Wednesday 29 July 2020

Hello Kitty Popsicle Celebration (Online Class)

Here is the second class which I am launching with Sanrio!

Titled Hello Kitty Popsicle Celebration, Hello Kitty dressed in red and white and getting ready to celebrate SG National day with us! =)

These yummy chiffon cake popsicles are vanilla-strawberry flavoured. This item is easier to bake and fun to make for the whole family. We hope that these online classes will promote bonding as we celebrate National day at home. Sign-up link for the class is here.

There are also options to add on baking kits with popsicle mold, ice cream sticks, and ingredients pre-weighed!

Hope these cheerful Hello Kitty popsicles made you smile!

With lots of love,

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Dinosaurs on Choo Choo Train Choux Pastries

When I received this project, I was really excited because there's endless possibilities to what you can make with choux pastries that hasn't been explored. Presenting my take on dinosaur choux au craquelin on choo choo choux train!

The train and dinos are made up of choux pastries! 

Another view of them! 

This is actually the second time I am making a train out of choux pastry. My very first deco choux was made way back in June 2014, and it was a choo choo train carrying a yummy load of vanilla pastry cream and apple pie filling!

You may refer to this post for the detailed recipe of this rustic looking choo choo train with the yummy goodies. 

I have made the dino gang before and you may refer to this post to have a look. So making the dinos wasn't too big a challenge this time. The train however, involved using some new techniques that I either used before only once or was entirely experimental. So glad everything turned out fine!

You may refer to this post for the detailed recipe of making the choux au craquelin (choux pastry with cookie dough on top) for the dinos.

Just to share the before and after baking photos of the main body parts of the dinos. 

Assembled dinos! I added on the facial details withpink and white royal icing and black candy melts. 

What I really want to share in this post that is new, is how I made the train components. Notice that I didn't use craquelin at all for the train parts so I had to rely on other techniques to create a well defined, non-blobby structure.

I used metal cookie cutters as moulds for baking the chimney and blocky parts of the locomotive.
Metal cookie cutters

I chose red and black as the colours for the train as these can bake at high temperatures of 180C and above for long time without noticeable browning. In order to create pastry cases in the shape of the moulds, place the cookie cutters/moulds on perforated mat and line the sides of the mould with parchment or perforated mat. Fill the moulds till about a third full. Place another piece of perforated mat over and place a heavy tray on top. The last bit is important as the rising pastry may push the tray away, causing it to be out of shape. The black chimney piece was the result of such a happy accident 🤣. I didn't expect the pastry to rise and flatten out into a larger disc above the cylinder block below so nicely! I actually baked 2 cylinders of different sizes, thinking I could stack them for the chimney but this happy accident worked out better!

The flatbeds of the carriages are flat rectangular pieces of choux. I am glad my experiment for making these worked too! The challenge was to make the flatbeds roughly the same width as the locomotive. Piping out the choux batter the usual way will not do as the baked pieces are bound to puff up by a lot. I also only have one mould of a particular rectangle size so it is not practical to bake the flatbeds in the mould. Instead, I rolled out the batter between two teflon sheets (parchment paper will wrinkle) to thickness of about 3-4mm and froze it until firm.

Red batter rolled between teflon sheets. I use these sheets for baking chiffon sheet cakes/swiss rolls. I used a cakeboard as my work surface for ease of transport from worktable to freezer. Try not to deform the rolled out batter

I used the same mould for baking the locomotive to cut out the frozen batter. You need to try and work quickly as once the batter softens, it would not retain the cutout shape well when handled.

Place the cutouts on perforated mat. You will notice that I use perforated mats to bake choux whenever I need the baked cases to have well defined shapes that are similar to the piped batter shape. Bake until dry and crisp. Baking temperature and time for this will vary as each oven is different. 

I did the same for the black batter for the roof of the locomotive. 

I piped out the other small parts like the wheels and the cow catcher.

Piped wheels

Baked pastry cases! 

I used a zester to file the contact surfaces so that they fit together nicely.

Voila! Choo choo choux train! I just glued the parts with royal icing. The locomotive has a hole at the base for filling with pastry cream. 

I made a less chocolatey version (as requested) of chocolate pastry cream lightened with whipping cream (a.k.a. Diplomat cream) for the recipient to fill the cases just before consumption. I always recommend filling pastries just before eating so that you don't have to eat soggy pastry. My recipients never complain about the extra work they have to do to fill the pastry cases themselves because I always provide extra filling and they can always pile up with more filling with each bite of the pastry if they want to, and freeze any excess to eat as ice cream or refrigerate and use it as tart fillings or bread spreads.

Thank God that this creation was very well received! I was told the guests were all amazed by it and everyone happily ate the train and all 9 dinos in one sitting!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Friday 24 July 2020

Pusheen Sushi Mixed Berry Macarons

My friend requested for some macarons with the theme of Pusheen, cute and Japanese food. This was what I came up with!

I used the Swiss meringue method to create the macaron shells.

Piped shells! 

These are rather large, especially the one with the maguro and ikura, so baking time was about 30 min.

I used a mix of strawberries and raspberries to make the compote. There isn't a fixed recipe as you can adjust the sugar level according to taste. I just added some pinches of salt, sugar that is 10% of the combined weight of fruits and 1 tsp of yuzu concentrated juice. You may use lemon juice. Sieve out the raspberry seeds if you prefer. Reduce the compote to consistency of your liking. I reduced it to slightly more than half the original weight. It just takes patience to cook over low heat (not boiling) to reduce the compote. You will be rewarded with an intensely flavoured fruity goodness at the end of it.

I will share the mixed berry ganache recipe in this post.

Mixed berry whipped ganache
70g white chocolate
12g unsalted butter
20g heavy cream
Pinch of salt
3g freeze-dried raspberry powder
3g freeze-dried strawberry powder

1. Place whote chocolate, butter and cream in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on medium power for 10 seconds. Mix well, pressing the contents together. Repeat heating and mixing until melted. Do not overheat.

2. Add salt and freeze-dried fruit powders and mix well. I used Fresh-As freeze-dried powders from Redman, a baking supply store in Singapore.

3. Freeze for 2 min and whip the contents with a spatula until buttercream-like texture. If you are doubling the recipe, you may need to chill for another minute and whip again. Repeat chilling and whipping as necessary until buttercream-like.

Transfer both cooled compote and ganache into piping bags. Fill the shells with thin layer of ganache in contact with the shells and a wall of it to contain the compote/jam.

Filling the shells! 


With love,
Phay Shing

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Tuesday 21 July 2020

Donald Duck Classic Ufufy Chiffon Cake

Who grew up with donald duck? This is the classic version of the Donald duck ufufy chiffon cake. If you follow my work, you know I like things that are round round and cute cute =p. The rounder the better hehe. Hope this sweet creation made you smile! 
Have a blessed week!
With love,
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Monday 20 July 2020

Nut-Free Bunny Macarons with Lychee Raspberry Rose Chiffon Cupcakes

Many people would love to have my macarons as part of birthday celebrations in school but have concerns about nut allergy. And so, I have experimented with another almond-flour substitution for these bunny macarons on lychee raspberry rose chiffon cupcakes.

Nut-free macarons on lychee chiffon cupcakes with lychee raspberry rose swiss meringue buttercream! 

In the past, I have made nut-free macarons using a combination of pumpkin seed flour and rice flour using both French method in this post, and the Swiss method in this post. An issue with this substitution is I needed to increase the ratio of icing sugar to almond flour substitution as pumpkin seed flour causes the batter to take a long time to dry, and just rice flour alone thickens the batter noticeably. This substitution is also gluten-free but not as easy to work with. Moreover, pumpkin seed leaves some visible specks in the batter and a light greenish hue, which is ok for deep, bright colours, but shows up obviously for plain white or pastels. The bunnies are white so using pumpkin seeds would have been problematic.

With the above reasons, I decided to try another nut substitution --- wheat flour. This is a rather common and cheap substitution but is obviously not gluten free. Since the requestor wanted cupcakes as well, gluten is not an issue. I chose cake flour as it has the lowest protein percentage. Less protein means a more delicate texture.

To my surprise the substitution works perfectly for my French method recipe that I like to use for teaching beginners. I didn't need to tweak the icing sugar to almond flour substitution ratio at all! Just substitute 1:1 ratio for almond flour : cake flour. The batter consistency is only slightly different from the standard almond based one.

Cake flour based nut-free macaron recipe
Dry ingredients
110g icing sugar
90g cake flour

80g egg whites
72g icing sugar
Pinches of salt (optional)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar (optional, for stabilising meringue)

I don't want this to become a super long post 🤣 so please refer to this post for the steps. If you are already familiar with working with french method, then just do what you normally do.

Piped batter. You won't notice that this is nut-free if I don't tell you! 

I decorated the shells with black edible marker, peach coloured lustre dust and some store-bought sugar flowers which were glued on using royal icing

Recipe for lychee raspberry rose Swiss meringue buttercream 
Ingredients (for filling and frosting about 28 macarons and 44x35mm cupcakes) :
220g egg whites (about 6 eggs)
150g castor sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
380g unsalted butter, cubed and softened but still cool to touch
2tsp freeze-dried raspberry powder
1 tbs freeze-dried lychee powder (omit if unavailable)
2 tsp rose syrup
2 drops of pink gel food colouring
70g lychee puree (reduced over low heat from 100g of strained blended canned lychees)

1. Place egg whites, sugar, salt and cream of tartar (if using) in to a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water without the water touching the base of the bowl. Whisk the contents until temperature reaches about 70°C as read by a candy thermometer. Do not stop whisking or the egg whites may become cooked lumps.

2. Using and electric mixer, beat on medium high speed until the meringue is stiff and cooled to room temperature.

3. Add butter about a tbs at a time and beat using the electric mixer until well combined. Do not panic if the mixture appears to curdle. Just keep gradually adding the butter and beating until all the butter is added. Continue beating at high speed for another 2 minutes until light and fluffy.

4. Add freeze dried raspberry and lychee powders and beat until combined. Add rose syrup and food colouring and beat until combined.

5. Gradually add lychee puree that has been concentrated by reducing it into the buttercream, mixing well each time with the mixer.

You may use it immediately to fill the macarons and frost the cupcakes or prepare this in advance and freeze it in airtight condition. Thaw it at room temperature and rewhip before filling the macarons or frosting the cupcakes.

I filled the macarons with some chopped lychees too for that refreshing burst of lychee flavour! 

Recipe for lychee rose chiffon cupcakes
Ingredients (makes about twenty-eight 44x35mm cupcakes) :
Egg yolk batter
5 egg yolks
10g castor sugar
70g canola or any vegetable oil
60g lychee puree
1 tsp rose syrup
10g heavy cream (or milk or puree)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp freeze dried lychee powder, (dissolved in puree. omit if unavailable)
112g cake flour
1/4 tsp salt

6 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
100g castor sugar

1. Preheat ovem to 140C (as read by oven thermometer)  and place a tray of water at base of oven (optional but reduce baking time by 10 min if not using). Place cupcake cases on prepared tray.

2. Prepare egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Add oil and whisk until combined. Add all puree, cream, vanilla and rose syrup and whisk until combined. Gradually sift in flour and salt and whisk until no trace of flour is seen.

3. Prepare meringue. In a clean metal bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks form 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 3 batches. Transfer batter into large piping bag. Fill the cupcake cases until about 80% full.

5. Bake for 40 min. Reduce temperature to 130C and bake for another 10 minutes or until skewer comes out clean or tops of the cupcakes bounce up when lightly pressed. Note that oven baking temperature and time varies with ovens used as each oven behaves differently.

Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting it. I used a 1M piping tip to pipe a swirl of buttercream before inserting the macaron cake topper.

You can't help but smile at this sight 😊

Everyone loved how cute theae cupcakes were!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Friday 17 July 2020

Polar Bear and Panda Choux Pastries (parent-child baking class)

Want to learn how to make these cute and simple choux pastries with your child? Come and join me for this class happening in September!

I will teach you how to make the basic choux au craquelin, which is just a fancy name for cream puffs with cookie dough on top for that extra crispy crunch, and how to transform a simple whipped white chocolate ganache into these cute bears. There is no artificial colouring used too! I will cover the techniques for creating puffy and crispy choux pastry cases which are so good you can eat it on its own. The whipped ganache is a simple filling that can remain stable in Singapore's hot climate so this may be an option for serving at parties. I can assure you that both you and your child will have fun with this, especially when decorating your work!

Please click on this link for more details and registration.

With love,
Phay Shing

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Thursday 16 July 2020

BT21 Chiffon Cake (Giant Cupcake)

Which is your favourite BT21 and BTS character?🥰

BT21 made entirely from chiffon cake! 💕 This design is a Giant cupcake and I thought it was quite cool and symbolic that Van (the ARMY) in grey is the giant cupcake supports them all! =p

This is not my first BT21 creation. Check out my previous BT21 cake here!

BT21 is a collaboration between BTS and Line friends. Each BT21 character is inspired by a real-life BTS member =)

Kookie (bunny) - Jungkook
Chimmy (dog) - Jimin
Shooky (small cookie) - Suga
Koya (koala) - RM
Mang (horse) - J-Hope
RJ (alpaca) - Jin
Tata (heart alien) - V

Hope you like this creation! Stay safe!

With lots of love,

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Tuesday 14 July 2020

'Spiderman with Dinosaurs' Mango Sticky Rice Macarons on Mangoes n Cream Cake

My friend wanted a dinosaur and Spiderman themed mango birthday bake for her son so this was what I came up with!

Mango sticky rice macarons on top of a mangoes n cream chiffon cake! 

I used the Swiss meringue method to make the macaron shells.

No mean feat to include so many colours and intricate details into this set! 

Freshly baked shells! I had leftover batter which I used to pipe some pretty swirl macarons! Look at the full shells made from leftover batter! 

I decorated the shells with edible markers. I usually work on multiple projects concurrently, thats why the dessert themed macarons appear on the right

Filling the macarons with a ring of mango sticky rice filling and mango compote in the middle. You may refer to this blog post for the detailed recipe of the filling. 

Inspired by what my client did with my dino macs during the circuit breaker period, I decided to create a landscape out of rocky road too, and put the character macarons in it. She used a store-bought rocky road but I decided to make my own from scratch. Here was what she did...

So super cute 😍

I used a modified version of Nigella's rocky road recipe, and then realised that I should have taken into account Singapore's hot and humid climate *slaps forehead*. Despite reducing the amount of butter and cornsyrup from Nigella's recipe, I still had difficulty working with the blocks of rocky road. It was a challenge to stack them without leaving gooey streaks of chocolate on my fingers. But they were delicious because I took the liberty of adding some pistachios and macademia nuts into the cookie and marshmellow mix!

I mounted the dinos and Spiderman onto the rocky road landscape. Spiderman is being cheeky here! 

The mangoes n cream cake recipe can be found here. It is almost the exact same cake, except that I cut the mango pieces into a cloud/ half flower shape.

I layered the vanilla chiffon sponge with some homemade mango sauce, fresh mango slices and whipping cream

Looks like some sunshine in these dark days! 

I inserted jumbo straws as dowels into the cake such that the dowels take the full weight of the rocky road wth character macarons on it.

Thank God the whole creation was very well received!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Thursday 9 July 2020

Pusheen Foodie Chiffon Cake Pops

Which is your favourite food? Cookie, burger or donut?
Small Pusheen chiffon pops inspired by my favourite cat!

Very happy that my Pusheen cookbook with Pusheen, is now launched in the US (at Target, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book depository, and all major bookstores)! And also in stock in SG at Popular, Kinokuniya, Times now! It was really an honour to work beside Claire Belton, the creator of Pusheen, who is really talented and sweet.

While these cake pops are not inside the cookbook, other pastel mini cake pops are (on the book cover), as well as donut Pusheens and even surprise Pusheens!

Here is another sneak peak!

Very grateful to God for providing. Have a blessed polling day and weekend!

With lots of love,

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Wednesday 8 July 2020

'Pusheen with Sumikko Gurashi on a Shopping Trip' Peppermint Dark and White Chocolate Macarons

I took some time to mull over this one and finally came up with this scenario involving specific Sumikko Gurashi members and another character in a scenario entirely from my imagination.

Tonkatsu, Shirokuma, Penguin and Neko on a grocery shopping trip with Pusheen! 

I used the Swiss meringue method to make the macaron shells. It was a challenge as usual, when the number of colours exceeds the number of fingers in one hand 🤣.

Piped batter

I used a mixtute of edible markers and royal icing to add in the details

As the shopping cart is a macaron structure, the filling needs to be fairly firm. I filled the macarons with peppermint white chocolate buttercream on the outside and peppermint dark chocolate ganache on the inside.

You may refer to this recipe for the dark chocolate ganache. Just add 3/4 to 1 tsp peppermint extract to it. The peppermint white chocolate buttercream is something new so I will include the recipe here. Feel free to scale it up for a bigger batch. I only needed a little for this project.

Peppermint white chocolate buttercream
40g white chocolate, finely chopped or use chips*
20g unsalted butter*
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

* you may adjust the ratio of white chocolate:butter  to suit your climate and tastebuds

1. Place all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on medium low power for 10 sec. Mix well by mashing the ingredients together against the bottom and sides of the bowl. Repeat heating and mixing until melted and well combined. Do not agitate the mixture by whipping it as it may split.

2. Leave to stand at room temperature until firm if you stay in a temperature climate. And then whip it up with a spatula until buttercream texture. If you stay in hot Singapore like me, chill the mixture in freezer for 2 min and mix well. Chill for 1 min and mix by whipping the mixture with spatula. Repeat chilling and whipping until texture is like buttercream. Alternatively, you may use an ice bath and electric mixer to chill and whip simultaneously.

After assembling the macarons, leave it to mature in the fridge for at least 24h before serving. As the fillings are firm, the macarons can keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge in airtight condition, for up to a few months in the freezer. Always let the airtight box of macarons warm up at room temperature for 15-20min before opening the box to prevent condensation from forming on the macaron surface.

They look like they are having fun! 

With love,
Phay Shing

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Friday 3 July 2020

Macaron Dessert Box with Strawberries n Cream Cake

I made this sweet looking macaron dessert box with strawberries n cream cake for a mother and daughter's combined birthday celebration!

You can't see the goodies in the cake because it is covered with swiss meringue buttercream but inside is actually made up of vanilla chiffon sponge, fresh strawberries and a mixture of non-dairy and dairy whipped cream. What you can see, is a feminine looking purple box made entirely out of macarons, and the box is filled with all kinds of sweet food made up of macarons too.

I used the swiss meringue method for making the macarons.

Just to share some photos...

Piping the desserts. I used chocolate rice, and hundreds and thousands to add on the sprinkles

Piping the panels and base of the box. I pipe extra piece just in case of damage 

I filled the macarons with strawberry white chocolate buttercream. Recipe can be found in this post

I decorated and assembled the box using royal icing

Box filled with dessert! 

You may refer to this post for the vanilla chiffon cake recipe and assembly steps, this post for the modified fresh cream filling for better stability and this post for the swiss meringue buttercream recipe. I coloured and flavoured a small portion of buttercream with strawberry paste.

Assembling the layers

Frosted the cake with plain vanilla and strawberry flavoured swiss meringue buttercream

You may notice that my swiss meringue buttercream doesn't contain too much sugar so it is not too sweet but it is still stable enough to work with in a hot kitchen at 28-31°C.

Because the cake is soft, I had to insert dowels (I just use jumbo straws) and place the macaron box on another cakeboard, such that the cake doesn't bear the weight of the macarons.

Thank God both macarons and cake were really well received!

With love,
Phay Shing

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