Saturday 29 October 2016

'Le Petit Prince' Chiffon Cake

This is a chiffon cake for a Little Prince’s full month celebration, based on the story of Le Petit Prince (In French for The Little Prince)!

I was told the important characters are the prince (represented by the crown), a fox, a sheep, a rose and a planet with stars! So is my humble attempt at making a chiffon fox, sheep, rose, planet and crown and putting all the elements together! I was worried it may look weird together but thankfully I think it was pretty nice and dreamy =). 

I used recipe for Reduced egg yolk vanilla chiffon for whiter cake, with 1 layer of batter coloured with pandan and blue pea flowers. 

Reduced Egg-yolk Vanilla Chiffon Cake (9-inch chiffon tin)
2 egg yolks
40g sugar
80g corn/vegetable oil
86 ml water
10 ml vanilla extract
120g prima cake flour
1/4 tsp pandan paste + blue pea flowers extract (35-40 dried flowers in 10g hot water)

8 egg whites
90g 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 to control my oven temperature rise.

2. Beat egg yolks with sugar with whisk till pale yellow before stirring in oil, water and vanilla extract.

3. Add in sieved flour and whisk till no trace of flour found.

4. Spoon out 13 tsp into a new bowl and add 1/4 tsp pandan paste + blue pea flowers extract (or dip of wilton blue gel coloring). Mix well for teal batter.

5. Meringue: Beat the egg whites with ¼ tsp cream of tartar till firm peaks form or just to the point of reaching stiff peak, mixing in caster sugar in 2 additions.

6. Transfer out 26 tbsp for teal batter and gently fold into batter in 2 additions.

7. Fold in the rest of the meringue gently into the cream batter 1/3 at a time.

8. Spoon the cream batter into the chiffon tin till 70% full, then followed by a layer of teal batter.

9. Gently tap the tin on table to remove air bubbles.

10. Bake the chiffon cake for 15 min at 160°C and then at 150°C for 10 mins and 140°C for 20 min, then 130°C for 15 min.

11. Invert immediately once out of the oven to cool

12. Unmould by hand after the cake is cool. Gently pull the cake from the sides of the tin at each angle and push the removable base up to unmould the sides. To unmould the cake from the base, gently lift up the cake from the base using hands, repeating this at each angle before turning the base over (see 'Hand Unmoulding Chiffon Cakes for a Smooth Finishing' video tutorial).

For the planet, I baked plain chiffon cake in a wilton ball cake pan, coloured with blueberry powder and charcoal powder. The wolf is shaped from chiffon cake baked in cake pops molds. The sheep cake pops are now in Deco Chiffon Cakes book, in the first cute cartoon animals chiffon chapter, 'All creatures Great and Small'.

All Creatures Great & Small

Thankfully everything was well-received!

With lots of love,

Pictures and video of my Kinokuniya book launch here if you missed it. Thank you everyone for your support!

Deco Chiffon Cakes is now also available in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand (in addition to SG)!
Malaysia: Kinokuniya, MPHonline, selected Popular
Indonesia: Periplus, Books & beyond, Kinokuniya
Thailand: Kinokuniya, Asia books

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Friday 28 October 2016

'The Little Prince' Themed Blueberry Chiffon Cupcakes

Here are some cupcakes based on the storybook "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupery :). The requester was very specific about the details, such as colour scheme, 3D pop-up deco and flying stars all made from chiffon sponge. I took up the challenge to accomodate all that and came up with these...

Quite a few different coloured thin layered chiffon cakes had to be baked to create the cupcake decorations. I used dried blue pea flowers to reduce the use of artificial blue colouring for the blue sponge.

Blue pea flowers soaked for half an hour in hot water.

Blue chiffon sponge layer cake. Some gel food colouring is still needed but less.

The blueberry flavour of the cupcakes come from fresh blueberry puree (press blueberries through sieve), blueberry powder and a teeny bit of artificial blueberry flavouring.

Recipe for blueberry chiffon cupcakes
(Makes 24-25 44x35mm cupcakes)
4 egg yolks
15g caster sugar
56g vegetable/canola oil
50g blueberry puree
2tsp blueberry powder
15ml water
1/4 tsp blueberry flavouring (optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
78g cake flour
A pinch of salt

5 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
65g caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 140°C with a tray of water at base of oven (optional). Set oven rack to second lowest position. Dissolve blueberry powder in water.

2. Prepare egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Add oil and mix well. Add blueberry puree, blueberry powder dissolved in water, vanilla extract and blueberry flavouring and whisk until well combined. Gradually sift in flour and salt and whisk until no trace of flour is seen.

3. Prepare the meringue. In a clean metal bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg whites with cream of tartar, gradually adding sugar, until firm peaks form.

4. Quickly but gently fold the meringue into the egg yolk batter in three batches. Fill the cupcake cases until the batter is about 1cm away from the rim. Gently tap the cases on the table to release trapped air bubbles.

5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

Just to share some photos of the assembly...

Using melted marshmellows with a sprinkling of water to glue the parts together.

As these cupcakes are really tall, I can't use regular cupcake boxes for storage and transport. I used a bigger cupcake case with the bottom sliced off, and turned it upside down to create a stand for each cupcake.

Brush the surface of the cakes with syrup (dissolve 10g of sugar in 20g of water. I added a few drops of blueberry flavouring to add more blueberry fragrance) to keep it moist during storage in fridge and display at the party.



Crown with flying stars! I used clear rigid plastic pieces to hold up the stars to create the illusion that they are floating in mid-air.

I was in a hurry to pack up so I didn't take a photo of the last box of cupcakes with the planet, rose and flying stars.

Keep assembled cupcakes in airtight container in the fridge. They are good for a few days.

Here's a peek at the soft spongey insides of a cupcake! My younger kid who managed to have one said yums! 

With love,
Phay Shing

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Tuesday 25 October 2016

Pumpkin Monster Chiffon Cake

Last year I had the sudden inspiration to dress up my pandan chiffon cake as a 3-eyed monster! This year, the pumpkin version is in Deco Chiffon Cakes!

I love the pumpkin version as it is moist and light! Very different from the pandan chiffon version. This was my demo item at the Kinokuniya book event that just passed. Very touched by the love and those who came, especially the Indonesians who specially flew down!

I also made another simple Monster version. Just some ideas of the endless way we can decorate our chiffon cakes!

Some good news for my Malaysian, Indonesian and Thailand friends, Deco Chiffon Cakes has finally reached neighboring countries (25/10/16).

Malaysia: Kinokuniya, MPHonline, selected Popular
Indonesia: Periplus, Books & beyond, Kinokuniya
Thailand: Kinokuniya, Asia books

We are also working to get the book into other countries like Philippines and Australia. It's also available online at Localbooks.SG. It is also available for preorder on Amazon (dispatch Feb 2017), and kindle e-book versions available from 23/11/16.

Have a blessed week dear friends!

With lots of love,

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Monday 24 October 2016

Monster Macarons -- Made from 3D Macaron Shells!

You have probably not seen anything like this before! Presenting my first 3D macaron shells dressed up as monsters in time for a Halloween party!

Here's a closer look at the 3D shells!

I made these hemispherical shells or shells with a hole in the middle because I had leftover batter one day and decided to play around with it, fully expecting it to fail. But to my pleasant surprise, it worked! You can't imagine my excitement when I successfully unmoulded the shells!

I shall not go into detail for the basic macaron recipe or basic techniques as they are the same for 3D shells. I will focus on the technique of creating these 3D shells instead and anything to take note of when baking and unmoulding these shells.

I used the regular recipe for the macaron shells. Both regular and reduced sugar recipes can be found here. You may refer to my Creative Baking: Macarons book for a systematic presentation of the basics and complex shaped macarons. You may refer to my video tutorials for macaron basics and piping of complex shapes on the blog too.

As it is my first attempt at making 3D shells, they are still not that neat so pardon the weird shaped shells.

There are two types of 3D features that I explored in my experiment.

The first type of 3D feature is a cup-shaped or hemispherical shell. I used silicone cakepop mould as the surface to pipe the shells on. Piping it neatly is a challenge as the batter will flow down the sides of the hemisphere and there is no way to estimate precisely how much batter to pipe. Perhaps practice will make perfect? :P

See the hat shaped one above? The batter spread out more at the base.

The second type of 3D feature involves creating a hollow at the base of the shell, such that it forms a bridge-like structure. In order to create the hollow, I roll up a small piece of baking sheet and pipe the batter over it. Be careful not to let the edge of the paper come into contact with the piped batter or it will be impossible to unmould it cleanly.

In order to create a "handle on a lid" pop-up feature, I let the base shell dry partially (dry until almost not sticky to touch) before carefully placing the roll of baking sheet on it and piping the "hump" on top.

In order to create the larger bridge structure, first stick the roll of baking sheet onto the baking sheet on the baking tray. Next, pipe the batter over it.

Regular macaron shells (about 4-5cm diameter) may take about 17-25 minutes to bake. These hemispherical shells on silicone moulds take longer, about 30-40 minutes to be fully baked. Underbaked shells are impossible to unmould without breaking them. Be sure to use a lower temperature of 110-115°C to bake the shells after the initial 12-15 minutes of baking to prevent browning.

When unmoulding the shells from baking sheet or silicone mould, wait for it to cool completely, then do it very, very gently and carefully. Always peel the baking sheet/silicone mould away from the shell and not the other way round.

Check out the freshly baked shells!!

I decorated the shells with royal icing. Stiffer icing was used for the teeth and horns.

I filled the shells with Neapolitan filling - vanilla, strawberry and dark chocolate ganache.

Recipe for vanilla/strawberry/dark chocolate ganache
100g white chocolate, chopped
10g unsalted butter
10g vegetable shortening
28g heavy cream
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

100g white chocolate, chopped
10g unsalted butter
10g vegetable shortening
28g heavy cream
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp strawberry emulco
1/4 tsp rose water (optional)

Dark chocolate:
120g dark chocolate, chopped
10g unsalted butter
3g vegetable shortening (may replace with butter)
40g heavy cream
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

1. Place chopped chocolate, butter and vegetable shortening in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat at medium power for 20 seconds. Use a spatula to mix well. Repeat until mixture is smooth and melted.

2. Place cream in small saucepan. Heat until it starts to bubble. Pour over melted chocolate mixture and stir in one direction with a spatula until smooth.

3. Add fine sea salt and vanilla/strawberry paste. Mix well.

4. I like to whip up my ganache so it's lighter in texture but this is optional. You may let the mixture stand at room temperature until it firms up to toothpaste consistency. Alternatively, refrigerate for several minutes before beating mixture with spatula. Return to fridge for another 3-4 min and beat the mixture again. If it's not as light and fluffy as you prefer it to be, return to the fridge one last time for another 3-4 min and beat again.

5. Transfer to piping bag and fill the shells.

When filling hemispherical shells, be careful when you assemble as the filling may fall out. Quickly assemble top and bottom shells together to prevent this from happening.

Filling hemispherical shell with dark chocolate....

...followed by vanilla white chocolate 

I used sour gummy candies for the tongue and arms.

Here's a close up view of my only tiny monster hiding in a jar!

Store assembled macarons in fridge for at least 24h before serving. Let the macarons stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes before consuming.

I had fun with the 3D shells :). Hopefully there will be more inspiration and ideas on what to do with these.

With love,
Phay Shing

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Wednesday 19 October 2016

'Owls on a Stump' Gula Melaka Sponge & Pudding Cake

This is a cake made with lots of love last minute for my grandma's and aunt's combined birthday celebration :)

Mother and daughter owl macarons on a Gula Melaka sponge and pudding stump cake!

This is one of those die-die must try cakes because cake lovers and haters, young and old all loved it. This cake is rich and full of flavour yet refreshing at the same time. The texture also feels good in the mouth with alternating layers of soft chiffon sponge and refreshing pudding.

This was made last minute because my planned bake had to move a week earlier. It was a challenge to reshuffle my schedule but thank God for helping me to make it in time!

I made the owls along with my purple unicorn macaron carousel so it was easier to squeeze in time for making cake deco.

Just to share some photos of the process...

Piping the owl macaron shells.

I used the regular recipe for the macaron shells. Both regular and reduced sugar recipes can be found here. You may refer to my Creative Baking: Macarons book for a systematic presentation of the basics and complex shaped macarons. You may refer to my video tutorials for macaron basics and piping of complex shapes on the blog too.

Do note that larger shells need longer baking time. About 30-35 minutes and at lower temperature of 115°C at second half of baking time.

Filling the shells with lavendar Earl grey white chocolate ganache that I have in store at home.

Owl macaron cake toppers!

You may refer to my first gula melaka stump cake that I made for my dad's birthday a month ago. It was so lovely that my parents wanted me to make it again for my grandma's birthday. Recipe and assembly is exactly the same so I shall not type it out here again.

Freshly cut layers or gula melaka chiffon sponge cake.

Sponge and pudding stump cake that I just finished assembling!

Remember to pack the macaron deco and sponge and pudding cake in separate airtight boxes/containers or the cake toppers will turn soggy. Assemble macaron deco just before serving.

I forgot to take photos of a slice of the cake. It was very well received and there were no leftovers! Grandma told me it's delicious! It's hard to please her palate at her age so I was really glad that she loved it. My uncle who doesn't eat cake with cream also said it's delicious and finished his portion.

ith lots of love,
Phay Shing

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Tuesday 18 October 2016

Snorlax and Pokeball Chiffon Cakes

Pokemon go again! =p I've previously made 3D Snorlax and 3D Pokeball Chiffon Cakes. After chatting with some friends, I realized most were afraid to try the 3D versions. Hence, when I got request to make Snorlax and Pokeball again this week, I decided to try simpler cute 2D versions that may be more popular.

For Snorlax, similar to my 3D version, I used blue pea flowers for the blue, here I further added 1/2 tsp pandan paste to make it teal colour, but you can choose to omit it. Recipe for blue pea flowers chiffon cake is here. Replace pandan batter with vanilla batter by omitting the pandan paste so that you get cream batter. Spoon the cream batter in the U shape before adding the blue batter. Spoon the cream batter upwards as you continue to add blue batter. I did not need to prebake the cream batter here.

For the Pokeball, I used the same recipe as Singapore flag-raspberry jello Chiffon cake (with strawberry jello instead). Instead of spooning upwards, I spoon the red batter on the right and the cream batter on the left.

For the facial features and details, I used chiffon sheet cakes (charcoal and leftover red/cream batter), but you can also pipe on with melted chocolate.

There are more picture tutorials on how to spoon batter to make various patterns in Deco Chiffon Cakes, as well as tips for Deco Chiffon. The focus of the second book is more on patterns, while first book is more Rainbow in nature. Hope you will find it useful!

With lots of love,

Kinokuniya book event this Sat, 4pm!

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Sunday 16 October 2016

'Hello Kitty Tsum Tsum' with Chiffon Layers 'Drip Cake'

I made this for a close friend's daughter on Friday! Thankful the cake was well-loved by everyone!

I have previously tried a Chiffon Rainbow 'Drip Cake' combining both 'waves' with 'rainbow chiffon' from Creative baking: Chiffon Cakes. Here, I was trying to see if I could improvise by making the waves and rainbow layers 50-50. Maybe the effect is not as nice, but I will continue to think about it and improve haha! I used the same base recipe as my Rainbow Tiedye Vanilla Chiffon but changed the configuration of the batter as mentioned above, i.e. spoon the pink batter in waves, fill with cream batter, and layer with blue and purple. The picture tutorial for 'waves' and 'rainbow layer chiffon' is found in Creative baking: Chiffon Cakes.

I have made a few Tsum Tsum previously too, joining two bowl cakes with a 4-inch chiffon cake in between (for picture for the molds, see my previous Donald/Daisy Tsum Tsum). I used melted marshmallows to glue everything together, including the letters cut out from chiffon cake!

Hope you will like this sweet creation too! <3

With lots of love,

Here's the cover for
Creative baking: Chiffon Cakes (Chiffon book 1)
mentioned above

has just been restocked at Popular.

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Friday 14 October 2016

Wall E and Eve Brown Sugar Cookies (made with diabetic-friendly natural sugar!)

A lovely couple requested for Wall E and Eve Brown sugar cookies as their wedding gift for their relatives. I took the chance to experiment with a lower glycemic index brown sugar and reduced the amount of sugar used slightly as less sugar was requested.

Looking sweet as a pair :)

I was window shopping one day at Naise and their interesting range of food products caught my attention. The item that intrigued me most was the Masarang arenga forest sugar. It is a type of palm sugar that has a wonderful caramel flavour that is similar to brown sugar but with so much more health benefits. The benefits include additional vitamins and being more diabetic-friendly.

You may refer to this post for the original brown sugar cookie recipe and royal icing recipe. I modified the original cookie recipe slightly by reducing the sugar content by about 10g. I made my own cookie templates since I don't have the cookie cutters for these characters.

1 large egg (55-57g without shell, 65g with shell)
96g golden syrup
2.5 tsp vanilla bean paste
130g unsalted butter
160g Masarang Arenga forest sugar
406g plain flour
1 and 1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt

Bake at 170°C for 15 minutes or until golden brown and firm.

Here are some pictures to share the process of making the cookies...

Freshly baked cookies!

Outlining Wall E with edible marker

Day 1 of intensive icing!

Day 2 of icing!

All packed!

These cookies indeed have a wonderful caramel flavour! It's great knowing that the cookies taste good and they are better for health too!

With love,
Phay Shing

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