Friday 29 June 2018

Cooked Dough Banana Chiffon Cake with Dark and White Chocolate

Sometimes I have requests for simple bakes like these...Banana chiffon cake with white chocolate drip!

I included dark chocolate ganache in the middle and around the sides as well to add a little more dimension to the overall flavour 

I adapted the recipe from the Kitchen Tigress but used the cooked dough method. The cake is very, very soft, moist and fluffy so handle with care.

Ingredients (makes one 15cm chiffon cake):
110g banana puree (one large ripe banana)
28g canola oil
15g fresh milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp caramel flavouring (optional)
A few drops banana essence (optional)
1/8 tsp salt
45g top flour or cake flour (increase to 50-55g if you want a more structurally stable but slightly drier cake)
1/5 tsp baking soda
2 yolks

3 egg whites
1/5 tsp cream of tartar
40g caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 140℃ and set the rack to lowest position. Place a tray of water at the bottom of the oven (optional especially if you prefer your chiffon cakes with browned sides as the browned cake crust is more flavourful. Bake at 160℃ of you prefer cake with crust.)

2. Sift together flour, salt and baking soda into mixing bowl. Set aside. Heat oil in a small saucepan until it reaches 70℃ or you are able to see swirl lines in the oil. Pour the oil all at once into the flour and whisk until well combined.

3. Gradually add banana puree, milk with vanilla, caramel flavouring and banana essence (if using) and whisk until well combined with each addition. Add one egg yolk at a time and whisk until well combined with each addition.

4. Prepare the meringue. In a clean metal bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks form or stiff peak is just reached, gradually adding in the sugar once the egg whites turn foamy.

5. Quickly but gently fold the meringue into the egg yolk batter in three additions. Slowly pour the batter into chiffon tin.

6. Bake for for 60-70 min or until skewer comes out clean. Invert immediately to cool completely before unmoulding by using a combination of hand and straight edged metal spatula. Bear in mind that this cake is very soft so unmould carefully.

This cake is yummy on its own but if you want to add a bit of chocolate, you may use the simple recipe I used. Simply melt some dark chocolate with whipping cream using the ratio of dark chocolate:cream = 3:2. Leave the ganache to firm up at the countertop until toothpaste consistency. Frost the hole of the cake and refrigerate until firm. You may add some stripes at the side of the cake like what I did. Simply pipe random horizontal lines of ganache and then smooth them out horizontally with a spatula.

For the white chocolate drip, I used a ratio of white chocolate:cream = 3:1. Melt the white chocolate and cream togther. Transfer the white chocolate ganache into piping bag and then pipe in rings on the top surface of the cake. Pipe the drips around the sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake in an airtight container.

Thank God that I received feedback that the cake tasted great! The requester loved the cake I baked so much that she didn't hesitate to order another flavour of cake from me again.

With love,
Phay Shing

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Wednesday 27 June 2018

Japanese Milk Bun Bears with Kaya Filling

School has just reopened, so I made these simple Japanese Milk Bread Buns with kaya filling for my kids' snack break. It's an easy bake, using a similar recipe to the previous Chocolate Bear-in-a-cone, but without cocoa powder.

Milk Bun Bears (With Kaya filling)
100g Prima bread flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp instant dry yeast
130g warm milk (~37°C, I microwaved for 20 secs)

100g Prima bread flour
20g unsalted butter
1/3 tsp salt

Black/pink food marker for decoration

1. In the stand mixer bowl, add all the dry ingredients in (A). Then add in the warm milk and mix vigorously using the dough hook for a few minutes. This helps to activate the yeast. Stop when you see little tiny bubbles popping when you stop stirring.

2. Add in the rest of (B) ingredients into the bowl. and mix using the dough hook until window pane stage (around 20 min, using speed 3). *Check for window pane after kneading for 20 min

3. Cover with cling wrap. Let it proof for 40 min for 1st fermentation. The dough will increase in size to about 1.5-2 times.

4. Do the finger test for the bread dough (leave an indent). Once the 1st fermentation is ok, remove the dough from the mixing bowl and degas the dough.

5. Divide the dough into 6 equal parts. Shape into balls and cover for 10mins (bench time).

6. After 10 min, flatten the dough and section out 2 small parts for the bear’s ears, and 2 smaller parts for bear's hands.

7. Flatten the larger dough into a circle. Place a 2 tsp ball of kaya (or whatever filling desired) in the center. Pinch to seal and roll into a round ball. Place the ball with pinched ends facing down on the prepared baking tray.

8. Repeat for the rest of the bread dough. Attach the ears and hands onto the bread. I used pasta sticks to prevent ears from dropping after proofing. I didn't need to use for the hands as they were small.

9. Cover gently with cling wrap. Let it rest for 30 min for 2nd fermentation.

10. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the buns into the oven then lower to 150°C. Bake at 150°C for 30 min.

11. Cool the buns completely on a wire rack.

12. Draw on features using food marker.

Hope you like the simple, easy and cute bread buns!

With lots of love,

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Monday 25 June 2018

Noah's Ark Raspberry Dark Chocolate Macarons

I am in the midst of finishing up making macarons for the photoshoot but still really excited about working on this project for my friend :)

Noah's Ark, macaron version! The whole ark is made up of macarons too!

I added little "step stools" for the giraffes or they will appear too short...Or simply make taller giraffes if you are attempting this 

All the brown parts, shells and filling, are raspberry and dark chocolate flavoured. I have freeze-dried raspberry powder on hand so it was an excellent addition to compliment the richness of chocolate. I will just share how to make macarons of this flavour in this post. You may refer to my first macaron book, Creative Baking: Macarons for step by step guide on the basics and how to create macarons of various shapes. The template for elephant macarons can be found there too. I used the reduced sugar Italian method recipe to make these. For simplicity, you may replace rice and cornflour with icing sugar.

Recipe for raspberry chocolate macaron shells 
Ingredients (makes about 25-30 macarons):
100g superfine almond powder
90g icing sugar
9g rice flour
1g (1/2tsp) cornflour
40g egg whites
1/8 tsp fine sea salt (optional)
1 tsp Freeze-dried raspberry powder
10g Cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-processed)

40g egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
100g caster sugar
38g water

1. Prepare baking tray with template and parchment paper. I am assuming you are making regular sized round macarons of about 4-5cm. Set oven rack to lowest or second lowest position.

2. Sift together all dried ingredients for the mass. Add egg whites and mix well to form a thick paste.

3. Prepare the italian meringue. Heat sugar and water in a small saucepan without stirring until it reaches 115-118℃. In the mean time, beat egg whites with electric mixer until soft peak stage medium low speed. Any peaks should melt back in after one second. You may start beating the egg whites when syrup temperature reaches 110℃. Once syrup temperature is reaches 115-118℃, switch mixer speed to medium high speed and carefully pour syrup into the egg whites in a thin steady stream, avoiding the beaters. Continue beating for another 10-15 minutes or until meringue is cool to at least body temperature.

4. Fold the meringue into the mass in two additions until batter is able to fall off spatula in an almost continuous manner.

5. Transfer to piping bag and pipe rounds in the baking tray. Bang the tray on the table a few times to release trapped air bubbles. Use a toothpick to pop any stubborn bubbles. Tap the tray again.

6. Rest the piped shells in air-con room or under a fan until dry to touch. Preheat oven to 140℃ towards end of drying time. Use top and bottom heat only. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 120℃ and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until feet no longer appears wet. Do note that macaron shells made with cocoa powder added tend to require longer baking time. Also note that each oven is different so adjust baking time and temperature accordingly.

Just to share a photo of the piped layers of the hull of the ark...

These are large so baking time was about 35-45 minutes.

Here is a photo of the piped shells for the animals...

Not at my best with piping ๐Ÿ˜† but glad that the outcome is still cute.

I filled the shells with a rather firm ganache as the animals, especially the owl, need to remain intact and easy to handle when left out at room temperature in Singapore. Feel free to increase the amount of heavy cream for a softer ganache if you wish.

Raspberry dark chocolate ganache
180g dark chocolate couverture (or chocolate bar chopped)
20g unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
44g heavy cream
4 tsp freeze-dried raspberry powder
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1. Place chocolate, butter, cream and salt in a microwave safe bowl and heat at medium power for half a minute. Stir to mix well. Repeat until melted and smooth. Alternatively you may use double-boiling method.

2. Add vanilla and mix well. Add raspberry powder and mix well.

3. You may let the ganache stand at room temperature until it firms up to toothpaste consistency or chill it and whip it up to have a lighter texture.

To whip it, chill in freezer for two minutes and beat with a spatula or electric mixer. Repeat chilling and beating until it is light and creamy.

I mounted the owls on sticks so that they can be inserted into gaps on the roof of the ark to make the owls look like they are roosting on top :)

I covered a seven inch cakeboard with stiff royal icing to mounted the name and ark on. I assembled the layers of the ark directly on the cakeboard.

Completed ark but the inhabitants have not arrived yet 

Some have settled in :)
I didn't stick the animals onto the ark so that the recipient can play with the pieces like a doll house concept type of toy.

I was really charmed by this setup. I hope you are too! Not to mention, this combination of raspberry and dark chocolate is really lovely. You may make your own raspberry jam like I did for some of my macarons but using freeze-dried powder is a quick and convenient way of including natural raspberry flavour into the bake.

With love,
Phay Shing

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Wednesday 20 June 2018

Video tutorial for French Method of making macarons

I have finally decided to do a full video tutorial for making macarons!

It took me a few hours of processing 14 separate videos and photos to create this 5 minute tutorial ๐Ÿ˜…. This is precisely why I am not keen on making video tutorials often.

French method is covered as most homebakers will find this easier than Swiss or Italian methods.

The focus of this tutorial is on the basic techniques that newbies may find difficult, especially the part for folding the batter and testing consistency. Please be patient as the book (Creative Baking: Macaron Basics) will only be physically in stores in Singapore by end September/ early October. For UK, it will be around January/February 2019 and US about April/May 2019. Full recipe and baking conditions can be found in the book.

I hope you find this tutorial helpful!

With love,
Phay Shing
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Monday 18 June 2018

Chocolate with Custard Baked Mooncake

I have decided to teach traditional baked mooncake for Culinary Arts Ministry class at church this August but with a twist :)

Chocolate mooncake skin with custard filling and salted egg yolk!

My taste testers all said this is really delicious as you get a good balance of chocolate, custard and savoury salted egg yolk flavours all in one bite.

Recipe for salted egg yolk for mooncake
(Recipe is adapted from here.)
Ingredients (for 12 mini mooncakes*):
6 salted egg yolks
A small bowl of rose wine (or vodka)
1tbs cooking oil
1tsp sesame oil

*Mini mooncakes are 50g each. If you are making regular sized mooncakes of 100g each, there is no need to halve the salted egg yolks as each mooncake will have a full yolk.

1. Preheat oven to 160℃. Set oven rack to middle position.

2. Cut each salted egg yolk into half and reshape into balls. Each half yolk ball weighs about 6-7g.

3. Dip each ball into rose wine for 30-40 seconds and set aside on baking tray lined with aluminium foil.

4. Mix sesame and cooking oil together in a small bowl. Lightly coat each ball with a brush or use your finger.

5. Bake for 5-10min until cooked but not dry. It may be hard to gauge this but watch the colour carefully. Once it starts to lighten a bit in appearance. Take it out of the oven. Mine took about 7 minutes. Cool completely before use.

Pat the excess oil and moisture off with paper towels. You may prepare this ahead of time and store in airtight container for a few days.

I used store bought custard flavoured lotus paste mooncake filling from Phoon Huat. You may make your own custard filling from scratch. Internet has lots of recipes so you may just pick your favourite :)

This filling compliments the chocolate mooncake skin very well. Together with salted egg yolk, you get a very well balanced and rich tasting treat.

For the mini mooncakes that I am making, I use the ratio of 30g filling and 20g dough. Since each salted egg yolk half is about 6-7g, I portion about 23-24g of custard filling for each mooncake. Wrap each salted egg yolk ball with the custard filling. You may do this while the dough is resting.

I adapted from Ann Low's recipe for the mooncake skin and it can be found here.

Chocolate mooncake skin recipe
Ingredients (makes about 12 mini mooncakes of 50g each):
113g plain flour
18g cocoa powder
85g golden syrup
25g peanut oil
1/2 tsp alkaline water

1. Sift together cocoa powder and plain flour. In another mixing bowl, mix together golden syrup, peanut oil and alkaline water.

2. Add the flour mixture to the liquid mix. Mix the two together to form a dough. Cling wrap and let it rest for 30 min. Portion out the filling and wrap the salted egg yolks with it while waiting for the dough to rest.

3. Towards end of resting time, preheat the oven to 165℃. Portion out 20g of dough for each mooncake.

4. Carefully wrap each filling ball with dough. Pinch seal and roll the ball between your hands to smooth out any creases or cracks. The dough is rather easy to handle without the need for extra dusting with flour.

5. Place the ball into a mooncake plunger and press out the shape onto baking tray lined with parchment paper.

6. Bake for 10min, then cool for 10min on baking tray. Bake for another 10 min at 165℃ and cool completely before storing. There is no need egg wash but best to spray water on the surface before baking to prevent the skin from cracking.

Freshly baked!

Do wait for 3 days for the mooncake to ๅ›žๆฒน (literally translated as "return oil") to enjoy it at its best texture although you may consume it freshly baked. The skin is more biscuity when freshly baked but becomes soft with storage.

Store the cooled mooncakes in airtight container in a cool and dry place. It can keep for a month in airtight condition.

With love,
Phay Shing
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Friday 15 June 2018

Spongebob Surprise in Pineapple Chiffon Cake

I am really honored and thankful for the opportunity to film with Food Network! <3

It was the most challenging chiffon cake I have made to date, a Surprise Spongebob face in a Pineapple!

The request was given by Food Network. I didn't think I was able to make it initially. Really thank God so much for providing!! <3 

As it's my first time trying out the concept, I almost had a heart attack when we sliced into the cake! =D I didn't have enough time to try out the cake beforehand as one cake took 2.5 days to make!

Video tutorial can be found here from Food Network FB. They had wanted to commemorate Spongebob Squarepants musical at the Tony awards!

Hope it made you smile too!! =)

With lots of love,


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Thursday 14 June 2018

Bear Family, Hedgehogs and Heart Macarons

There may be many things that we chase after but are we valuing people around us more than things?

Father's Day is just round the corner and I think to many dads out there, family is still more important than career (I can't say this for all dads), and there is simple, satisfying joy in savouring a great cup of coffee (or tea, or Milo)

Bear family with a couple of

This seemingly random request has been sitting as draft for a couple of months and I finally found an opportunity to post it ๐Ÿ˜†. It looks like a happy bear family with a couple of hedgehogs as pets!

I used the reduced-sugar French method recipe and made them along with the Chibi Pokemon macaron cake toppers. I filled the macarons with dark chocolate ganache that is suitable for Singapore's hot weather.

Please pardon the poor lighting as I didn't have good sunlight that day to take photos.

Checkout the awesome feet!

Blessed Father's Day to all the dads!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Monday 11 June 2018

Gold and Pink Minnie Themed Cookiepops

Now that I am busy with bakes for my Creative Baking: Macaron Basics photoshoot, I can finally slowly clear my backlog of blog posts that have been collecting dust as drafts ๐Ÿ˜‚. Quite a few of the backlog posts are cookie bakes because these usually take a backseat compared to other more exciting bakes. Nonetheless, I would like to present the full scope of what I do when possible. I don't just bake macarons and cakes all the time ๐Ÿ˜…. The reason why all my junior chef classes are cookie classes (so far) is because they taste great! I have direct feedback from both parents and kids who attend my classes.

I made this Minnie Mouse themed cookiepops at the end of last year for a little girl's first birthday.

These are made using my all-time favourite brown sugar cookie recipe. Both cookie and royal icing recipe can be found here.

Just to share a couple of pictures...

Freshly baked cookie pops!

Do note that for cookie pops, I use wooden sticks as they are safe to go into the oven. I also cut out two 4mm thick cookie dough cutouts for each cookie pop and sandwich the stick between the two cutouts before baking.

All wrapped up and ready to party!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Sunday 10 June 2018

We Bare Bears Chiffon Cakes

Aww love We Bare Bears so much!! 1, 2, 3.. which is your favorite?? <3

This is my 2nd attempt at a We Bare Bears creation! The previous was a stacked version. Here, I made them standing up, similar to my recent Ufufy creations!

I'm actually on holiday, so pardon my short post =p. Hope they made you smile! Enjoy your holidays too!! <3

With lots of love,

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Wednesday 6 June 2018

Chibi Pokemon Dark Chocolate Macaron Pops

My friend wanted to surprise her daughter with an edible Pokemon birthday gift so I made these chibi Pokemon macaron cake toppers!

Shaymin, Pikachu, Meowth and Dedenne!

Her daughter only likes anything with chocolate so I filled the macarons with dark chocolate ganache.

As I was making a small batch macarons, I decided to use my reduced sugar French method recipe to make these. I prefer the Italian method when making larger batches.

Here are the piped shells!

I made these concurrently with some other random macarons. Will post them in the future :)

Filling the macaron cake toppers with dark chocolate ganache

My friend got her daughter a chocolate cake (of course) and topped it off with these adorable and yummy cake toppers. Thank God that it was really well received!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Sunday 3 June 2018

Stitch Chiffon Cake

Stitch Chiffon Cake! It was so fun making it!

My recipe with pictures can be found on Disney family here. Very thankful for the opportunity!

Hope you will find the recipe helpful =).

Happy holidays!

With lots of love,

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