Friday 31 July 2015

Tinkerbell Tier Chiffon Cake

This is a Tinkerbell-themed Tier Chiffon Cake for a very dear friend’s daughter Eva! The cake was inspired by the fairy’s home in the Enchanted Forest, among the giant vines, flowers, pink mushrooms and butterflies! The cake was green, pink and purple-themed according to Tinkerbell, hence perfect for the pandan chiffon cake (green) and strawberry chiffon cake (pink) lover. I had shared about the mushroom chiffon pops previously. The green vines were made from pandan chiffon cake swissrolls. Thank God the cake was well-received and she looked so cute and happy! It’s a great joy to bake for those we love isn't it! =)

With love,

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Assorted Rainbow Cookies

I have a request for some specific colourful cookie designs. Here they are :).

The rainbow clouds shortbread cookies are not new. They are really easy to make and are a perfect treat for Children's Day or Teacher's Day :). Please refer to my old blog post for the recipe and picture tutorial for shaping the rainbow without cookie cutters. Just to share some pictures of the process...

Shaping process

Freshly baked rainbows!

The heart shaped cookies are brown sugar cookies decorated with royal icing. Recipe for the cookies and icing can be found here.

Roll the cookie dough to 5-6mm thick. I used a 6.5cm heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out the cookies.

Just to share some photos of the icing process...

Use edible marker to draw lines before icing. Wait for white stripes to dry before icing the rest of the colours. Use a toothpick to nudge the icing to fill the heart shape nicely along the boundary.

Wait for red icing to dry completely before adding in the white dots. Use a Wilton #2 tip to pipe the dots.

I oven dried the cookies to speed up the drying process by using the fan mode and heat turned on for several seconds. Remember to store the cookies in airtight container after they have completely cooled/dried. They can keep well for a month.

Love the fact that these simple cookies look so sweet, cheerful and yet elegant at the same time :). Hope these rainbows brighten up your day!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Tuesday 28 July 2015

Dinosaurs Paradise Cocoa-Pandan Chiffon Cake (with Chocolate Chiffon Volcano!)

This is a cute chibi version of dinosaurs basking in their paradise. I made the dinosaurs by baking chiffon cake batter in these tiny cake molds. I got them from overseas but I think my friend found it at Phoon huat. I also made a cute volcano out of chocolate chiffon cake baked in a small round bowl and used it to hide marshmallows in the tube hole. The chiffon cake is all naturally coloured. The dual tone chiffon cake is made of pandan chiffon cake (top) and chocolate chiffon cake (below). I also used the excess chocolate batter to make small swissrolls for making coconut trees, with leaves cut from pandan chiffon layer cake.

Thank God the cake was well-received! My friend said it tasted like ogura cake, which means the steam baking worked! =)

With lots of love,

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Soccerball Macarons (no refrigeration required)

Here are my soccerball macarons along with the request for soccerball cookies :)

As refrigeration was an issue for storage and these macs have to be displayed outdoors in hot and humid Singapore, I chose fillings that can withstand higher temperatures - dark chocolate, white chocolate and peanut butter!

Simple white round shells were baked for the base so I will not go into details for making the shell. You may refer to this post for making white shells (just use regular icing sugar unless you want rose scented shells). Just use a Wilton #12 round tip  (about 6mm hole) to pipe circles. Use a template under the baking sheet for more regular circles.

Freshly baked shells!

In order to make many soccerballs with the right patterns, you need to use a template. I made one out of clear plastic cut out from a plastic file.

Wash the template and dry it before using it on the macaron shells.

Place the template over the shell and use an edible black marker to trace out the pentagons. Carefully lift off the template so as not to smudge the ink that is still wet on the shell.

Fill in the lines connecting all the corners of the pentagons to form hexagons.

This was how many I had to make!

You may fill in the pentagons with black marker, leaving your final product icing-free. But I find that icing the shells with black royal icing looks better. I coloured the icing with charcoal powder. Use a very fine tip (Wilton 1s) to pipe on the patterns.

Let the icing air-dry completely before filling them. For the peanut butter filling, simply fill a ziplock/piping bag with some of it, snip a corner off and pipe onto the shells. For the chocolate, choose any of your favourite chocolate bar for eating (I used Meiji), chop it up finely and melt over a double boiler or in a microwave oven. If you are using the microwave oven, heat the chocolate at bursts of 10 seconds at medium high power, stirring in between bursts of heating until you get a smooth paste. If the chocolate is runny, let it sit on the counter for a while until it firms up to piping consistency (slightly runnier than peanut butter) before transferring into a piping bag.

You may refrigerate assembled macarons for 15 minutes to let the chocolate firm up if you want to speed things up.

Filling up some shells

This is one of the easier fancy macarons to make since you only have round shells to pipe. Give it a try if you are planning for some soccer themed party :). These were very well received!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Saturday 25 July 2015

Peppa Pig Family House Chiffon Cake

It's Peppa Pig again! This time it's Peppa pig with George and Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig! They needed a house to live in so I built them a house on the hill, made from chiffon cake! =) That's right! The hill is made from pandan chiffon cake steam-baked in a wilton ball cake tin. The house is made from lemon chiffon cake (colored with Queen's tumeric-based coloring). The base is a dual tone chiffon cake made from Pandan chiffon cake (bottom) and Blue pea flowers/vanilla chiffon cake (on top). I will be detailing more about some of the features like the sun and trees soon in a book we are working on, so stay tuned!

Thank God so much it was super well-received! =)

With love,

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'Dinosaur' Strawberries n Cream Chiffon Cake II (with new baking technique)

I have a request for the exact same dinosaur cake that I made last year for a little boy named Nathan. This birthday boy is also called Nathan! Except that an orange dinosaur with green spines and yellow spots is requested this time :). I was afraid that this fella would turn out looking psychedelic. But he's rather cute don't you think? :p

The design may be similar but I made quite a few changes this time. Dino is of course orange flavoured to match the colour. Vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream (smbc) is used instead of non-dairy cream as it holds up much better in Singapore's hot and humid climate. My first dino cake was made before I discovered how easy it is to make smbc. The method of baking the base cake is also different. Instead of baking a thin green layer cake and cutting it to fit the bottom plain vanilla chiffon sponge, I decided to be adventurous and bake a two-toned base cake to cut out the hassle of baking a separate cake, carving and then assembling it.

This bake involves quite a few things to bake...

First, the brown sugar cookies with blue total icing was made.

Next, thin layer chiffon cakes were baked for black, white, yellow, green and brown. A thick layer cake was baked for the green spines. I made use of flavourings to color the various colors. Lemon paste for yellow, Pandan paste for green, cocoa powder for brown and charcoal for black.

Here comes the fun part of making Dino. I won't go into details of how to make the chiffon cakes but state the ingredients and baking time for the various parts. You may refer to the section on vanilla chiffon cake below for that. I prepared a tray of water at the bottom of the oven to introduce steam during baking so your baking time will be different from mine if you don't use steam baking.

Orange chiffon cake dinosaur
Ingredients (makes about 2 dinosaurs):
2 eggs
10g caster sugar
28g vegetable/ canola oil
28g orange juice
1g orange zest
40g cake flour
Pinch of salt
1 tsp orange emulco
2 drops of orange gel food colouring

3 egg whites
1/5 tsp cream of tartar
30g caster sugar

Baking temperature and time for parts:
Feet: Baked in round silicone ice cube tray for 13 minutes at 160°C.
Neck and tail: Very thin layer cake baked in 6" square tin lined with baking sheet for 9 minutes at 160°C.
Head: Baked in eggshells that have inner membrane removed. Baked at 160°C for 5 minutes, 150°C for 10 minutes followed by 140°C for another 5-10 minutes. Note that baking time varies according to shell size. Test with toothpick for doneness.
Body: Baked in 8.5cm diameter round bottomed glass bowl at 160°C for 5 minutes, 150°C for 10 minutes followed by 140°C for another 20-25 minutes. I filled the bowls until about 80% full.

Freshly baked and unmoulded parts

Assemble with melted marshmellows. As the orange cake is really soft, I had to use a brown sugar cookie base to stabilize the head by passing a wooden skewer from the head, through the neck and body and into the cookie base under Dino. I didn't paint on the black parts of the face but used black chiffon cake instead.

Without spots!

With spots!

Store Dino in an airtight container in the fridge. But brush him with syrup before doing that. Dissolve 5g of sugar in 20ml of hot water to make the syrup.

You have heard never to grease your tins for baking chiffon cakes. I greased both the base and sides of the tins used to bake both 9" round layer cakes. This is possible as it is not a very tall cake and I didn't invert to cool. I borrowed the baking technique for souffle cheesecakes that makes use of gradually decreasing oven temperature and baking with steam or water bath. I made the batter using standard chiffon technique. Here's the result of a freshly baked and cooled cake. Nicely smooth, moist and have minimal shrinkage.

9" diameter and 1.5" tall tin

Remember to grease the tins generously with oil or butter or you may have difficulty removing the cake. The reason why I don't line the tins with baking sheet is because baking sheet tends to wrinkle during cooling. Your cake will end up looking wrinkly. The cake needs to be in contact with the tin in order for you to get a nice shape. If you are baking for home consumption without bothering if the exterior looks nice, you may line the base of the tin.

Here's my freshly unmoulded two-toned layer!

Vanilla chiffon cake
Ingredients (makes two 9" thick layer cakes):
6 egg yolks
30g caster sugar
84g oil
84g milk
120g cake flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 drops green gel food colouring

8 egg whites
80g caster sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1.Prepare a deep tray of water at the base of the oven. Preheat to 150°C. Use an oven thermometer if possible. I use one all the time. Set the oven rack to second lowest position, just above the tray of water.

2. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale. Gradually add oil and whisk until well combined. Gradually add milk and vanilla and whisk until well combined. Whisk in sifted flour and salt gradually until no trace of flour is seen.

3. Prepare the meringue. Beat egg whites until foamy with electric mixer. Add cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form, gradually adding sugar while beating.

4. Fold the meringue into the egg yolk batter in two additions.

5. Pour the batter slowly into the two tins. For the two toned cake, pour the green batter first. Use a spoon to scoop the plain batter on top, making sure it lines the side of the tin. I used a ratio of 3:1 for plain:green batter for two tins, one plain and one two-toned. Tap the tins on the table to release trapped air.

6. Bake for 15 minutes at 150°C, 15 minutes at 140°C, 15 minutes at 130°C and then switch off the heat but keep the oven door closed for another 15 minutes. Cool the tin completely before removing the cake.

Finally, make the smbc. You may choose to make this earlier and freeze/refrigerate it first. Just rewhip before assembly.

Vanilla bean smbc
150g egg whites (about 4 large eggs)
100g caster sugar
1/8 tsp salt
270g unsalted butter (I use Lurpak)
2 tsp vanilla bean paste*

Please refer to this post for the steps.
* you may replace with vanilla extract but the paste has a richer flavour.

Assemble the cake with fresh strawberries.

Assemble the whole cake with trees, grass, Dino and words. Brush the surface of cake parts with syrup.

Keep the cake refrigerated until it is time to serve.

With love,
Phay Shing

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Thursday 23 July 2015

Totoro and friends Chiffon Cake!

As I'm writing this, the song "Totoro, totoro" rings in my head! I’m a huge fan of Japanese anime thus was really happy when I got a request for Totoro! It's been my dream to make Naruto or One Piece hehe. He wanted not one but all 3 Totoro for his wife and requested for standing configuration (else I wouldn’t be so adventurous!). So here is my valiant attempt =).

The big Totoro is made of charcoal and matcha chiffon cake from an oval bowl, the medium and chibi Totoro from chiffon cake in an egg shell and cake pop respectively. The base cake is pandan chiffon cake on top with blue pea flowers/vanilla chiffon cake below. I was trying to recreate Totoro sitting on a cluster of trees.

Thank God it was well-received! The wife almost couldn’t bear to cut it! =)

With lots of love,

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Wednesday 22 July 2015

Soccer Ball Brown Sugar Cookies

I have a request for bakes after a soccer match that can withstand outdoor display in hot and humid Singapore for some time. The best candidate is of course brown sugar cookies! These cookies are yummy and are baked using a cookie recipe that is adapted from gingerbread houses, which do very well staying out in the open for a long time.

I made these soccerball cookies along with some soccerball macarons! Macarons with "heat-resistant" fillings of course :p.

A corner of the soccer field with soccer ball as centerpiece display

Brown sugar cookie and royal icing recipe can be found here. I used charcoal to colour black.

I rolled the cookie dough to 6mm thick. The cookie cutouts are about 6.5cm in diameter using a round cookie cutter.

Here's how I iced the soccerball design on the cookies. It's best to let the cookies rest for a day after baking before icing them.

I made a soccerball template using clear plastic cut out from a file. Cut out the pentagons with a sharp knife. Use black edible marker to trace and fill the soccer design.

Ice the cookies with black royal icing using a Wilton #2 tip. Start by tracing the outlines drawn above. Let the outlines dry before filling.

Fill the pentagons with black icing. Next, fill the hexagons with white icing.

Dry the cookies in the oven for about half an hour to an hour with the fan on but heat turned on only for a few seconds at the lowest setting. You may dry them in aircon room overnight too. Store the cookies in airtight container. They can keep for a month.

Make the centerpiece by baking a large round cookie. Make the corner flag by icing a red triangle with a lollipop/ cakepop stick at the side on a baking sheet. Make sure the icing covers the entire stick that is in contact with the icing. Dry overnight or in the oven for a couple of hours with the fan on. Do not attempt to remove from the baking sheet until you are very sure it is dry. Gently peel the baking sheet off to avoid breaking the flag.

Use a sharp object like a needle or toothpick to carefully make a hole in the cookie where the corner flag is supposed to go. Carefully insert the flag. Ice the corner marking with white icing. Let the white icing dry before adding the grass.

Add icing sugar to the royal icing prepared earlier for icing the balls to create a very stiff icing. Colour it green and use a Wilton #223 tip to pipe the grass on. I didn't have the tip when I piped so I used a #2 round tip. You can imagine my hand cramped by the time I was done with that patch of grass! Use this very stiff icing to secure the soccerball to the base cookie. If you prefer a firmer attachment, you may insert a short length of toothpick like I did.

Let the whole assembly dry overnight before storing in airtight container.

These cookies were very well received as usual :). Do give this easy cookie recipe a try. So far all the reviews have been good!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Sunday 19 July 2015

Pastel Chiffon Cake Rainbows

I love rainbows. I first made these cheerful chiffon cake rainbows almost 2 years back at the start of my chiffon cake journey to thank my son’s principal. Since then, I have made these special rainbows once in a while for dear friends like for my friend’s Rainbow baby. This is the improved updated version for a smaller 6-inch tin, and of course I have improved my piping skills in the meantime =p. These chiffon cake rainbows have a special place in my heart. Hope you will love these pretty chiffon rainbows as much as I do!

Freshly unmoulded cake!

Cut the cake into two. Tada... two chiffon cake rainbows! =)

Recipe with pic tutorial is now in Creative baking: Chiffon Cakes!

With lots of love,
Susanne =)

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Lightning McQueen and Car Tyre Macarons

Here are the Lightning McQueen and car tyre macarons that joined the traffic light and checkered racing flag shortbread cookiepops and Lightning McQueen brown sugar cookiepops at a party!

The car tyres are made with chocolate shells and filled with cookies n cream swiss meringue buttercream. The McQueens are strawberry flavoured shells with strawberry swiss meringue buttercream. You may refer to the recipe from my Mickey and Minnie macaron post for the recipe for the car tyres, and my Mickey Mouse gloves and pants macaron post for the recipe for McQueen. I froze the McQueen shells which I made at the same time as the Mickey pants to help to save time. Just place baking sheets between layers of shells and store in airtight container in the freezer. Bring the shells to room temperature before opening the container. Don't worry, the quality of the shells are not compromised by freezing :). Macarons freeze very well.

Just to share some pictures of the process...

Piping out McQueen shells. Use a Wilton #12 round tip for this

Freshly baked McQueen shells!

The car tyres are just plain round macarons but with the tyre features added on with royal icing. I used two circle cookie cutters to print on concentric circles with royal icing as guides for me while I iced by piping using a Wilton #2 tip.

Freshly iced car tyres! Mostly done by freehand!

Icing McQueen was more challenging as there are a lot more details to add. I did all of it by freehand, using the shape of the macaron shell as a guide for each feature. Most of it was painted on with a toothpick. Thankfully I only made 6 of these! You may use a plastic template to trace out the features like I always do for cookies with complex designs. But you have to be very careful not to let the marker ink smudge as the macaron shell is not going to be fully flooded by icing to cover up the smudges.

Freshly iced McQueen!

Filling up with strawberry swiss meringue buttercream

Filling up with cookies n cream filling

Refrigerate in airtight container for at least 24h before serving.

With love,
Phay Shing

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Thursday 16 July 2015

Lightning McQueen Brown Sugar Cookiepops

Here are the Lightning McQueen cookiepops that were at the same party as the traffic light and checkered racing flag cookiepops :).

I used brown sugar cookie as the cookie base as usual as it tastes and smells really good! You may find the recipe for brown sugar cookie and royal icing here.

Wrapped up for the party!

Just to share some photos of the process...

I sandwiched an ice-cream stick between two cookie cutouts that are 4mm thick.

Cutting out the dough using homemade plastic template.

Freshly baked cookiepops!

Tracing and drawing the outline and details with edible marker and template

Icing in progress!

Finally finished! I flooded with orange and yellow icing at the same time, then used a toothpick to merge the two colours a little to create a gradual shading effect.

Icing McQueen requires quite a bit of patience as there are many details involved. I am glad that there are only 5 to make :p. Cookiepops aren't the only things I baked for the party. Keep a lookout for Lightning McQueen and car tyre macarons!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Wednesday 15 July 2015

Cars 2-Tier Chiffon Cake

This is a Cars-themed 2-tier Chiffon Cake I made for a dear friend's son! The top is a Checkered chiffon cake using Reduced egg yolk vanilla chiffon cake with Charcoal black chiffon cake squares. It looks simple but turned out to be really tedious to make! The bottom is a Dual tone Sky-sand Chiffon Cake with Vanilla (blue pea flowers) on top and Chocolate chiffon cake below separated by wavy lines, like the previous Cars chiffon cake. Like the previous cake, I made some Cactus from mini pandan chiffon cake swissrolls. This time round, I also added a Traffic light cut from charcoal chiffon cake with tiny strawberry, pandan and orange chiffon cake dots, as well as a cute Traffic cone, made from orange chiffon cake baked in a paper cone hehe!

Thank God it was very well-received and my friend said it was really yummy and could taste the orange chiffon even in the mini cone!

With lots of love,

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Monday 13 July 2015

Singapore Flag Strawberry Yoghurt Chiffon Cakepops

I bought some new Tovolo heart shaped ice cube trays that are bigger than the current one I have in preparation for a big longevity peach bake in the near future. Since I have a little time now, I thought why not try out these trays with a simple bake. I completed baking, assembly and blogging in a day! Along with other chores, coaching kids, cooking and bakes! Here are my cute Singapore flag chiffon cakepops :)

Ingredients (makes about 12-14 cakepops*):
2 egg yolks
10g caster sugar
28g canola/ vegetable oil
16g strawberry yoghurt (I used Meiji)
16g fresh milk
1/2 tsp strawberry paste
1/3 tsp red yeast powder (omit if not available)
A tiny drop of red gel colouring
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
A few drops of white gel colouring (optional)
20g + 20g cake flour
Pinches of salt

3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
30g caster sugar

* You may use heart shaped moulds from Daiso as well. I baked my longevity peaches in them before and it worked fine. Much cheaper than these Tovolo ones :p. Do note that baking time will vary depending on type of mould you use and every oven behaves differently. I always use an oven thermometer during baking to ensure consistency.

1. Line a 6" square baking tray with baking sheet. Very lightly grease the ice cube trays with oil. Set oven rack to second lowest position. Preheat oven to 160°C. Prepare a tray of water at the bottom of the oven. This last step is optional if you don't want to steam bake. Note that baking time may be 5- 10 minutes shorter without the steam.

2. Prepare the egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale and all the sugar had dissolved. Gradually add oil and whisk until well combined. Divide the mixture into two equal portions.

3. Add strawberry yogurt and strawberry paste to one portion gradually, and milk and vanilla to the other portion gradually. Add 20g sifted flour, a pinch of salt and red yeast powder gradually to the red batter gradually, whisking well with each addition. Add 20g sifted flour and a pinch of salt to the white batter gradually.

4. Prepare the meringue. Beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form while gradually adding sugar to the egg whites. Scoop 3 tsp of white egg yolk batter into a small bowl and fold in 6 tbs of meringue into it in 3 additions. Pour this portion of batter into the 6" tray. Tap on table a few times to release trapped air. Fold in the rest of the meringue in three additions into the red and remaining white batter. Pour the coloured batter into plastic/piping bags.

Snip the plastic bag at the tip and pipe the batter into the ice cube trays, following the colors of the Singapore flag.

Tap the big tray with the ice cube trays a few times on the table to release trapped air.

5. Bake the thin 6" layer for 10 minutes. Immediately remove from tray and gently peel off baking sheet. Cool with baking sheet covering it. Bake the hearts at 160°C for 10 minutes, followed by 140°C for 7-10 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Cool the cakes completely before carefully unmoulding them by hand.

6. Use a circle and star cutter to cut out the crescent moon and stars from the thin layer cake. They are the same cutters I used for my Singapore flag snowskin mooncakes.

Stick the moon and stars on using marshmallows melted with a bit of water. In order to deposit the stars onto the cake, cut the star out using the cutter, apply a dot of marshmallow on the cut-out before carefully depositing it into the heart shaped cake.

I had to rush to pick up my younger kid so I hastily cling wrapped these after assembly.

You may wish to brush the surface of this small came with a bit of simple syrup (1:1 ratio water:sugar) if you are storing it for a few days in the fridge before consumption to keep it moist. Store in airtight container.

Use cakepops sticks or Yakult straws to stick into the cakes to make them into cakepops.

My little one said it was yums! Going to share these with some friends :).

With love,
Phay Shing
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