Monday, 10 February 2020

Gudetama On Toast (spherified lemon curd on panna cotta and lavender vanilla chiffon cake)

This is a bake I squeezed in for a young lady to bring her some cheer. She happens to be a fan of Gudetama. The concept of this bake was inspired by the first episode of season one of Sugar Rush, the baking competition. On that episode, one of the contestants made "egg on toast" for the confections round of the competition but the egg yolk was spherified pineapple curd on top of egg white (milk panna cotta), midori buttercream with marshmellows and a coconut pound cake (the "toast"). I was so totally amazed by how realistic the "egg yolk" looked and saved the idea in my memory until there was a chance to use it. So here it is! My version of "egg on toast"! Spherified lemon curd on vanilla panna cotta and lavender vanilla bean chiffon cake!

Just to show you how cool it is, I made a video of how the spherified curd is like but the curd and panna cotta are resting on an actual slice of bread because I didn't make extra "toast".

You can pick the "yolk" up and finally pierce it to let the inner goodness ooze out when you had enough fun poking at it! I know it looks awfully cruel 🤣

This bake looks simple but it has quite a few elements to prepare.

Gudetama's facial features are made from something inspired by Yuni Sweets, one of the queens of patterned deco roll cakes. I used her simple recipe for the patterned parts of the roll cake to create Gudetama's face.

Recipe for Gudetama's facial features 
10g unsalted butter, room temperature
10g icing sugar
10g cake flour
10g egg whites
Charcoal powder
White gel food colouring

1. Place template of Gudetama on baking tray. Line tray with teflon sheet or parchment paper. Lightly grease the surface with oil and paper towel. Preheat oven to 150°C.

2. Place butter, sugar, flour and egg whites in a small mixing bowl. Whisk together until smooth.

3. Divide the batter into 2 and add charcoal powder to one portion and white colouring to the other. I didn't measure but instead add a bit at a time until desired shade is reached.

4. Transfer each coloured batter into piping bag and cut a small hole at the end. Pipe the black parts, followed by the white part. Use a toothpick to nudge the batter where necessary.

5. Bake in oven for 6-7min or until batter appears dry. Cool completely on tray before storing in airtight condition. You may prepare this a day or two ahead of time.

Recipe for lavender vanilla chiffon cake
Ingredients (for 6x6" square pan) :
2 egg yolks
5g caster sugar
28g fresh milk (or lavender milk* if lavender oil not available)
28g vegetable or canola oil
40g cake flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
2 drops lavender oil

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

* to prepare lavender milk, heat 40g of milk with 1-1.5tsp of dried lavender flowers until the milk just starts to bubble. Let it steep for 10 min. Strain out the flowers and measure out 28g.

1. Preheat oven to 140°C and set rack to second lowest position. Line bottom of baking tray with parchment paper but leave the walls unlined.

2. Prepare egg yolk batter. In a mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar together until pale and thick. Add oil and whisk untik combined. Add milk, lavender oil, vanilla and salt and whisk until combined. Gradually sift in flour and cocoa powder and whisk until no trace of flour is seen.

3. Prepare the meringue. Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean metal bowl. Beat with electric mixer until firm peaks or just reach stiff peaks, gradually adding sugar once the egg whites are foamy.

4. Quickly but gently fold meringue into egg yolk batter in three additions. Pour into prepared baking tin. Tap the tin on the table a few times or run a chopstick around to pop air bubbles.

5. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Turn the temperature up to 170°C and bake for another 5-10min. This is to brown the exterior of the cake to make the "crust" of the toast. Usually I leave a tray of water at the base of the oven but I omit for this bake as I want the browning to happen. Note that time and temperature is oven dependemt so adjust accordingly.

6. Cool the cake upright. Carefully unmould the sides by hand or with the help of a spatula. Slice the cake till it is about 3cm tall. Carefully remove part of the crust at the flat face of the cake by gently rubbing off crumbs of the cake to create the toast pattern. It is optional to do so for the middle of the cake since the egg is going to cover it but I did it anyway for fun!

Did I totally fool you with this 😉? 

Store the cake in airtight container until ready to assemble. You may wish to brush the surfaces of the cake with vanilla flavoured simple syrup to moisten it if you wish as I purposely baked until dry on the surface for the toasted look. The cake will still not be awfully dry when you eat as it is eaten with panna cotta and lemon curd

I made more lemon curd and panna cotta than necessary so I placed them into cups for a refreshing pudding dessert for my kids.

Recipe for panna cotta
200g heavy cream
200g fresh milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
40g caster sugar
6g gelatin sheets (3 sheets) **
Some ice water in a bowl**

**you may use powdered gelatin. If using this instead, scatter same weight of gelatin powder over 50g of cold milk or water to bloom for 10 min before microwaving and stirring to dissolve the gelatin.

1. Soak gelaton sheets in ice water for 10 min. In the mean time, place all other ingredients in saucepan and heat and whisk until sugar dissolves.

2. Continue heating the cream and milk mixture until it just starts to bubble at the edges. Remove from heat. Squeeze excess water out from gelatin sheets. Add into saucepan and whisk until dissolved.

3. Pour the mixture into cups/moulds. I prepared acetate sheet rings with cling wrap at the bottom for the "egg white" portion of the fried egg. Sorry I didn't take any photos of it as I was working close to midnight for this part.

4. Chill overnight in the fridge or at least 4 h.

Spherfied lemon curd
I used this blog post as my reference for the spherificarion process.

Ingredients :
240g lemon curd (replace lime with lemon from recipe)
30g water
6g calcium chloride

800g + extra 500g distilled water
4g sodium alginate

1. Prepare lemon curd.

2. Dissolve calcium chloride in water but whisking them together.

I added a little turmeric to the lemon curd to make it a deeper yellow shade but you won't taste it at all

3. Add calcium chloride solution into lemon curd and whisk well. Transfer into silicone hemispherical mould. I used the 4cm diameter one

4. Freeze overnight or for 2 hours at least until very firm.

5. In the mean time, prepare sodium alginate solution. Scatter sodium alginate in 800g water in a glass loaf pan (or any other shallow tray). Use a blender to blend until no more gel lumps left. You may find it easier to do this in a measuring jug and then sieve the solution into the loaf pan but I was lazy to wash more things. Set aside to settle for 2h until solution turns totally clear.

Preparing sodium alginate solution 

6. When the solution is ready and lemon curd is frozen, prepare another bath of distilled water for rinsing the spheres. Pop the frozen spheres into alginate solution, a few at a time. Gently agitate the spheres in the solution for about 3 min. Remove with slotted spoon and rinse in distilled water before draining over paper towel and carefully depositing on top of panna cotta. You may find it helpful to dig out a small cavity in the panna cotta such that the "egg yolk" can sit nicely on it without sliding around.

Add on the facial features and you are done!

Keep the assembled creation in the fridge for up to 3 days. The spherified curd I made can survive for up to 3 days stored although what I have read so far for spherified juices needed to be consumed within a day. The spheres I made can remain intact and burst with oozy goodness even on the third day!

I recommend smearing the burst curd all over the cake/ panna cotta and eat together with panna cotta for a well balanced flavour as the addition of calcium chloride to lemon curd makes it sharper than it originally is.

With love,
Phay Shing

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