13 January 2020

3D CNY Cartoon Rat Chiffon Cake (Round 2!)

老大,老二 和 老三 wish all of you 鼠年大吉!!

This is the winning caption from my Instagram post. As you know, I am not so good with words, so my friend suggested why not I get others to name the creation instead! hehe

I have shared the recipe in my previous post 3D Cartoon Rat Chiffon Cakes. Here, I added in some red accents to the creation.

I have more rat creations coming up! Hope you are not bored yet! =p

With lots of love,

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招福猫 (Fortune Cat) Lychee Rose Choux Pastries (updated filling recipe!)

I love cats and had a pet cat once so of course I have to take the chance to create a choux pastry version of my favourite animal! Besides making rat choux pastries to welcome the new year, I made fortune cats to welcome the new year too!

There are variations to the name of this cat but I have always called them "招福猫" 

The typical fortune cat is a calico cat and has an arm that waves to 招 or welcome food fortune. I wanted to keep it as simple as possible so I chose to work with plain uncoloured, non chocolated coated versions of the cat (because it is impossible to get the pastries pure white, at most cream coloured) . I used uncoloured cookie dough (craquelin) to control the shape of the main pastry body

You may refer to this post on how to make and bake the basic craquelin and choux pastry batter but just omit the colouring. Baking temperature can be kept at a higher range as browning is not a concern here. For the smaller parts like ears and arms, preheat to 190°C and bake at 170°C until golden brown. For the main parts for head and body, preheat oven to 210°C, and bake at 180°C for 25-30 min, reduce temperature to 150-160°C and continue baking for another 15-20 min to thoroughly dry out the pastry cases. If the insides are still wet, you may cut a hole about 10 cent coin large at the base of the case, return it into the oven and bake at 130°C for 10-15min. Do note that baking temperature and time suggested here are for reference. You need to adjust according to your oven.

Craquelin on top of piped batter. I love using perforated mats for making larger cases for choux as it helps the pastry to rise more evenly in the oven. 

You may refer to this post with a video tutorial of how I assembled the penguin choux pastry to have an idea of how I assembled the cat. I used royal icing instead of melted chocolate as it is easier to work with for more intricate details.

A zester is really helpful for getting the parts of pastry fit together nicely! I used red sour candy for the collar. 

What's new that I would like to share here is my lychee rose lightened pastry cream recipe. I have shared it before in this post but I understand that ingredients like freeze-dried lychee powder is not easily available and homebakers prefer to work with ingredients that are easily available and they don't end up with huge amounts of something leftover that they don't use often. So my new version of the recipe omits the use of freeze-dried lychee powder while maintaining that strong lychee flavour out of a single can of lychees! You may be pleased to know that I also omit the use of castor sugar in the pastry cream because there are elements there that already contribute to the sweetness.

So here are the main flavouring ingredients I use commonly found in supermarkets

Canned lychee and rose syrup for making bandung (a milky rose syrup drink commonly served at coffeeshops in Singapore) 

I don't add a lot of rose syrup in there so not to worry that the pastry cream will be overpowered by floral notes and end up too sweet as well. You may omit the rose syrup and substitute with sugar, or add a bit more if that is your preference. I add only a bit to compliment the lychee flavour and provide  a hint of floral note because lychee is the star here.

Lychee rose pastry cream recipe 
450-500g canned lychees of your preferred brand
6g rose syrup
50g milk
2 egg yolks
20g cornflour
Pinches of salt
15g unsalted butter
80g whip topping (or double cream or whipping cream)

1. Divide the batch of whole lychees into two. Set aside one batch to puree with some syrup from the can and strain it. Weigh out 150g of the puree with syrup. If there is not enough, add more syrup from the can to make 150g in total. Cut the other batch of lychees into 5mm bits but remove the woody parts first. Store the chopped bits in refrigerator.

2. Sift cornflour into a heavy mixing bowl. Add egg yolks and whisk until a paste forms. Set aside.

3. Place lychee puree, milk, rose syrup and pinches of salt into a small saucepan and heat until steaming.

4. Pour hot liquid in a thin stream into egg yolk mixture while whisking continuously. Pour the mixture back into saucepan. Cook over medium low heat while whisking continuously. Once the mixture thickens, remove from heat and continue whisking until smooth. Return back to heat and continue whisking until custard thickens to your preferred consistency.

5. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter. Pour into a bowl and press cling wrap on the surface of the custard. Refrigerate until cool. At least an hour or overnight if you wish.

6. Fold in the chopped lychees.

7. Whip the whip topping until firm peaks form. Fold into the pastry cream.

Top is plain lychee rose pastry cream. Bottom left is chopped lychee and bottom right is whipped whip topping. 

This is how it looks like combining all three! 

Remember to fill the pastry cases jist before consuming if you want to enjoy the pastry crisp!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Rat Choux Pastry in Macaron Teacups

Continuing on from my previous blog post, I decided to have a creation that showcases three of the genres that I work with the most. Rat choux in macaron teacups with some mandarin orange chiffon "oranges" on the side!

The Chinese characters 鼠年大吉 means great fortune in the year of the rat

The choux pastry rats have little feet here (also made out of choux pastry) that aren't present in my previous post.

You may refer to my previous post for details on how to make this simple deco choux design to welcome the year of the rat. The mandarin orange pastry cream I shared is also refreshing and not too sweet. I filled the macaron teacups with earl grey ganache. You may refer to this post on how to create the teacup, including how to pipe hemispherical macaron shells. Details for recipe and how to shape the oranges can be found in this post.

I am still in the midst of adjusting to changes in the new year with the kids starting school again. But do stay tuned for some exciting macaron structure projects in the next month or two! Can't wait to challenge myself with those but also pacing myself so that I don't burnout with many things to juggle.

With love,
Phay Shing
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Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Rat 'Melt-in-the-mouth' Pineapple Tarts

Couldn't resist making melt-in-the-mouth Rat Pineapple Tarts! 🐭 Do you find them cute? =)

Here is the cross section after a bite!

Everyone has their to-go-to recipe. Here's mine below. This year I modified the recipe to add custard powder and corn flour for crispier and more crumbly texture. I added in instructions for shaping the rat too. Hope you like it!

Rat 'Melt-in-the-mouth' Pineapple Tarts (portion is enough to make 58-60 rat tarts)
500 grams Pineapple Jam

227g unsalted butter, cut into chunks, soften at room temperature (2 sticks butter)
60g icing sugar
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
350g plain flour
42g corn flour
5g custard powder
1/2 tsp salt
cold water (few drops if needed)

1. Roll pineapple jam into 8g balls.

2. Using a kitchen mixer with paddle attachment or food processor, mix together plain flour, corn flour, icing sugar and salt. Mix or pulse for a few seconds.

3. Add cold butter cubes and beat on low speed or pulse in a food processor until mixture has the texture of coarse meal.

4. Add in egg yolks and vanilla extract beat until a dough is form. If your dough is too dry, add a few drops of cold water. Do not overbeat.

5. Remove dough from mixing bowl and shape into a ball. Wrap the dough with cling wrap and chill in the fridge for about 30mins.

6. Portion out two portions of 10g dough. Mix in charcoal powder (around ¼ tsp or more if needed) to one portion to make black dough for the eyes. Mix in beetroot powder (around 1/3 tsp of more if needed) to make pink dough for the nose.

7. Divide the dough into 11g balls (58 pieces). Leave the remaining dough for making the ears and tail.

8. Preheat oven to 150°C. Dust the work surface with corn flour.

9. To each 11g dough ball, flatten each dough into a small disc using a rolling pin and wrap with a pineapple jam. Roll the dough with filling into an oval ball, then roll one end between your palms to form a sharp end. Pinch 2 small balls from the remaining dough for the ears and stick on. Pinch another small piece of dough for the tails. Add in the eyes and nose using the black and pink coloured dough from #6.

10. Place the tarts on baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake in preheated oven at 150°C for 28-30 mins (I used a lower temperature to minimize cracking). Leave to cool on baking tray completely before storing in air-tight containers.

My rat army!

With lots of love,

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Thursday, 2 January 2020

Valentine's Day Heart Macaron Bouquet Class

If you are clueless about macarons but want to make something that looks impressive and tastes great (not too sweet), why not join me for this macaron class to make a heart macaron bouquet!

I will cover the simplest method, the French method, as well as some calligraphy tips and bouquet assembly tips. Heart shaped macarons are not just suitable for Valentine's Day, but also for other occasions like Mother's day, teacher's day or any day you want to show your loved ones how much you appreciate them 😊. The fillings I am teaching are dark chocolate ganache and raspberry white chocolate ganache.

Registration link and details of the class can be found here.

With love,
Phay Shing
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