Monday 30 October 2017

Tapir Salted Caramel Macarons (shells made using brown sugar!)

My younger kid requested for tapir macarons for his birthday. Quite an unusual subject for a birthday request you may say. But not unusual for my kids since they have a very well loved tapir stuffed toy bought from the zoo! He requested for salted caramel flavour so I took the chance to experiment with using brown sugar to make the macaron shells. The caramel flavour it imparts is amazing! Here's my version of tapirs in the field :).

This is my first attempt at using brown sugar for the Italian method, but not my first attempt at using another type of sugar in making macaron shells. You may refer to this post where I used Gula Melaka (coconut palm sugar) for making French method macarons. Much as the procedure is the same and you can make a full substitution, please use a MUCH bigger saucepan when boiling brown sugar syrup as it can bubble up to many times its original volume. I almost couldn't heat it to the softball stage because the syrup was threatening to overflow when being boiled.

Recipe for brown sugar macaron shells
Ingredients ( makes about 50 macarons, 100 shells):
180g superfine almond meal
180g icing sugar
18g charcoal powder (omit if not black colored)
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
72g egg whites
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)
Black gel food colouring

180g fine brown sugar
60g water
1/6 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
72g egg whites

1. Prepare baking trays with templates and baking paper. Set oven rack to lowest or second lowest position.

2. Sift together almond, icing sugar, charcoal and salt. Add egg whites and vanilla bean paste and mix well to form a paste. Add a few drops of black gel food colouring and mix well. Charcoal powder alone is usually not enough to achieve a deep black colour.

3. Place brown sugar and water in a medium sized saucepan and boil to 115℃ without stirring. In the mean time, beat egg whites with cream of tartar at medium speed until soft peaks form. Reduce mixer speed if syrup temperature is not yet reached to keep the egg whites moving. Once the syrup is ready, remove from heat, increase mixer speed to medium high. Carefully pour the syrup into the egg whites, avoiding the beaters. Continue beating on high speed for another 10 minutes or until the meringue is cool to about body temperature. Use a bit of meringue to stick the baking paper down onto the baking tray.

Brown sugar Italian meringue.

4. Add about a third of the meringue into the mass and mix well with a spatula. Add the rest of the meringue and fold it into the mixture, pressing the batter against the side of the bowl after folding to deflate the batter a little. Continue folding until batter consistency is like slow-moving lava. Please refer to this post on how to fold the batter and test the consistency.

5. Transfer the batter into piping bag fitted with a Wilton #6 or #5 tip and pipe the body, legs and ears. Dry the shell partially before piping on pop-up features if desired. Bang tray on table to release trapped air bubbles. You may refer to this post on how to pipe complex shapes.

Piped shells!

6. Dry the shells under a fan or in air-con room until dry to touch. Preheat oven to 140℃ towards end of drying time. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until feet no longer appears wet. Cool completely before removing from baking paper.

Freshly baked shells!

Here's a peek at the insides of the shell....I love the sleek black colour :)

I filled the shells with a ring of salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream and a dollop of salted caramel in the middle. Please refer to this post for the basic Swiss meringue buttercream recipe and salted caramel recipe. Make the salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream (smbc) simply By mixing 80g of salted caramel for every 100g of smbc.

Filling up the shells!

After maturing for a few days, the aroma, taste and texture is amazing!

Ditch the caster sugar whenever you are making caramel flavoured macarons. Once you have tried brown sugar replacement, you will never go back to it ;).

With lots of love,
Phay Shing

Read More »

Sunday 29 October 2017

Candy corn and Pumpkin Pusheen Chiffon Cakes

Pumpkin and Candy corn Pusheen Chiffon Cakes!

Aahh, who thought Pusheen could get any cuter?! These were inspired by the new Pusheen Fall Surprise Plush series!

Cuteness overload!!! =p

The Candy corn Pusheen was a bit similar to my previous Pusheen cat, except that I needed to play with colours this time. The base was vanilla-lemon flavoured.

Candy corn Pusheen Chiffon Cake 
(vanilla, vanilla-lemon flavoured)

 However, the Pumpkin Pusheen needed to be hand cut from a ball chiffon cake so that was pretty challenging.

Pumpkin Pusheen Chiffon Cake 
(charcoal, vanilla-orange-flavoured)

Thank God both were well-received by my friends =). Have a blessed week ahead!

With lots of love,


Read More »

Saturday 28 October 2017

Monsters, Pumpkins and Cat Chiffon Cake pops (Orange cinnamon and Salted gula melaka)

Just posting this for documentation before I forget! Most pictures end up in my phone forever if I don't post it within the month =p.

This is a series of creative mini chiffon cake pops demos, inspired by monsters, pumpkins and cats, which were Orange cinnamon and Salted gula melaka flavoured which I did for LG in mid-Oct. Recipe for the chiffon cake "ondeh ondeh" should be out at LG retail outlets end of Oct.

With lots of love,

Read More »

Thursday 26 October 2017

Stained Glass Brown Sugar Cookies

This is the second in my series of cookie baking classes for kids. Stained glass brown sugar cookies!

This concept is not new and you may find resources from the internet to make these. But what I am going to share is my awesome brown sugar cookie recipe that I have used over the years, receiving rave reviews for its taste. It will be a great family bonding time between children and a parent too, making these beautiful treats in time for Christmas. Do note that the actual shape of the cookies may differ from what is shown in the picture depending on availability of cookie cutters for the class.

Children between the ages of 5-12 years old are welcome to join. Do apply as soon as you can as places are limited. Please register over here for the class.

With love,
Phay Shing

Read More »

Wednesday 25 October 2017

'Kueh Tutu' Chiffon Cakes

"Kueh tutu" Chiffon Cakes, with real peanut filling! These are inspired by the real kueh tutu and those adorable fluffy cushions from Naisse =). I always had a thing all things old school! So was happy to help for this request.

I baked a reduced egg yolk vanilla chiffon cake in mini fluted bundt pans (with excess as sheet cake). It was just nice that the little "kueh tutu" chiffon cakes had a hole in the middle, so I filled the holes with crush peanut filling and then covered the holes up with circle cut outs from the sheet cake. The little "kueh tutu" chiffon cakes are sitting on "pandan leaves" cut from pandan chiffon sheet cakes.

Thankful it was well received and even featured by Naiise!

With lots of love,

My new book Deco Chiffon Cake Basics (a step-by-step picture guide) is now available in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand! This is also a special version that is available at all Malaysia Popular and Naiise. I added in some reviews/encouraging comments I had! So thankful for them!

Wishing you all a blessed week!
Read More »

Monday 23 October 2017

Reduced-Sugar Snowflake Coconut Macarons (Swiss Method)

I am pleased to conduct another macaron class at ToTT and this time, it is Christmas themed :). Snowflake coconut macarons that have a lower sugar content!

Please register for the class over here if you are interested. I will be teaching the Swiss meringue method, how to pipe snowflake shaped macarons, decorate the shells with royal icing post-baking and filling with coconut white chocolate ganache. My tastetesters at home all gave a thumbs up ;).

Even when Christmas is over, these macarons are great for any Frozen themed parties too. Do sign up as soon as you can as places are limited.

With love,
Phay Shing

Read More »

Sunday 22 October 2017

Hello Kitty Princess Chiffon Cake

I made this Hello Kitty Princess Chiffon Cake for my dear friend's little princess!

I first experimented with Hello Kitty chiffon cake many years back at the start of the creative chiffon journey for my daughter who loved Hello Kitty. Have not made it for many years (partly due to copyright concerns, so I don't make this for orders, only for own consumption or very close friends). For those who are interested on how I made it, hop on to my old post here =).

Thank God it was well-received and made the little princess very happy!

With lots of love,

My new book Deco Chiffon Cake Basics (a step-by-step picture guide) is now available in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand! Updated availability including e-book version can be found here. I added in some reviews/encouraging comments I had! So thankful for them!

Wishing you all a blessed week!

Read More »

Friday 20 October 2017

Animal Train Macarons (updated version)

A mummy saw the animal train macarons I made for my younger kid two years ago and wanted one for her little boy too. Having had two years more experience making macarons, I must say I have been learning new things but there is still so much more to learn :). Revisiting old designs after a long interval means that I may have inspiration to improve the design. This time around, I created a better visual display by making a train track and small turf in the middle :).

Here is another view from the top...

I used the reduced sugar recipe for the macaron shells here. 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. Templates for the train macaron shells can be found in my Creative Baking: Macarons book.

The little animal passengers can be piped as a single unit with the carriages and locomotive if you wish. But I didn't want to go through the hassle of preparing so many coloured batters, some of which only need a teaspoon worth or less. I ended up baking the passengers and the train macaron shells in two separate bakes, with the passengers made using whatever leftover batter I had for another request.

Just to share some pictures of the process...

Piping mini macaron shells

Decorating the shells

This is how tiny they are!

Freshly baked train macaron shells. I baked extra shells which I used to bless someone else ;)

Royal icing was used to decorate the train macaron shells and stick the animals onto the train.

Completed macaron shells!

Filling the shells with Earl Grey Lavender white chocolate ganache. I used more freshly ground dried lavender flowers and went easy on the Earl Grey as young kids are consuming them. Ratio of Earl Grey powder: lavender powder is about 2:3 here.

I created the base tracks by using royal icing coloured with some cocoa powder. The grass was made using fairly stiff royal icing and a special tip for piping grass. The number "2" is a brown sugar cookie that is stuck onto the icing grass before it dried. I have some store bought sugar flowers which I stuck onto the grass before the icing dried.

The cakeboard base can be stored at room temperature in airtight conditions whereas the macarons have to be refrigerated for storage. Assembly has to be done at the venue but hey, I am sure mummy or little Ethan would have fun arranging the train on the tracks...Or so I thought. This gorgeous set was unfortunately destroyed by the courier and I did an emergency rebake in brown sugar cookie version since I had frozen cookie dough and refrigerated royal icing on hand. Thankfully almost all the little animal macarons were not damaged so I could reuse them for the cookie train set.

Cookie version at the party!

Thank God that the cookies were very well received by the kids and Ethan's mummy got to enjoy all the yummy macarons! Here's her review posted on Instagram:

With love,
Phay Shing

Read More »

Wednesday 18 October 2017

'Sumikko gurashi' Polar bear and Penguin Chiffon Cakes

Aww aren't they cute?

These are Sumikko gurashi Polar bear and Penguin Chiffon Cakes I made for my dear friend's wedding anniversary! 

Sumikko gurashi is roughly translated to 'Life in the corner' or '角落小夥伴'. Recently I have been seeing their adorable plushies all over the place! These are my chiffon cake versions. These cute cakes are a little like my previous Pusheen chiffon cake. The cream coloured Polar bear is vanilla chiffon cake, while the light green Penguin is pandan chiffon cake flavoured.

I made one for each of them! May God continue to bless their marriage together <3.

Hope these bring a smile to your faces too!

With lots of love,

*Some updates*
My new book Deco Chiffon Cake Basics (a step-by-step picture guide) has just been launched! It is now available at all major bookstores (Popular, Kinokuniya, Times and Naiise) in Singapore

Deco Chiffon Cake Basics is also available in all Malaysia Popular, Kinokuniya, mphonline. It has already reached West Malaysia. East Malaysia may take a few days more. 

The book has also reached Indonesia today! It is available at Periplus, Books & beyond and Kinokuniya in Indonesia. 

More details on the book and online bookstore links here.

I'm very thankful to God and everyone's love and support. A big thank you! <3 

Read More »

Monday 16 October 2017

Monster Chiffon Cupcakes with Strawberry Jam & Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Here are some monster cupcakes for a little boy's birthday, but also in time for Halloween!

Dark chocolate ganache filled monster macarons sitting on top of the cupcakes!

These aren't my ordinary chiffon cupcakes with Swiss meringue buttercream on top. It is super soft vanilla chiffon cupcakes filled with homemade strawberry jam and topped with fresh strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream!

My elder kid took the one extra cupcake with cream and jam and said it was really yums!

The monster macarons are really simple macarons to make if you are new to piping fancy shapes. They are round macarons with either little horns on the head or a separate macaron tongue added in the mouth. I used the reduced-sugar Italian meringue recipe to make these monsters. 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.

Piped circles and tongues

The monster eyes and features are added on using royal icing. I piped the eyes on baking paper, thoroughly dry them before sticking them onto the heads.

I filled the monsters with dark chocolate ganache.

If you feel adventurous or are a seasoned macaron baker, you may attempt the 3D version of monsters made from hemispherical shells. Please refer to my monster macarons bake last year for more awesome ideas!

I had some leftover fresh strawberry puree from making strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream so I made some jam with it. It is a really nice addition to the cupcake, adding moisture and a burst of flavour! And because it was a small quantity of puree, I didn't measure the ingredients but I can tell you that it is really simple to make and makes sure that you don't end up with leftover puree that you don't know what to do with. Simply add puree, a pinch of salt, a squeeze of lemon juice and some sugar into a small saucepan. Amount of sugar added is according to your preference. Heat over low heat and stir until mixture thickens.

Homemade strawberry jam. I love the natural deep red colour!

Recipe for strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream can be found here. I changed brand of strawberry emulco so the colour is less intense.

Vanilla chiffon cupcakes
Ingredients (makes about thirty 44x35mm cupcakes):
Egg yolk batter
5 egg yolks
5g caster sugar
70g canola/vegetable oil
70g fresh milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
95g cake flour
1/8 tsp salt

7 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
95g caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 140°C with tray of water at base of oven (optional but I put it there to create steam). Set oven rack to second lowest position.

2. Prepare egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale. Add oil and whisk until well combined. Add milk, and vanilla. Whisk until well combined. Gradually sift in flour and salt.

3. Prepare meringue. In a clean metal bowl, use electric mixer to beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add sugar and beat until firm peaks form, just before stiff peaks.

4. Fold the meringue into the egg yolk batter quickly but gently in three additions. Spoon the batter into cupcake cases until about 1cm from the top of the rim. Gently tap the cases on the table to release air bubbles.

5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting with cream.

I made about 330g strawberry smbc to frost the cupcakes. I poked a hole in the middle of the cupcake using a chopstick and filled with a little strawberry jam before topping off with strawberry smbc.

Simply top the cupcakes with a monster macaron and you are done :).

All packed and ready to party!

Thank God it was very well received in terms of looks and taste!

With love,
Phay Shing
Read More »

Wednesday 11 October 2017

Christmas Piñata Shortbread Cookies

I am all excited about conducting a series of cookie baking classes for kids! To kick-start the series, I will be teaching how to make Christmasy piñata shortbread cookies---cookies with surprise goodies hidden inside them!

Shortbread cookies may seem really simple, but come to this class to find out how to transform it into a magical box containing colourful treats! Once the technique is learnt, you can create pinata cookies with any design you like for various occasions and parties.

Children between the age of 5-12 years old are welcome to join the class with one adult accompanying them.

You may find the details for sign up over here at ToTT.

Places are limited so do book your slot as soon as you can!

With love,
Phay Shing
Read More »

Monday 9 October 2017

Rainbow Hearts Tea Flavoured Macarons for Wedding

Pastel shades of rainbow never go out of fashion. So here are some simple heart macarons in pastel shades for a wedding :)

I used the reduced sugar recipe for the macaron shells here. 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 the video tutorial below on how to pipe the perfect heart shape.

Just a quick note about baking light coloured macaron shells:
- Always use the lowest rack when baking
- Start at a higher baking temperature 140℃ to prevent hollows but lower it after the first 10-12 minutes of baking to 110℃ to prevent browning.
- add a little white powder food colouring as an “insurance” against browning

Freshly baked shells!

Tea flavours like matcha and Earl Grey were requested as they taste less sweet. Recipe for tea flavoured ganache can be found here.

Matcha ganache filling

Earl Grey ganache filling

Stay tuned for another wedding bake that went along with these macarons :).

Thank God that these were very well received in terms of looks and taste :). It is indeed not too sweet according to the guests despite looking dainty and sweet!

With love,
Phay Shing

Read More »

Sunday 8 October 2017

Pusheen Mermaid Chiffon Cake

This must be my new favorite creation!! As I love Pusheen and the Pusheen Mermaid is so super sweet!

This is a little like my previous creation Pusheen Cat Chiffon Cake, except it's vanilla-charcoal flavoured instead of black sesame. I opted for this flavour as it was a little hard to control the shade of the black with black sesame. For charcoal powder, I could add any amount I want without changing the flavour of the cake.

Some exciting news! My new book Deco Chiffon Cake Basics is going to hit the bookstores next weekend! It's a step-by-step picture guide to make it easier to understand as compared to previous books. Its focused on basic techniques of Deco Chiffon Cakes. Book cover is below for your reference =).

Have a meow-gical week ahead!

With lots of love,

Read More »