Thursday 27 June 2019

'We Bare Bears'-in-Box Chiffon Cake

'We Bare Bears' popping out of a box! 1, 2, 3.. which is your favorite? <3

This cake is an extension of my previous 'Ice Bear-in-Box Chiffon Cake'. The bears managed to find a box big enough to house all 3 of them! =) As the box was so long, the base is a 10-inch pandan chiffon cake.

And here is a more side view =).

Always love We bare Bears so much!! Don't they look so cosy! Hope they made you smile as they made me while I was making them! <3

With lots of love,

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Tuesday 25 June 2019

'Basket of Yellow Orchids' Pandan Kaya Cake

This is another bake that I had time to study and mull over. Yellow orchid themed pandan kaya cake for some guests to Singapore!

I made a similar cake for my mum's birthday a month plus ago. The same design of partial basket weave cake (basket weave made entirely out of gula melaka chiffon sponge) revealing the alternate layers of pandan gula melaka chiffon sponge and pandan Gula melaka pudding, except that I made a square cake instead of a round one. I also used the same recipe for bean paste flowers to make the orchids and leaves, whereas I made roses for my mum.

To me honest, I wasn't sure I could pull it off as I didn't have orchid petal cutters and veiner or the specific leaf veiner and cutter. Nor did I have the time and patience to study gum paste/sugar paste orchid tutorials thoroughly before I embarked on creating the flowers and leaves. I made my own templates for the petals and leaves and created a species of yellow orchids that isn't known ๐Ÿ˜†. I had some advice from experts at making edible flowers so that was really helpful too. Check out Helen (Instagram: bakepeoplehappy) and Shirley (Instagram: shirleyyangacakes) on Instagram to see their beautiful work!

I used dried mung beans that are easily available at supermarkets in Singapore to make the bean paste orchids and leaves. Even the shelled dried mung beans have a little black bits that got incorporated into the bean paste but I thought it's ok to have some imperfections on the flowers. You may refer to this post on my first experience with making bean paste roses. I am unable to share the recipe as I bought it from Helen. You may purchase it from her if you are interested. It tastes like bean flavoured mochi and way less sweet than sugar or fondant flowers AND it's super easy to handle and shape.

Just to share a few photos of the works in progress flowers and how I managed to pull this off without some of the specialized tools.

I used cheap plastic file to create templates for cutting out the petals and leaves. It's the same type of plastic sheet I use for cookie templates. It's reusable as you can wash the templates.

I created the petal veins using the blunt knife blade of a fondant tool. I didn't have foam pieces for helping to shape the petals and leaves while drying the moulded parts so I just used pieces of paper towels and cling wrap. I also didn't have specialized plastic petal/flower cups for drying formed parts so I just used a silicone baking mould that I have at home. 

Just a tip, always leave a small portion of same coloured bean paste dough (bottom right corner of photo above) for testing out edible paint colours after the formed flowers have dried.

I used paper towels and cling wrap for shaping the drying bean paste leaves too. I manually created the leaf veins using a baking knife blade shaped fondant tool.

After attaching the petals, column and throat of the orchids to gauge wires, I hung them upside down to dry. I didn't have a special drying rack so I just used a wire rack for steaming stuff in the wok and placed it over a mixing bowl. You can use whatever you have at home to create a makeshift drying rack to hang the flowers upside down.

Drying assembled orchids

Instead of dusting the flowers with edible dust, I made edible paint by using a mixture of vodka, edible petal dust and gel food colouring.

Orchid in the middle already has some subtle green shades added on. The one on the left has all the details added in. See how the flower comes to life with added details!

Completed set of buds, leaves and orchids. I didn't use one of the buds as I felt it was unnecessary.

A closer look at an orchid!

I used floral tape and more gauge wire to assemble the buds and flowers into a stalk. I attached a wooden dowel rod as a support too. Wrap the base of the stalk with cling wrap so that the surface directly in contact with the cake is food safe.

You may refer to this post for detailed recipe for the pandan Gula melaka kaya cake. I didn't make a diabetic friendly version this time round so I just used regular caster sugar instead of Stevia. Half of the sugar content comes from coconut palm sugar (Gula melaka) so overall the bake is still a little more diabetic friendly than pandan kaya cakes that are made using caster sugar only, and it adds that extra flavour to the cake. Coconut palm sugar has a glycemic index a third of regular white sugar.

I must admit that assembling a square pandan kaya cake isn't as easy as the round one as the square acetate sheet mould I made wasn't firm enough. I need to keep in mind to reinforce the walls with adjustable square metal cake ring in the future. The basket weave is made entirely out of Gula melaka chiffon cake. I followed the way basket weave pattern is piped on cakes using buttercream as a reference to create the basket weave.

Even the unadorned cake looks inviting ๐Ÿ˜Š

With love,
Phay Shing

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Friday 21 June 2019

Princess Mermaid Chiffon Cake

Princess Mermaid Chiffon Cake, filled with a jelly surprise!

The beautiful photo above is taken by the talented @mmlittlee. I wish I could take photos like her!

The backdrop was also beautifully done by her. The cake was modeled after Ufufy Princess Ariel and entirely decorated with chiffon cake. The tricky part was baking a huge sheet cake big enough for the hair!

I managed to find a picture of the jelly inside. There was more jelly in the top side. Thank God cake was very well-received, especially the jelly surprise, and this always brings me so much joy! =)

Still school holidays so not much time to blog. Hope all of you are having a great time with the family too!

With lots of love,

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Wednesday 19 June 2019

Iron Man Assorted Macarons

I made some assorted macarons for my friend who is a fan of Iron man ๐Ÿ˜Š.

Dark chocolate, salted caramel and lemon flavours! 

I filled the macarons with whipped dark chocolate ganache for chocolate macarons. I filled the salted caramel ones with a ring of salted caramel cream cheese, followed by a generous dollop of homemade salted caramel in the middle. I filled the lemon ones with a ring of lemon whipped white chocolate ganache, followed by a generous dollop of homemade lemon curd in the middle.

As the piping of Iron man shape is rather challenging, I chose recipes for macaron shells that produce a more stable batter. Originally I only planned to use the reduced sugar Swiss method recipe but I didn't prepare enough batter ๐Ÿ˜†. I topped up with a stabilized French method recipe as it can be prepared much more quickly and is stable enough for a small batch.

I used the reduced-sugar Swiss method for head version and stabilized French method for the full body version of chibi Iron man macarons. Here are some photos of the piped batter...

Piping the full body version

Piping the head version, top shells

Bottom shells for the head version

Adding in the details post-baking is also not for the fainthearted. It took me about one and a half days of work to complete adding in the details with edible black marker and painting with royal icing. Of course with interruptions from the kids as it's the school holidays ๐Ÿ˜….

Filling the macarons...

You may refer to this post for the recipe for whipped dark chocolate ganache. You may refer to this post for salted caramel and this post for lemon curd. I will share with you the recipe for salted caramel cream cheese and an updated lemon whipped ganache recipe.

Salted caramel cream cheese
50g salted caramel chips (I use Hershey's brand)
40g unsalted butter, room temperature
30g cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 tsp sea salt

1. In a small mixing bowl, cream the cream cheese with a spatula until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

2. Place salted caramel chips and butter in heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of freshly boiled water without the bottom of the bowl touching the water. Use a spatula to mix the contents in the bowl until melted and smooth. Be careful not to overheat. Don't panic if the mixture appears to separate. It will all come together later after chilling and whipping. Set aside to firm up in air-con room until scoopable consistency, about 30min. Alternatively, chill in freezer for 1-2min and stir/whip with a spatula. Repeat chilling and whipping until smooth, firm and creamy like buttercream.

3. Add salt and mix well. Add whipped cream cheese in a few additions, mixing well after each addition using a spatula.

Lemon whipped white chocolate ganache
55g white chocolate, finely chopped or use chips
20g unsalted butter
18g lemon curd
Zest of a lemon
1/8 tsp lemon paste
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt

1. Place white chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl and melt together using medium low power at 10 second bursts, mixing well in between heating rounds. Be careful not to overheat.

2. Chill the melted chocolate in the freezer for 1-2min and stir/beat with spatula. Repeat freezing and beating until light and creamy like buttercream.

3. Add lemon zest and salt and mix well. Add lemon paste and juice and mix well. Gradually add lemon curd and mix well.

Thank God the macarons were very well received!

With love,
Phay Shing
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Friday 14 June 2019

Snoopy and Woodstock on Hurricane Chiffon Cake

And that is how I applied my Hurricane Chiffon Cake! To make a green pasture design for Snoopy and Woodstock! Looking at them makes me go Awww.. and reminds me of the wonderful moments we have with our best friend =).

For those who are interested how I made Snoopy, I have shared the recipe here. The same recipe and technique is used for making the Hello Kitty and Snoopy cake pops. I used a Snoopy mold. If you like a whiter cake, you can reduce the egg yolks down from 3 egg yolks to 1 egg yolk. For the house, I just cut out a block of red chiffon cake and stuck a red sheet cake over for roof using melted marshmallow cream. The woodstock is carved/cut out from yellow sheet chiffon cake.

Video and recipe for Hurricane chiffon cake has been shared last week.

Hope this made you smile!! hugs

And sorry for disappearing for over a week, was overseas and wasn't near any PC. But it was a good break away, by God's grace.

With lots of love,

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Wednesday 12 June 2019

Dinosaur Choux Pastries on Kiwis n Cream Chiffon Cake (Dairy-free)

My friend requested for a dinosaur themed bake for her son. Her family loves the strawberries n cream cakes I bake so she requested for another fresh fruit n cream cake again. She was game to try choux pastry so I took up the challenge of creating the dinosaurs and backdrop using choux pastry!

The birthday boy and some of the family members are allergic to dairy so this bake is dairy-free (well almost...I still used dairy butter in the Choux pastry case and pastry cream but it's a small percentage in relation to the other ingredients and the birthday boy is able to tolerate.)

I will share the links to detailed recipe of some of the components of this bake but will include detailed recipe of new stuff like dairy-free but rich chocolate pastry cream and the ingredient list for my dairy-free vanilla chiffon cake.

You may refer to this post for the detailed recipe of choux pastry case and the Craquelin on top of it. I chose rather safe colours for the dinosaurs so that any browning will be less obvious. Remember to use a perforated mat for the main body pastry cases as it helps to retain the shape better. Just to share photos of the process...

Piped batter with cookie dough on top before baking.

Freshly baked cases with the various parts

Assembled choux cases using royal icing. The volcano and trunk of the tree are made using a special technique for making cylindrical shaped choux cases shared by seb.pettersson (Instagram)

Here's a peek at the nicely hollow interior of the truncated cone I baked for the volcano!

I had to stop to ooo and aahh at the final Choux creation because it's just so cute and whimsical!

T Rex looks like it ate too much and had to sit down while Brontosaurus looks like it still wants to eat ๐Ÿ˜†

The pastry cases are not glued to the cakeboard so that they can be filled with chocolate pastry cream just before consumption. Here's the rich and smooth dairy-free chocolate pastry cream recipe. You may scale it up or down accordingly.

Dairy-free chocolate pastry cream
3 egg yolks
30g cornflour
15g cocoa powder
30g caster sugar
300g + 23g soy milk (or rice/ almond milk)
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g dark chocolate couverture (or chopped dark chocolate of your choice. Add more if you prefer even more chocolatey and firmer filling)
20g unsalted butter (or dairy-free butter), room temperature
110g non-dairy whipping cream, chilled

1. Place 300g soy milk, salt and vanilla extract in saucepan and heat on medium low heat until it just starts to bubble at the edges.

2. In the mean time, sift together cocoa powder and cornflour into a heavy heatproof mixing bowl. Add sugar and whisk together until combined. Add egg yolks and 23g of soy milk and whisk until a thick smooth paste forms.

3. Once the soy milk is sufficiently heated, remove from heat and pour in the slow thin stream into egg yolk mixture while whisking constantly. This is to temper the egg yolks. Pour the mixture back into saucepan.

4. Whisk the mixture while heating over the stove on medium-low heat. Once the mixture starts to thicken, remove from heat and whisk until it smoothens out. Put the saucepan back to heat and whisk continuously until your preferred custard consistency. Remove the saucepan from heat to whisk now and then as necessary. Do not use high heat or you end up with scrambled eggs.

5. Once the custard is cooked to your preferred consistency, remove from heat and add butter and chocolate couverture. Whisk until smooth and all the butter and chocolate has melted. Sieve the pastry cream if there are any lumps. Press a cling wrap on the surface of the pastry cream and refrigerate until cool. At least an hour.

6. Whip non-dairy whipping cream until firm peaks form. Use a spatula to gently beat the pastry cream until it is loosened in texture. Fold the whipping cream into the party cream in a few additions until no trace of whipping cream is seen. You may store the chocolate pastry cream in the fridge for a few days in airtight condition

I love the fact that this pastry cream is rich and chocolatey without the taste of soy milk at all! 

I have made strawberries n cream vanilla chiffon cake quite a few times and used the same default recipe because it is always very well received. I adapted this dairy-free version from my default recipe. The only changes I made were changing the liquid from fresh milk to water and using more vanilla extract. I don't have access to rice milk or I would have used it. I didn't use soy milk as I didn't like the idea of having the taste of soy mixed with fresh fruit and cream. I prefer it to have a pure vanilla and milky flavour which compliments a tart fruit like kiwi better.

As this is a larger 8" cake, I decided to bake three separate layers of cakes instead of one large cake and then slicing into three. The ingredient list is for all three layers in total so you may bake it as one tall cake if you wish. I baked each layer for about 45 min with a tray of water at bottom of oven at 135-140℃. Note that baking time will be much longer for a single tall cake.

Dairy-free vanilla chiffon cake
Ingredients (8" round pan with removable base):
5 egg yolks
6g castor sugar
67g canola oil
67g water (or rice milk)
1 tbs vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
96g cake flour

6 egg whites
78g castor sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

You may refer to this post for the steps for making the sponge.

A freshly baked layer of vanilla sponge!

Assembling with non-dairy whipping cream and kiwis. Using acetate sheet helps to keep the assembly neat.

I added 1 tsp of vanilla extract to 300g of non-dairy whipping cream. As the whipping cream is rather stable, I didn't need to add gelatin or icing sugar as stabilizer. Sugar is also already present in the non-dairy cream.

Assembled cake!

I baked a separate orange coloured chiffon sponge for the name and glued it onto the cake using non-dairy whipping cream.

This bake is really a labour of love as I put in lots of care for each component!

If you would like to explore more fun Choux pastry designs, do check out my Deco Choux Pastries book which is currently available at bookstores in Singapore!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Friday 7 June 2019

Penguin Choux Pastry (Video tutorial)

Besides video tutorials for making basic Choux pastry and piping ร‰clairs, I also made a video tutorial for creating character choux pastries for my Deco Choux Pastries book. Since the book is about to be released in bookstores, I can finally share the video tutorial of making these penguins ๐Ÿ˜Š

I was so excited to receive the author's copies of the book!

Here's a peek at the back cover!

The tutorial shows you how to include small parts of the character made out of choux pastry, how to create a flat surface on the pastry case which allows the character stand and how to add chocolate features on the case.

I hope this encourages you to get a copy of Deco Choux Pastries as there are a total of 30 designs to inspire you to create Choux pastries that are cute and yummy!

With love,
Phay Shing
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Tuesday 4 June 2019

Hurricane Chiffon Cake - Two Versions

Happy to revisit Hurricane Chiffon Cake after 1 year! My previous Hurricane Chiffon Cake had both top and side Hurricane. This round I experimented more with the side Hurricane. The bottom Hurricane in the picture above (Type 2) is similar to my previous version. The main difference in the technique between the two versions was that for Type 2, I dragged the spoon/spatula an extra "up" stroke . I managed to film videos this round to make the sketches more obvious. The new version of Hurricane chiffon (Type 1) was something I saw recently in food groups (sorry I can't remember who but thanks) and I realized it was similar to my Hurricane chiffon cake, but misses the "up" stroke and only has the "down" stroke. Interestingly, it has the same design as my Seawaves chiffon cake! The seawaves chiffon cake is made by a very different method of spooning =). Just wanted to share my fun experiments. I have uploaded a Youtube version here too combining both types =).

Recipe is also below for those who wanted to try. It is the same recipe as my previous Hurricane Chiffon Cake 1 year back. Hope you find it fun and useful!

Hurricane Chiffon Cake (15-cm tube pan)

3 egg yolks
18g castor sugar
40g vegetable/corn oil
42g milk/ coconut milk
60g cake flour
4g vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pandan paste

3 egg whites
35g castor sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 140°C.

2. Prepare egg yolk batter:

a. Whisk egg yolk with sugar using hand whisk.
b. Add in oil, milk, vanilla extract and mix well.
c. Whisk in sifted cake flour till no lumps are found.

3. Divide the egg yolk batter into two. To the green batter, add pandan paste.

4. Prepare meringue:

a. In a grease-free, dry metal bowl, using electric mixer, whisk egg whites with cream of tartar till frothy.
b. Add in castor sugar for meringue gradually and whisk at high speed till firm peaks form.

5. Divide the meringue into two and gently fold meringue into respective egg yolk batter in 3 addtions.

6. To make the hurricane pattern at the side:

Fill the base with plain batter.

Cover with green batter.

Type 1:
Using the base of a spatula/spoon, draw downwards, then circle up (without touching the side of the pan), and then draw downwards again. Repeat till you reach one full circle (see video).

Type 2:
Using the base of a spatula/spoon, draw downwards, then horizontal across, then draw upwards on the pan, then horizontal across and downwards again. Repeat till you reach one full circle (see video).

Have fun!

With lots of love,
Susanne =)

More loving chiffon cake creations here:

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Monday 3 June 2019

Unicorn Pusheen Lychee Macarons and Brown Sugar Cookies

Not only did I make unicorn Pusheen choux pastry. I made them as macarons and brown sugar cookies too!

You may find the brown sugar cookie and royal icing recipe from this post.

Just to share some photos of the process...

Cutting out cookie dough. I make my own templates using flexible clear plastic. 

Using edible marker to mark out the lines

Adding on royal icing features. I waited until the royal icing is fully dry before adding in the fine facial features using black edible marker and painting the center of the mouths with pink gel colouring dissolved in a little vodka.

I baked the macaron shells concurrently with my Totoro and friends macaron tree project as they share similar colours. I used a Swiss meringue method recipe for the macarons.

Piping the macaron shells

Freshly baked shells

Decorated macaron shells

I filled the macarons with lychee whipped white chocolate ganache and chopped lychee. You may refer to the filling recipe and instructions from this post.

That's all for my short series of unicorn Pusheen bakes!

With love,
Phay Shing
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