Wednesday 30 September 2015

‘Gundam vs Monsters’ 2-Colour Stripes Tier Chiffon Cake

This is another cheerful creation which made me smile making! I enjoyed making the cute Monsters/Aliens very much! I made a Rilakumma cake for him last year. This year my jaw dropped when I heard he wanted a Gundam cake! Thankfully there was a scenario in which Gundam triumphs over the Monsters and Aliens haha, so this cake was inspired by it. I only had to make cute Monsters/Aliens popping out of the cake, and Gundam triumphs over them with the help of toppers haha!

For this cake I actually tried something rather risky out that is to create 2-Colour Stripes, yellow and green of similar width, and on both tiers! You can imagine how nervous I was. It is even harder than doing the rainbow chiffon because you have to gauge the height and thickness of each layer (including the white) correctly. The expansion of the last layer on top usually can’t be controlled well. I was super relieved the yellow and green layers came out all right!

I used the cheerful palette of lime green, yellow, orange, cobalt blue and red for the Aliens. The simpler ‘lower level’ Monsters were simpler, baked from roundish cake pops molds. For the higher level Monsters, I did a bit of carving and added in bodies and facial features.

My friend shared the kids loved the cake! Some had 4 servings! Wow.

With lots of love,

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Tuesday 29 September 2015

Purple Sweet Potato Rainbow Heart Pinata Cookies (Children's Day special)

This is a bake that was requested by my kids way before Children's Day and they were really excited about it! They were ooo-ing and ah-ing as they watched me decorate the cookies :). Presenting my first attempt at making cookies with hidden surprises!

Purple sweet potato shortbread pinata cookies with rose flavour and hidden MnMs!

My kids were more than happy to eat the broken up cookie that I used for this photo and both gave a thumbs up! I must put a disclaimer here that there are actually not that many MnMs inside each cookie. About 7-8 mini MnMs each cookie as they are not very big cookies to begin with. More MnMs in the photo just looks better :p.

I was really awed by the pinata cookies I saw here and here about half a year ago. I was so excited that I showed my kids and they wanted something like that for Children's Day. Yes, that's how long ago it was! But having to make enough pinata cookies for two classes of kids meant that I had to keep the design simple or I will kill myself making what you see from the two awesome posts above. This bake also coincides with my busy period with other orders and photoshooting sessions for the chiffon cake book so I was hard-pressed to create something simple but awesome.

Pinata cookies are basically cookies that are assembled from 3 separate pieces of cookies, with the center piece having a hole in the middle for storing the candies. It's a lovely idea but a lot of work for large quantities because you have to bake three times the number of the cookies that you want to give out.

I chose to colour the cookies naturally by using purple sweet potato powder, and flavouring it with something different other than the usual vanilla. Adding rose water gives the cookies a nice Bandung flavour.

Ingredients (makes about fifty 5cm heart pinata cookies):
250g icing sugar (I use homemade rose scented icing sugar)
500g unsalted butter
700g plain flour
50g purple sweet potato powder (bought from Akari at Anchorpoint. Replace with plain flour or cornflour if unavailable.)
1 tsp rose water (use 2 tsp if using unscented icing sugar)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 drops of purple gel food colouring

1. Sift together plain flour, salt, icing sugar and purple sweet potato powder.

Love the natural purple colour!

2. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or butter knife until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

3. Add rose water, vanilla extract and purple gel food colouring (I added as an insurance against any browning that may occur after baking as natural colouring tends to brown after baking). Knead until a ball of dough forms.

4. Divide the dough into 4-5 portions. Smaller portions of dough are easier to work with. Roll each portion between two sheets of parchment paper until 5-6mm thick. Chill in fridge or freezer until firm, at least 30 minutes.

5. Use a heart shape cutter to cut out 100 hearts without holes and 50 hearts with hole in the middle. I used a combination of a smaller heart cutter and small round cutter to create the hole. Place the cutouts on baking tray lined with parchment paper.

6. Chill the whole tray in the fridge or freezer while you preheat the oven to 150°C. Bake for 14-15 minutes for hearts without holes, rotating the tray about halfway through baking. Bake the hearts with holes for 10-11 minutes. Cool on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely. Do note that baking times are approximate and may be different for you as each oven is different.

Freshly baked!

Store cooled cookies in airtight container lined with baking paper between layers of cookies if you are not decorating or assembling yet.

I decided to ice a simple rainbow on each heart with royal icing. I thought it would be a quick an easy job but I was badly mistaken! It took me about 4+ hours to finish icing all the rainbows! But this is definitely easier than preparing many coloured dough and having lots of dough wastage for the pinata cookies that I saw from the internet. I didn't want to waste royal icing either so I used ziplock bags with a hole cut for piping without piping tip attached. The result is less neat but I am not being a perfectionist here :p.

Halfway there! Hands shaking already...

Finally done!

Here comes the fun part. Assembly!

Gluing the middle layer on with royal icing. Make sure that the bottom piece is facing down instead of up such that the pinata cookie looks good on the underside as well.

Filling with MnMs

Seal the top piece with royal icing.

You may use a butter knife to gently scrape the sides of the assembled cookies to make the boundary between the layers of cookies less obvious but that's optional.

Happy Children's Day!

Update: these cookies were indeed very well received and could keep well for a long time! I was a bit concerned that the colouring on the MnMs would run during storage but it didn't! My elder kid tells me he is proud of me after he received many appreciative comments from his friends with some asking him to thank his mum for the cookies :)

With lots of love,
Phay Shing
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Monday 28 September 2015

Rainbow Castle Chiffon Cake

This is perhaps my favorite Castle Chiffon Cake so far! It's a sweet special Rainbow Castle Chiffon Cake I designed for a very dear friend's daughter. She loved My Little Pony so the castle was Rainbow-themed, designed for My Little Pony toppers. The towers are capped with Pastel Rainbow Chiffon Cake Cones by baking chiffon cake in paper cups, and the top of the castle with an Arching Chiffon Cake Rainbow (made from a 6-inch chiffon cake) and Chiffon Lake (made from layer chiffon cake)!

Made with lots of love! Happy blessed birthday Mikaela!

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Thursday 24 September 2015

Cat and Bear Banana Steamed Cake

After studying quite a few recipes for generic steamed cakes ( including the famous Junko and Nutella Blossom ones) and banana steamed cakes, and a couple of less-than-satiafactory trials, I have finally found a recipe that is fluffy, moist and flavourful, simple and with few ingredients. Why this requirement? I am looking at making a simple, healthy and delicious steamed cake for my next culinary arts demo class at church as and when I am free to conduct. Probably after all the mad busyness of writing and photo-taking for the two books I am working on now.

Presenting my humble cat and bear steamed banana cupcakes! These by the way, make very good Children's Day party items too but perhaps made in smaller cupcake cases than the ones shown in this post. This is also healthier than my pinata cookies :p.

Here's a close-up view of the texture...

Fluffy and loaded with bananas!

I have opted for a method that involves more than just combining wet and dry ingredients together with a hand whisk because I find that the texture of the resulting cake is less fluffy and more "kueh-like".  Even for the fluffy ones, they tend to be dry when cooled as they rely on low liquid and high flour content to be fluffy. Upon cooling and storage, the cake has to be re-steamed for it to taste good again and has to be eaten freshly steamed while hot.

The recipe here is mainly adapted from Miss B. I have tweaked the recipe a bit and added a fun twist to the humble steamed banana cake. Using the technique for creating patterns and pop-up ears from various sources, I have transformed the plain looking banana cake to something a little cuter ;). I have already reduced the amount of sugar from the original recipe so there is no need to reduce it further. The resulting cake is not too sweet.

Ingredients (makes about three 50x39mm cupcakes**):
1 large egg
40g caster sugar (or brown sugar)
40g vegetable oil or melted butter (or combination of both. I used extra light olive oil )
70-75g over ripe banana without skin, mashed (about 1 large banana)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
70g cake flour*
1 tsp baking powder*
1/8 tsp baking soda*
1/16 tsp salt*
3 heaping tsp Nutella (optional)
1 tsp cocoa powder (optional)

* You may replace all these with 70g of self-raising flour. I chose cake flour for a softer texture.

** You may use smaller cupcake cases as I used pretty large ones. Reduce steaming time of you are using smaller cases. Feel free to upsize the recipe too to make more cupcakes.

1. Beat egg and sugar with an electric mixer at high speed for at least 10 minutes until mixture is pale and thick.

2. Be really, really gentle with the next few steps as you want to avoid deflating the air trapped in the beaten egg. It's the key to soft and fluffy cake. Gently fold in the oil using a spatula. Drizzle the oil in (don't pour all in at one shot) and fold in a bit at a time to avoid deflating the beaten egg.

3. Add mashed bananas and vanilla a teaspoonful at a time and gently fold into the mixture.

4. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the batter, folding in gently with each addition with a spatula.

5. Scoop the batter into paper cupcake liners and fill until almost full. You may add a heaping teaspoon worth of Nutella into each cupcake after filling the cupcake liners till it's about 1/3-1/2 full. This helps to moisten the cakes even more and compliments the banana flavour well.

6. If you are steaming the cakes without fancy designs, you may steam at this point after tapping the cupcake cases on the table to release trapped air. Steam for about 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean/ with a few moist crumbs. If you are making the patterned cupcakes, scoop out about 1-2 tsp of the batter and colour it with cocoa powder until you have the desired shade of brown that you want. Transfer the coloured batter into piping bags and pipe the facial features on.

7. To create pop-up ears, pipe a bit of the batter onto the parchment paper (I used paper cupcake cases). Pipe triangle for the cat and circle for the bear ears. Steam this together with the cupcakes.

8. Carefully peel the ears off the parchment paper and stuff it into the cupcake cases where the ears are supposed to be.


With love,
Phay Shing

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Tuesday 22 September 2015

Snoopy and Woodstock Peanuts-themed Tier Chiffon Cake

Oh boy! Good grief! Little Ollie is turning One! Dream Big!

This is one of my favorite cakes I’ve made so far because I’m so in love with the dreamy theme of Snoopy lying on the house with Woodstock with their silhouettes against the setting sun! And it’s for a lovely mummy friend who has been such a joy to bake for, is always smiling, and has her own wonderful blog so.natty! We designed the cake together so it was special. 

My favorite is the whimsical Charlie brown yellow tier that’s all naturally colored, with the trademark black Charlie brown zigzags cut from charcoal chiffon cake. There’s also the sweet and colorful sky-grass landscape tier made from Blue pea flowers-Pandan chiffon cake, with pop-out balloons from chiffon cake pops! We wanted to make a statement with Oliver, hence the white-black top tier from Reduced egg yolk vanilla chiffon with cute snoopy paws! 

The Snoopy and Woodstock were also made entirely from chiffon cake. The Snoopy and Woodstock needed quite a bit of carving since it was quite different from the sitting version I made previously, so super thankful it turned out fine. It was also one of my more difficult, larger and structurally challenging cakes, so was super thankful it was really well-received! Yes I’m repeating myself ‘cuz I’m really super thankful haha.

Happy belated birthday dear Ollie! Dream Big!

With lots of love,

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Monday 21 September 2015

Hiro Raspberry White Chocolate Macarons (Tsum Tsum series part 5)

This is the last in the series of Tsum Tsum macaron bake! Finally! Here are some Hiro macarons with raspberry white chocolate filling amongst the rest of my Tsum Tsum bakes!

These macarons do not need refrigeration.

You may refer to this recipe for the basic batter and steps, and my newly made macaron video tutorials just in case you need more visuals :).  Just some points to note...

Use a Wilton #12 tip to pipe on the purple shell. Use a Wilton #3 tip to pipe on the thin purple part. Bang the tray on table before resting for 15 minutes. Pipe in the beige part with a Wilton #10 tip. Bang tray on table before drying the shells for 1-2h in air-con room or until dry to touch.

Freshly piped shells

Bake at 130-140°C for 17-20minutes, rotating the tray halfway through baking. Bake at 120°C for 5 minutes more if still not dry and check again.

Freshly baked shells!

Prepare some royal icing to add on the face.

Filling the shells!

Here's the whole collection of the macarons I made in a batch! Well... Almost. There's still an extra Rilakkuma, a few bears and basic shapes not included in the picture. I froze the bear shells for future work. Otherwise it's too much work for me in a single sitting!

Macaron mania!

Thank God that these macarons were very well received!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Sunday 20 September 2015

Piggy (McMug) Chiffon Cake

This is a simple and special chiffon cake creation for my dear hubby’s birthday! I loved piggies during my school days and Mcmug was my favorite among them (we have at least 3 Mcmugs and a dozen other piggies during our courtship =p). And now we are blessed with 3 little.. kids (I was tempted to write pigs =p). I got the idea from spacing out at our display cabinet the other day.

This cake is a small cake for our small family and so measures about 7-8 inches tall and 4 inches wide. We finished it just nice with the kids. The piggy is made from strawberry yoghurt chiffon cake. I baked the piggy face and body in oval bowls and cut the arms and ears from another oval bowl chiffon cake. The cute little feet are from chiffon cake baked in round cake pops molds.

Strawberry Yoghurt Chiffon Cake
2 egg yolks
17g caster sugar
33ml vegetable/corn oil
33ml strawberry yoghurt drink
52g cake flour, sifted
1/3 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 tsp strawberry paste

3 egg whites
30g caster sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 160°C.
2. Beat egg yolks with sugar with whisk till pale yellow before stirring in oil, strawberry yoghurt and vanilla extract.
3. Next add in sieved flour and whisk till no trace of flour found. Scoop out 6 tsp and add a few drops of yellow coloring (I used Queen’s natural coloring). To the rest, stir in the strawberry paste.
4. Meringue: Beat the egg whites with ¼ tsp cream of tartar till firm peaks, mixing in caster sugar in 2 additions. Scoop out 12 tbsp meringue and gently fold into the yellow batter.
5. Gently fold in the rest of the meringue in 3 additions into the strawberry batter.
6. Divide the pink batter into 2 oval bowls and 2 cake pop moulds. Fill another oval bowl with yellow batter.
7. Bake the chiffon cakes in the bowls for 15 min at 160°C and then 5-10 min at 150°C, or when skewer comes clean.
8. Invert the chiffon cakes once removed from oven and unmould by hand when cool.

For the nose snout and nostrils, prepare another 1 egg yolk batter (divide the above recipe by 2), then divide into 2 for the dark brown and dark pink batters. Scoop them side-by-side in a baking paper-lined 9-inch tray. Bake the chiffon cake at 14 min at 160°C.

I cut out the snout and nostrils from the dark brown and pink layer cake using oval and round cutters. The ears, arms and face were cut using a combination of cutters and knife. I had to slice the cake into half to make the ears thinner. Lastly, everything was glued together using melted marshmallows (sprinkle some water on a few marshmallows then pop it into the oven).

My baby loved it very much hehe. Happy birthday to GY!!

With lots of love,

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Thursday 17 September 2015

3D Minions Chiffon Cake

This is a fluffy and naturally colored (yellow) 3D Minions Chiffon Cake for a friend’s son!

I finally figured out how to make a tall 3D Minions with correct shape from chiffon cake (from my previous Minions creations a while ago)! It is thanks to an impulse buy for a pink Unopan chiffon tin at Phoon Huat lol.

The pink Unopan 6-inch chiffon tin is extra tall and more cylindrical in shape than most chiffon tins, and has the same dimensions as the wilton ball cake pan. So I paired the 2 together to form the soft fluffy minions! I baked a 2-tone yellow-blue chiffon cake like my previous minions using natural Queen’s yellow colouring and put the extra yellow batter in the wilton ball cake pan. The 6-inch chiffon cake is actually so soft, it cannot support the head chiffon cake without getting squashed. So I had to add an extra dowel support to support the head cake. 

Recipe for Vanilla Chiffon (for one two-tone 6-inch Unopan tube pan and one Wilton ball cake pan)
*you can also use this recipe for a 8-inch to 9-inch normal tube pan for a normal chiffon cake and you will not need to divide the batter into two colours

5 egg yolks
33g castor sugar
65g vegetable/corn oil
76g water
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
100g prima cake flour, sifted
natural yellow food coloring (Queen's)
blue food coloring (Wilton gel)

7 egg whites
75g castor sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 160°C.
2. Beat egg yolks with sugar with whisk till pale yellow before stirring in oil, water and vanilla exract.
3. Add in sifted cake flour and whisk till no trace of flour found.
4. Divide the batter 2/3 and 1/3 (by weight). Add 10 drops of natural yellow food coloring into 2/3 of the batter. Add dip of blue gel food coloring into the 1/3 portion. Mix well.

5. Meringue: Beat the egg whites with ¼ tsp cream of tartar till firm peaks form, mixing in caster sugar in 2 additions.
6. Divide the meringue 2/3 and 1/3 (by weight or drawing a pie chart). Gently fold the respective meringue into the egg yolk batters 1/3 at a time.
7. Fill the chiffon pan with the yellow batter till 1/2 full then fill with the blue batter. Pour the rest of the yellow batter into the ball cake pan.
8. Bake the chiffon cake at 15 min at 160°C and then 25-30 min at 140°C. Bake the ball cake pan at 15 min at 160°C and then 15-20 min at 140°C, or until skewer comes out clean.
9. Invert the chiffon cakes once removed from oven.
10. Unmould by hand after the cakes are completely cool (see 'Hand Unmoulding Video').

The shoes, gloves and eye bands were from charcoal chiffon cake (grey and black). The hair this time round is made from toothpick dipped in cocoa powder. 

My friend shared her son and the kids loved the cake! Happy belated birthday Joel!

With lots of love,

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Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang Brown Sugar Cookies

Susanne's friend requested for some Snoopy themed cookies for her kid's birthday. I have chosen 8 different designs!

 It took me 2 days of icing for these. Please refer to this post for cookie and royal icing recipes. I rolled the dough to 5-6mm thickness. Just to share some photos of the process...

Freshly baked! Shapes cut out using homemade templates.

These brown sugar cookies don't look that pretty as a cookie base (unlike regular sugar cookies) but I always have rave reviews for these every time! The secret to its awesome fragrance and flavour is from good vanilla bean paste, golden syrup and brown sugar.

Outlining features with black royal icing. I use charcoal powder to colour the icing.

I have an unorthodox way of icing cookies, which is to add on some fine features like the eyes and nose Before the face is flooded with flesh coloured icing. It makes flooding a little more challenging but with the help of a toothpick to nudge the icing into tight corners, it is manageable. The reason why I do this is because I can make mistakes while tracing/drawing the features onto cookie base with edible marker. If I had added on the features after the face is flooded with flesh coloured icing, there is no room for error. Charlie Brown could have looked like any other bald boy :p. Or worse still, the faces look weird.

Day 1 of icing!

Nearly there!

All 24 cookies! Eyes are tired after this!

All wrapped!

Thank God that these were very well received at the party!

Checkout another round of Snoopy and gang brown sugar cookie bake over here!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Sunday 13 September 2015

Camouflage Chiffon Cake with Chiffon Army Tank (Pandan, Matcha, Chocolate Chiffon)

This is a Camouflage-themed Chiffon Cake I made for a dear friend's son a while ago! The cake is entirely naturally colored, made from pandan, matcha and chocolate chiffon cake which are perfect for army colours! ;) The army tank, trees, trenches and rocks are also made from pandan and chocolate chiffon cake. I have previously shared how to make the Army Tank from chiffon cake, and the yummy honey matcha chiffon cake (on top). The tier cake is made like normal tier cakes using dowel supports. I used melted marshmallows to glue on all the chiffon cake decor. This is an SG50 year so what more apt to top it with our very own SG50 Army Lion :)!

One thing to note about making patterned or dual-or more-coloured chiffon cakes is that you really need to work very quickly for the meringue not to deflate so as to not compromise the quality and height of your chiffon cake. So plan and prepare everything well in advance.

Thank God my friend shared everyone loved the cake!

Camouflage Chiffon Cake
Ingredients (for 23 cm chiffon tin)
8 egg yolks (I used Chew's medium eggs)
53g sugar
106g vegetable oil
117ml water
160g cake flour
5 ml pandan paste
10g coconut cream powder
1.25 tsp matcha powder
1 tsp cocoa powder (extra dark)
½ tsp cocoa paste
A pinch of salt

11 egg whites
120g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Prepare a tray of water at the bottom of the oven (I used the lowest rack to bake the cake). *You may omit steam baking; I like to use it because it makes my chiffon cakes soft and ogura-like.
2. Beat egg yolks with sugar with whisk till pale yellow before stirring in oil and water.
3. Next add in sieved flour and whisk till no trace of flour found.
4. Divide the batter into 3 (scoop out 25 tsp into another 2 bowls for matcha and chocolate chiffon). To the first bowl, add 1.25 tsp matcha powder dissolved in 1 tsp warm honey. To the second bowl, add 1 tsp cocoa powder (extra dark) and ½ tsp cocoa paste. Mix well. To the rest of the egg yolk batter, add 5 ml pandan paste, 10 g coconut cream paste and a pinch of salt for the pandan chiffon. Mix well.
5. Meringue: Beat the egg whites with ¼ tsp cream of tartar till stiff peak, mixing in caster sugar in 2 additions.
6. Divide the meringue into 3 (approximately 50 tbsp into matcha and chocolate batter). Gently but quickly fold in the meringue into the 3 batter.
7. Transfer 3 tbsp of the final matcha and chocolate batter into 2 piping bags. Cut a 3-5mm hole in each piping bag and pipe light green and brown camouflage spots at the base and sides of the tin. Bake for 2 min. *You need to work very fast for the meringue not to deflate.
8. Scoop and fill the remaining spaces with the pandan batter. *You may use up the remaining matcha and chocolate batter to create more patterns at the top.
9. Bake the chiffon cake for 15 min at 160°C and then at 150°C for 10 min, 140°C for 20 min and 130°C for 15 min. *The temperature decrease is to prevent browning from hiding the camou patterns.
10. Invert the chiffon cake once removed from oven.
11. Unmould the chiffon cake by hand gently (see 'Hand Unmoulding Chiffon Cake for Clean Finishing' Video tutorial).

Freshly unmoulded cake! Still very tall (phew!).

Happy belated birthday to Devon!

With lots of love,

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'Basket of Fruits' Chiffon Cake

I had this cake envisioned a few months ago for dad's birthday. Finally it's time to make it! Presenting a "basket of fruits" chiffon cake made entirely out of soft chiffon sponge!

There's Chinese pears, orange, strawberries and plums in the basket :).

The basket is orange flavoured and full of zest but I added 1/2 tsp of dutch-processed cocoa powder to give it a brownish colour.

Recipe for fruits
Bear with me as there is a range of flavours and fruits involved so the ingredient list is long and proportions need some math. You may simplify to suit your preference by omitting some fruits. 

- 6" square tray, lined with baking sheet
- Four 8.5cm diameter round bottomed glass bowls
- round silicone ice cube tray, lightly greased*
- heart shaped silicone ice cube tray, lightly greased*

* Use cakepops moulds if you don't have these. Fill the moulds until full with batter.

5-10g compound white chocolate
1/8 tsp Matcha powder
Cinnamon stick, soaked in hot water and sliced thinly longitudinally
1 tsp cocoa powder
3/4 tsp hot water

(Common egg yolk batter ingredients)
2 egg yolks
10g caster sugar
27g canola/ vegetable oil
A pinch of salt
40g cake flour, divide into two 10g and one 20g portions

7g orange juice
1/8 tsp orange zest
1/8 tsp orange emulco
1 drop orange gel food colouring

7g pear juice
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/16 tsp cinnamon powder
Tiny dip of yellow gel food colouring

(Strawberry, plum and leaves)
14g mixed berry/strawberry yoghurt
1/8 tsp strawberry paste
1/16 tsp red yeast powder
1 drop red gel food colouring
1 drop purple gel food colouring
1/8 tsp Pandan paste
1 drop green food colouring

3 egg whites
1/5 tsp cream of tartar
32g caster sugar

1. Set oven rack to second lowest position with a baking tray of water at bottom of oven (optional). Preheat to 160°C. Prepare all bakeware.

2. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Gradually add oil and whisk until well combined. Add a pinch of salt and mix well. Divide this into ratio of 1:1:2 for orange:pear:the rest.

3. Add orange juice, zest, emulco and colouring to orange portion of batter. Mix well. Gradually whisk in 10g sifted flour.

4. Add pear juice, vanilla, cinnamon and colouring to pear batter. Mix well. Gradually whisk in 10g sifted flour.

5. Add yoghurt into the remaining portion of batter and mix well. Gradually whisk in 20g sifted flour. Divide this portion into 3. Add Pandan paste and green colouring to one portion, purple colouring to one portion, and strawberry paste, red yeast powder and red colouring to the last portion.

6. Prepare meringue. Beat egg whites in a clean metal bowl with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form, gradually adding in sugar when the egg whites are close to soft peak stage. 

9. Quickly but gently fold the meringue into the egg yolk batters in two additions in the ratio of 3:3:2:2:2 for orange:pear:strawberry:plum:leaves. I find it helpful to use a ladle/large spoon to portion out the meringue quickly in the ratios specified without having to weigh the bowls.

10. Transfer the orange and pear batters into glass bowls, filling two bowls each flavour. Scoop a heaping teaspoonful worth of batter for the ice cube tray cakes, round for plums and heart shaped for strawberries. Pour the green batter into the 6" tray. Tap the trays, bowls and moulds on the table.

11. Bake at the following times and temperatures:
Leaves: 160°C for 10 minutes
Ice cube trays: 160°C 10 minutes followed by 140°C 3-4 minutes.
Glass bowls: 160°C for 10 minutes followed by 140°C for 15-20 minutes.

Note that baking times are approximate. Always check with a skewer for doneness.

12. Immediately remove green cake from tray, peel off the baking sheet and cool with a baking sheet over it. Let the ice cube tray cakes cool completely before unmoulding by hand. Cool the glass baked cakes inverted over cooling rack. Carefully unmoulding by hand when cooled.

13. Shape and decorate the oranges by following the example in my old post. I have a photo tutorial there :). Use a chopstick to gently make an indent in the middle for the pears and insert a cinnamon stick for the stem. Use a calix or star cookie cutter to cut out the leaves for the plums and strawberries. Glue them on with  marshmellows melted with a sprinkle of water. Dissolve cocoa powder in hot water to form a paste. Paint or pipe on the seeds. Stick in a short stem for the plums. The strawberries made an appearance earlier in this post.

14. Gently brush the fruits with syrup (5g sugar dissolved in 20ml hot water). Store in airtight container until time for assembly.

I actually split the baking of fruits over two days with more ingredients used as I am working on the strawberries baked in egg shells as well for the chiffon cake book I am co-authoring with Susanne :). Here are some of the fruits...

I must confess that I had grapes in mind but they appear too large in proportion to the other fruits! So they ended up as plums :p.

Recipe for basket (makes one 15cm chiffon cake and one 10x12" layer cake)
3 egg yolks
15g caster sugar
27g oil
27g orange juice
6g orange zest
1/4 tsp orange emulco
60g cake flour
A pinch of salt
1/2 tsp dutch-processed cocoa powder (optional)

4 egg whites
1/5 tsp cream of tartar
42g caster sugar

As above. Bake chiffon cake at 160°C for 10 minutes followed by 140°C for 25-30 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Immediately invert to cool. Carefully unmould by hand when completely cooled.

Cut the layer cake into strips and roll some of them up to form the weaved portions of the basket. Glue on with melted marshmellows. This basket design is much simpler than my first one for my mum but still elegant.

Yoga-like chiffon cake on show, bending at 90°, rolled in tight roll and twisted like a rope.

The elderly folk at the birthday celebration loved the cake for it's lightness and the fact that it is fondant and cream-free and not too sweet. Grandma said she wanted a cake like this for her birthday next month, not too sweet and without cream. I told her I have a flavour in mind for her cake already ;). My neighbor whom I gave the extra "fruits"to gave a thumbs up for the cakes too!

Blessed birthday Dad!

With lots of love,
Phay Shing

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Wednesday 9 September 2015

Chiffon Cake Hand Unmoulding Video Tutorial for a Clean Finishing

I get a lot of questions on how I get the chiffon cakes looking clean, neat and showing rainbow colours or patterns. So here's my humble attempt at a video tutorial on how to hand unmould them to get a clean finishing, and also in preparation for the Creative Chiffons book we are working on with Marshall Cavendish.

I make on average 1 chiffon cake every 1-2 days with different recipes and have found that not all chiffon cakes can be unmoulded easily with a flip at the side without tearing the cake. Hence the video tutorial will show you how to peel it off gently without tearing. Thanks to my dear hubby for helping to put the instructions into the video!

Hope you will find it very useful!

With lots of love,

Details of the Creative Baking: Chiffon Cakes book here.

And Deco Chiffon Cakes here.

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Cinnamaroll & Tuxedo Sam Earl Grey White Chocolate Macarons (Tsum Tsum series part 4)

This is the fourth in the series of Tsum Tsum macaron bake! Tsum Tsum Tuxedo Sam and Cinnamaroll Earl grey white chocolate macarons!

Looking cute in little hats!

These macarons do not need refrigeration.

You may refer to this recipe for the basic batter and steps, and my newly made macaron video tutorials just in case you need more visuals :).  Just some points to note...

Pipe the head, bang the tray hard on the table and rest for 15 minutes in air-conditioning room before piping in the ears for Cinnamaroll and hands for Tuxedo Sam. In my muddle with so many different types of macarons to pipe, I forgot to take photos of Tuxedo Sam shell freshly piped.

Cinnamaroll head!

Make sure shells are dry to touch and you are able to run a finger across the shells. Bake at 140°C for 10 minutes, rotate the tray and bake for another 6-10 minutes at 130°C. Bake at 120°C for another 5 minutes if the shells are still stuck to baking sheet and check again.

Freshly baked!

Prepare some royal icing and pipe the hats on using the same templates as the shells. Thoroughly dry the icing before attempting to remove. Oven dry at 60°C with fan mode.

Little hats!

Use royal icing to add in the details and stick the hats on using a small dollop of royal icing. Brush on some peach coloured lustre dust for the rosy cheeks.

Freshly iced!

These were filled with Earl Grey White Chocolate.


With love,
Phay Shing
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Sunday 6 September 2015

'Rainbow over lake' Sky Rainbow Chiffon Cake

I love rainbows! And many of my creations has had Rainbow Chiffon in it! This is another sweet Rainbow Chiffon Cake with another dreamy Sky Chiffon Cake on top (from Blue pea flowers-vanilla chiffon cake), and topped by a Chiffon Cake Rainbow! It was designed for MLP or Pocoyo toppers to create a cheerful rainbow landscape for them. Thankful it was well-received by my lovely friend!

With love,

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