Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Bunny Choux Pastries in Macaron Teacups

Here is my contribution to a mental health awareness collaboration hosted by 2 very talented bakers on Instagram @petite.meringue and @macanomnom!

Choux pastry bunnies in macaron teacups, filled with strawberry diplomat cream and with a message that says "You are enough"! 

I had the inspiration from wristbands with messages that hubby bought from Zox. I took part in this collab not as a mental health sufferer, but as a caregiver to hubby who has been suffering from depression for a few years. 

Most healthy people go through times of self-doubt, myself included. But depression sufferers are hammered with the feeling that they are not good enough all the time and they don't have the capacity to think otherwise without external help. Hubby discovered some wristbands from Zox with messages on them and found them helpful as concrete, visual reminders. Some of these messages are Christian based like "Have faith", funny ones like "Pobody's Nerfect" but there are also generic ones like "You are enough", which I have chosen as the message I want to share. By the way, I am not paid by Zox for advertising nor do we agree with all the messages on the range of wristbands they offer. Do look through their range if you are interested and pick those that are helpful for you 😊. 

From a caregiver's perspective, supporting a loved one with mental health condition requires me to firstly take care of myself. Baking is a creative outlet for me that has helped me a lot mentally and emotionally. That's why my bakes are mostly cute and whimsical or sweet and serene. 

I originally wanted to match the colours on the wristband with the bake but while preparing the macaron batter, I decided that I prefer pastel shades. So instead of galaxy themed looking, it became more mermaid themed looking😂. It didn't quite turn out the way I wanted, with the bake and wristband matching, but it did turn out quite me. I like cute stuff with a softer look. I also like "breaking the norm" when it comes to baking so I mixed 2 genres of bakes in this creation and presented them both in non traditional ways.

I used the Swiss meringue method to make the macaron teacups along with another project concurrently. The hemispherical shells are piped on an inverted silicone hemisphere mould. 

As you can see, I piped too much batter for some hemispheres and had to scrape away the excess. Well pobody's nerfect😆! 

You may refer to this post for the choux pastry recipe. I coloured the craquelin and choux pastry batter with some white powder colouring to create the cream colour. Royal icing was used to decorate the bunny. 

I love the endearing look on the bunny's face! 

The words were written with a fine tipped edible black marker and the teacup parts were decorated and assembled with royal icing. 

I filled the teacups with vanilla diplomat cream with some strawberry paste added for the pink colour and some strawberry flavour. 

Recipe for vanilla (with optional strawberry) diplomat cream
2 egg yolks
25g caster sugar (adjust according to taste. This amount is already less sweet. Add more if you have a sweet tooth.) 
1/8 tsp salt 
20g cornflour
200g milk
1 tsp vanilla extract/ paste
15g unsalted butter
80-130g whip topping (non-dairy) or lightly sweetened and stabilized dairy whipped cream*
Strawberry paste/emulco (add a little at a time until desired pastel pink colour achieved) 

* bloom 1 sheet (2g) gelatin in ice water. In the meantime, heat dairy cream until steaming but not boiling, add sugar to taste and dissolve it. Melt bloomed gelatin in warmed dairy cream. Pour into a bowl, press cling wrap on the surface and chill overnight or until firm. Whip with electric mixer until firm or stiff peak before using. Non-dairy whipping creams are pre-sweetened and stabilized so no sugar and gelatin need to be added. Simply whip until stiff peak. 

1. Whisk together egg yolks, cornflour, sugar and salt in a heavy bowl or heavy glass measuring jug. Set aside. 

2. Heat milk with vanilla until it starts to steam but not boiling. Remove from heat and pour into egg yolk mixture in a thin stream while whisking the egg yolk mixture continously. 

3. Pour the mixture back into saucepan and heat over medium-low heat while stirring continuously. Keep an eye on the mixture as it will thicken suddenly. Take it off the heat and whisk continously to prevent lumps from forming. Put the saucepan back on heat and continue whisking and cooking until desored consistency is reached. Cook longer if you prefer firmer, shorter if you prefer runnier custard. Note that if you want to be able to pipe swirls with the cream, cook until it is able to hold a firm peak (peak with a curl at the end) in the saucepan. 

4. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Transfer into another bowl and press cling wrap onto the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 1hour or overnight. 

5. Whip whipping cream according to whether you are using dairy or non dairy. Use less whipped cream if you prefer a richer tasting diplomat cream, more if you prefer a lighter texture of cream. 

6. Loosen the custard by whipping briefly with a spatula. Fold in whipped cream. This is vanilla diplomat cream. You may add strawberry paste a little at a time to achieve a mildly strawberry flavoured, sweet pastel pink cream. 

7. Transfer into piping bag and keep refrigerated until ready to fill the macarons/choux pastries. This cream can store in the fridge for up to a week at 3-4°C. I used a 1M piping tip to pipe the swirls of diplomat cream in the macaron teacups. 

A peek at what the cross-section of a teacup looks like! My kids got to eat this creation 😊. 

The phrase "you are enough" is applicable for everyone, regardless of whether you have depression or not. We would be a lot more mentally healthy if we are able to show compassion to ourselves. We are often our harshest critic, so be mindful of the criticisms in our head. Striving to be better or improve need not involve being harsh with ourselves. It is a fine balance. But once you achieve it, you can remain at peace with yourself, be passionate and joyful about what you pursue, excel to the best of your abilities, yet embracing any mistakes or imperfections in your journey. 

With lots of love,

Phay Shing


  1. Buffy Gardner Huff28 May 2021 at 20:12

    Wonderful Share Phay... Thank you!