Monday, 28 December 2020

'黑皮牛耶!' Year of the Ox Choux Pastry In Macaron Teacups

It has become a personal annual tradition of sorts for me to put up content to welcome the new year featuring three genres of bakes that are dear to me. It started out with the personal tradition of making the mandarin orange chiffon cake "oranges" but it has since expanded to include macaron teacups with a new year greeting and the Chinese zodiac animal for the year. Since 2021 welcomes the Year of the Ox, I have to wish everyone "黑皮牛耶! Happy New Year!" 

To those of you who aren't familar with Chinese, "黑皮牛耶", the four characters on the macaron teacups literally translates to "black skinned ox yeah" but when read aloud, it sounds like "happy new year" in English. You can see why I can't resist making this pun in 2021🤣

"黑皮牛耶!" indeed! 🤣. Look at their happy and cheeky faces! Black may seem like an inauspicious colour but without this choice of colour, I won't be able to pull off the pun. 

You may refer to this post for details of the mandarin orange chiffon cake oranges. I took a nice photo of just the oranges this year but won't be doing a separate blog post for it because the one in 2016 is comprehensive enough. 

You may refer to this blog post for details on making the teacup macarons. I have been conducting macaron teacup classes and will continue to do so as they are rather popular. 

What is new that I would like to share here is the choux pastry Ox. Some of you asked for the template so I will share it here too. Please refer to this post for the detailed recipe for making the choux pastry batter and craquelin. Add charcoal powder to the craquelin and choux batter to colour it black, preferably sifted with the flour. About 1 tsp will do for a 2 egg portion of choux batter. Baking the pieces for the ox is relatively easy as you don't have to be concerned about browning. The main head piece is made using a 2.3-2.5cm diameter template for the piped circles of batter and 3cm cookie cutter for craquelin cutout. 

Here is a picture of the baked choux pastry cases. I baked some plain uncoloured large choux au craquelin at the same time. 

Prepare some plain coloured choux batter for the horns. If you don't want to prep the batter twice (once for each colour) , you can use halved sliced almonds for the horns. Although you may split the choux batter and colour a portion black while leaving a small portion plain, do note that adding charcoal powder after the egg has been added to the choux batter limits the expansion capacity of the choux bun a little but it will still work.

This is the template for making the ears, horns and arms of the Oxen. 

Stretch this picture to fit an entire A4 paper for the right sizing. I didn't want to switch on my laptop for the original so I took a photo of the template using my phone camera so pardon the shadow😅. 

Piped batter for the small parts. Bake at 175C for 15 min or until horns appear golden brown. You may need to return the long arms to the oven to bake at 130C for another 5 to 10 min to ensure it is totally crispy. 

When cooled completely, carefully use a toothpick to make a 2cm diameter hole at the base for piping in the filling when ready to eat. I always recommend filling just before eating. Use the toothpick to make holes for inserting the horns and ears. Use black royal icing to secure them if necessary. Use more royal icing to add on the facial details. You may dry the assembled choux cases in 70C oven for 20 min to thoroughly dry it out. 

Tadah! Cute little ox! 

I am not providing any recipe for filling because you can fill it with any filling you like and I have shared a number of flavours in our blog that you can choose from. 

Happy New Year to all who have followed us all these years! 2020 has been an eventful year for all. May 2021 be one that is better! God bless! 

With love, 

Phay Shing


  1. Is it possible to order this CNY chiffon set from you? Thanks

    1. Sorry my schedule is full for Jan and Feb so temporarily not taking orders. The mandarin orange chiffons are easy to make and I have given detailed instructions for it. Many bakers have replicated it over the years too since I first made them in 2014.