Sunday, 30 August 2020

'Peter Rabbit in Pink' Macaron Picnic Scene on Pandan Kaya Cake

My friend wanted something for her daughter's 21st birthday and booked me way in advance, a year in advance to be exact 🤣. The details of what was to be included in the design was also finalised months before the celebration so a lot of planning went into this bake. The design was to include her favourite character, Peter Rabbit, doing various things that she likes --- reading, swings, baking, sleeping and frisbee. She loves giraffes too so it is in the picture. Presenting my version of Peter Rabbit in pink at a picnic, on top of a pandan kaya cake!

Can you guess the birthday girl's name? My friend also requested for another detail to be added in--a specific type of flower that she named her daughter after, which I made using royal icing. 

Did you guess Edelweiss?

That was not all I made for this birthday celebration. The birthday girl is a vegan so I made extra cake for her that is vegan friendly. Read about it in this blog post for a yummy vegan pandan kaya cake with gula melaka.  

The detailed recipe for pandan kaya cake (non vegan version) can be found in this blog post. You may substitute diabetic friendly sugar with regular caster sugar or more gula melaka (but note that this will turn the bake even more brown). I took the liberty of coating the whole cake with dessicated coconut that is soaked with gula melaka syrup and pandan paste to create a grassy effect as well as add texture and flavour to the cake. 

A cakeboard is placed on top of the cake as the picnic scene can't sit directly on the cake during storage. Pandan kaya cake gives off a lot of moisture during storage and the macarons will turn soggy if stored together. 

Here is a video of the swing in action! 

I used the swiss meringue method to make the macaron shells for the rabbits and french method for the giraffe and swing. I broke up the bake over 2 sessions as the rabbits alone took me 2h to pipe! 

This tray took me 2h to pipe! 

Freshly baked shells! 

Check out the feet on the shells! 

I used edible marker to add in the details, and a little white gel colouring to add in the highlights on the eyes. 

I filled the macarons with chocolate strawberry raspberry ganache. I wanted to match the colour of the filling as close as possible to the swing so I used a mix of white and dark chocolate for making the ganache. No whipping cream is used to make the ganache as I substituted it with homemade mixed berry compote. The compote was made by adding about 10-15% by weight of sugar to the berries used, and cooked over low heat until reduced to almost half the original weight. I added a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice as well. 

Mixed berry chocolate ganache
130g white chocolate (use chips or finely chopped) 
30g dark chocolate couverture
30g mixed berry compote 
1/8 tsp salt
10g vegetable shortening (you may replace with butter. I use the filling for construction so it has to be firm) 

1. Place all ingrefients in microwave safe bowl. Heat on medium power for 10 seconds. Mix well. Repeat heating and mixing until everything is melted. Alternatively, you may melt the chocolate using double boiling method. 

2. Let the ganache firm up by letting it sit covered at room temperature. You may choose to use it as it is or whip it up to lighten the texture before using. Feel free to adjust the compote to chocolate ratios depending on your climate, or replace the white with dark chocolate. I need this filling for construction in tropical Singapore so it has to be firm.

I used royal icing to glue the tray of mini macarons onto the chef rabbit. 

This is the second time I am constructing a macaron swing that works so at least it wasn't as nerve wrecking. You may see my first attempt over here.
This is how it looks like without the rabbit on the swing. I used stiff royal icing for constructing the swing.

I was seriously cute overloaded by this scene, how whimsical it is and how much it reminds me of the Sylvanian family figurines!
This whole project was really a labour of love! Thank God it was very well received!

With love,
Phay Shing

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