Friday, 29 July 2022

Sheep Yuzu Coconut Plushiemallow Class

 I am really excited to share a new technique for making character marshmallows or Plushiemallows as I would like to call them! The conventional way of making plushiemallows require some form of artistic ability as most of the piping is done by freehand. But I have discovered a way to use templates!




Here's a cut cross-section view of the plushiemallow!

Here's a video of it in squishy action!


More video of it in squishy action!


This class will be with Baker's Gym in later part of September. Please click on this link for class details and to register. I have been super busy so a little slower with blogging. Check out my Instagram at phay_shing to follow my baking activities in a more timely manner ๐Ÿ™‚.


with love,

Phay Shing

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Monday, 18 July 2022

Avocado Gula Melaka Pecan Swiss Roll

Someone requested for an avocado cake that is not chocolate based. I have never made an avocado cake before so a test bake is necessary. I usually make mini swiss rolls for taste test of a new flavour because they bake and assemble fast. Avocado gula melaka milkshake happens to be one beverage that I drink other than water and unsweetened teas so I am glad I can taste the drink in there but with a toasted nut crunch added! This cake is so soft & moist that I accidentally dented the sides while transporting the swiss roll for photography ๐Ÿ™ˆ. No oil or butter is used as avocado has a high fat content.


RECIPE

(makes two 7x7" mini rolls or one 9x11" roll)
Avocado Chiffon Sponge:
Egg yolk batter
-2 egg yolks
-80g sieved avocado yoghurt puree*
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/8 tsp salt
-5g finely chopped coconut palm sugar (gula melaka)
-40g cake flour

Meringue
-2 egg whites
-1/4 tsp cream of tartar
-35g caster sugar

*Avocado Yoghurt Puree:
-1 medium avocado, sliced
-60g plain yoghurt (I used Meiji's Bulgaria yoghurt which is not too thick & less sour than greek yoghurt)
-5g lemon juice

Avocado Gula Melaka Cream:
-75g non-dairy whipping cream (may replace with heavy cream)
-60g heavy cream
-2 gelatin sheets, bloomed
-50g finely chopped gula melaka
-1/8 tsp salt
-1 drop pandan paste (optional)
-leftover avocado puree from above (about 20-30g)

Garnish & Filling:
- Toasted pecans/walnuts/pistachio (optional if you don't like nuts but I find it a good addition to break the monotony)
- Granulated gula melaka

METHOD

Chiffon Sponge 
1. Line baking trays with teflon sheet/parchment paper. Preheat oven to 170C (no fan)
2. Prepare avocado yoghurt puree by blending the ingredients* together. Press through fine sieve. Weigh out 80g for sponge.
3. Prepare egg yolk batter. Whisk together egg yolks, gula melaka, avocado puree, vanilla & salt. Gradually sift in cake flour & whisk until no trace of flour is seen.
4. Make meringue. In clean metal bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks, gradually adding sugar in.
5. Quickly but gently fold meringue into egg yolk batter in 3 batches. Pour into prepared tray(s) & smoothen out with spatula.
6. Bake for 15-17 min or until skewer comes out clean. Due to high fat & moisture content, this chiffon needs to be baked longer than regular chiffons.
7. Immediately flip the cake onto fresh sheet of parchment & roll up to cool completely.

Freshly baked avocado gula melaka chiffon sponge


Avocado Gula Melaka Cream
1. Gently heat heavy cream, salt & gula melaka until sugar is melted. Do not boil. Add a drop of pandan paste if you wish. Chill in fridge until cold.
2. Bloom gelatin in ice water. Squeeze out excess water. Microwave for 10 seconds at low power to melt.
3. Add non-dairy cream to chilled heavy cream with gula melaka. Whip until firm peaks. I used a mixture of creams  due to Singapore's hot weather & it's also impossible to overwhip as compared to full dairy ๐Ÿ˜Š.
4. Add leftover avocado puree to melted gelatin. Mix well.
5. Gradually drizzle gelatin mix into whipped cream while whisking the whipped cream. Transfer into piping bag for assembly & garnish. 
The garnish is optional so you may leave it out if you wish.

with love,
Phay Shing


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Saturday, 16 July 2022

Minions Chiffon Cake (with Zodiac Stone Surprise!)

 

Guess the surprise inside this Otto Minions Cake! ๐Ÿ˜ I watched Minions: The Rise of Gru and found Otto the Minion so cute!๐Ÿฅฐ 

Obvious hint: It's related to Otto!๐Ÿ˜†❤️ 

Watch the video reel here or here for the answer! =p 

With lots of love, 

Susanne 



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Monday, 11 July 2022

Layered Batter in Character Macarons (Recipe & technique explained!)

 I have been wanting to put together information for something I experienced as a homebaker and when teaching in classes. I hope you find this helpful! Full detailed explanation can be found in my 6 part series of reels in Instagram (IG: phay_shing) as well as in my Youtube video.

In your journey of creating character macarons/fancy shaped macarons, you can't run away from having to deal with layering batter which you don't have to when piping simple rounds. I am using these bear coffee macarons to illustrate my point.



Typical types of batter layering in character macarons include:

1. Raised pop-up features (e.g. snout)
2. Side by side with clear boundary definition (e.g. head & ears)
3. Flat/flushed features (e.g. Inner & outer ear)



Assuming that your meringue is made perfectly, batter is macaronaged properly and baking conditions are right, you may still get macawrongs if you don't time the batter layering and/or baking correctly. 

In this experiment I demonstrate 4 different cases using French method:

1. Drying too long between piping steps
2. Not drying between piping steps
3. Not drying enough before baking
4. Appropriate drying times between steps & before baking

I wanted to use the same batter, baking conditions & tray for all 4 cases. BUT this creates a handicap for cases 2-4 as they are made from batter that has been sitting in the piping bag for a long time. Due to this reason, I took Extra care in making a stable meringue by building it up really slowly (10-20 min) & eyeballed the macaronage process. As a result, I actually had difficulty creating some cracks that I had seen before despite running this experiment twice!


RESULTS
Case 1: Drying too long between piping steps
๐Ÿ’œ Well-defined boundaries & pop-up features
๐Ÿ’œ Feet may be receded or appear under the shells, possible lopsided feet.
๐Ÿ’œ Shells are hollow
๐Ÿ’œ Cracks may form along or radiate from boundaries if meringue is not elastic enough despite sufficient drying before baking.

Case 2: Not drying between piping steps
๐Ÿ’™ Boundaries are not distinct
๐Ÿ’™ No pop-up features
๐Ÿ’™ Fairly full shells
๐Ÿ’™ No cracks

Case 3: Not drying enough before baking
๐Ÿ’š Well-defined boundaries & pop-up features
๐Ÿ’š Flat/flushed features where desired
๐Ÿ’š Full & fluffy shells
๐Ÿ’š Cracks along boundaries
๐Ÿ’š Lopsided feet near cracks

Case 4: Appropriate drying time between piping steps & before baking
❤️Well-defined boundaries & pop-up features
❤️ Flat/flushed features where desired
❤️ Fairly full shells
❤️ No cracks 



Conclusion:
✅Add on layers of batter with or without waiting for a STICKY membrane to form on your base batter depending on the type of boundary you want to create.

✅ Wait for a DRY membrane to form before baking. You may get away with baking the batter while the membrane is still sticky like I almost did in this experiment but don't risk all the hard work you put into piping your characters! 

✅ If meringue/batter condition isn't optimal, appropriate drying times between piping steps & before baking may prevent any potential cracks.

✅ Make sure meringue is stable & elastic, almond flour isn't oily or too dry, batter is not over or under folded, & baking temperature & time are right as far as possible. I had difficulty creating more macawrongs in this experiment because I satisfied all these!

What is a sticky membrane?
You are able to touch lightly but not swipe the surface with a finger. Batter doesn't stick to finger but membrane surface feels sticky to touch.

What is a dry membrane? 
You are able to swipe a finger across the surface while applying slight pressure. Membrane should feel like clean dry skin or fabric. Drying membrane sufficiently before baking is good because it helps to strengthen it & prevents cracks during baking.

COFFEE FRENCH MACARON RECIPE
(makes 14-16 bears)
60g + 45g icing sugar*
60g almond flour (preferably superfine & not oily)
1/8 tsp cocoa powder (optional, for deeper brown color)
50g egg whites
1/4 tsp egg white powder (optional**)
1/8-1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp instant coffee granules (I used decaf)
A few drops of white gel colouring 

*mine has cornstarch already added.
**some bakers add egg white powder (EWP) to help with meringue stability but I didn't add EWP in my 2nd round of experiment & it didn't crack at all! Instead, I took longer to build up the meringue and that's all it took to create a sturdier and more stable meringue.

Steps:
1. Sift together almond flour, 60g icing sugar and cocoa powder (if using).

2. Make French meringue. Whisk together 45g icing sugar and EWP (if using) in a small bowl. In clean metal bowl, whisk egg whites with cream of tartar and instant coffee until it resembles bubble bath. Add icing sugar to egg whites. Whisk until sugar is wet. Whip up your meringue until stiff peaks using medium speed.

3. Scatter half of dry ingredients into meringue. Gently fold in. Scatter the rest of dry ingredients and gently fold in until just combined. Scoop out 3-4 tbs batter, add white gel colouring and gently fold in until batter consistency is right. Continue folding rest of the batter until it is able to flow off spatula SLOWLY in continuous ribbon.

4. Transfer into piping bags and pipe on prepared tray. Pipe head and wait for sticky membrane to form. Pipe snout, outer and inner ears in quick succession.

5. Rest piped batter until dry to touch. 

6. Towards end of drying time, preheat oven to 160C. Turn temperature down to 140C. Bake for 15-20min (or until baked through) once tray is in. Every oven is different so adjust baking conditions accordingly.

7. Cool completely on tray before removing & decorating.

COFFEE WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE 
100g white chocolate
40g heavy cream (80g for temperate climate)*
30g unsalted butter, room temperature (15g for temperate climate)*
2 tsp instant coffee granules

* Adjust ratios of ingredients according to taste and temperature you are serving. I live in tropical Singapore so my fillings need to be firmer.

Steps:
1. Melt white chocolate using microwave or double-boiler. Be careful not to overheat!

2.  In the meantime, gently heat cream with instant coffee until granules are dissolved. Do not boil.

3. Pour hot cream onto melted chocolate. Stir (or use immersion blender if you wish) until well mixed.

4. Add butter and mix well.

5. Press cling wrap on surface of ganache & chill until toothpaste/scoopable consistency. You may whip it up to lighten texture (optional but I usually do!) before filling the shells.

6. Mature in fridge in airtight condition for at least 24h before serving. Let macarons sit at room temperature for 15min before consuming.


with lots of love,
Phay Shing



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Thursday, 7 July 2022

Rainbow Cheesecake Pushpops (with pattern and surprise!)


I am teaching Rainbow Cheesecake Pushpops at my church's culinary arts ministry on Sunday! I was inspired to make hearts pattern and surprise heart last week when I re-trialed the recipe. Thank God for the inspiration!  


My hubby was the one who gave the idea of eating cheesecake from push pops initially. Thank God the first experiment worked! 


This is my second experiment with the hidden hearts. It was quite fun to eat too!

I made a IG reel video of the layers here. Hope you like it!


Rainbow Cheesecake Push Pops (for CAM, Susanne)
Makes 4 push pops

7g gelatin
50g cold water
250g cream cheese
60g castor sugar
15g lemon juice (1 tbsp)
5g vanilla essence
130g heavy cream
Food colouring: Pink, blue and yellow

1. Bloom gelatin in cold water. Melt gelatin in microwave (20s). Allow the mixture to cool slightly.

2. Using an electric mixer, whisk cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla essence until smooth.

3. Add in whipping cream and mix well.

4. Drizzle in melted gelatin and whisk till smooth.

5. Divide batter into rainbow colours (3/4 cup). Add in respective colours and mix well.

6. Fill rainbow colours in push pop. Chill for 30min-1hr in freezer before serving, or >2hrs in fridge.

With lots of love,
Susanne

 

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Monday, 4 July 2022

Lychee Rose Cat Macarons (New filling recipe!)

Someone requested for lychee flavoured cute cat macarons last month. Here's what I came up with!




Design is inspired by Darius the cat in buddygatorcomics (Instagram account).

I used Swiss meringue method to make the shells.

Freshly baked shells!

Decorative details were added in using edible marker and peach coloured lustre dust.


LYCHEE ROSE ITALIAN MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM (adapted from Catherine Zhang)
300g canned lychee syrup
45g + 5g caster sugar
2 egg whites (76g) 
A pinch of salt
1/2 tsp rose syrup (or rose water)
300g unsalted butter (cool to touch but slightly softened)
1/2 tsp lychee powder (optional, to boost flavour without the chemical aftertaste from artificial flavourings)

Notes: Catherine's original recipe had no added sugar, salt and lychee powder. Not adding sugar works for brands of canned lychee syrup that has sufficient sugar. The brand I used did not have too much sugar added but I have no idea how much sugar was in there since it isn't listed. Omitting the sugar for me resulted in the syrup almost boiling off entirely and the buttercream is too soft for tropical Singapore. Despite needing to add sugar, this buttercream is still not too sweet but it's a clever way of getting that delicate lychee flavour in!

Steps:
1. Place egg whites, salt and 5g sugar in standmixer and beat on low speed until foamy. 

2. In the meantime, place lychee syrup, and 45g sugar in small saucepan and heat until temperature reaches 115C.

3. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and pour lychee syrup into egg whites down the sides of the bowl, avoiding the whisk. Continue to beat until totally cooled to room temperature.

4. Reduce mixer to medium speed. Add butter 1 tbs at a time. Continue beating 10 min more until light and silky.

5. Add rose syrup and beat until well combined. Add lychee powder and beat until well combined.

You may refrigerate up to a week or a month in freezer.

How to fill the macarons:
1. Coat a thin layer of buttercream on bottom shell.

2. Pipe a wall of buttercream along outline of the shape.

3. Fill cavity with chopped lychee.

4. Cover lychee with more buttercream before sandwiching with top shell.

Fresh or canned fruit has high liquid content so insulate the macaron shells from it with a thin layer of buttercream.



with love,

Phay Shing

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