Monday 30 January 2023

Miffy Chiffon Cakes


Happy Year of the Rabbit!❤️ 
Chiffon Plushie Cakes inspired by Miffy rabbit, made for Pokka's #pokkaxmiffy 
Hope you liked them! Watch a reel of the assembly here
With love, 

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Pineapple Tart Marshmallows

 I have not only one but two awesome AND simple Lunar New Year themed marshmallows to share! The first one is pineapple tart marshmallows!

I made these marshmallows with reduced pineapple juice so the marshmallows are naturally pineapple flavoured and has a tartness to it which is always lovely in marshmallows. I apologize for sharing this so late into the new year because I just came up with it😅.

Please see my reel below for a sneak peek at how I piped these and how squishy they are!

Stay tuned for my other CNY marshmallow creation!

This pineapple tart creation will be in my upcoming Deco Marshmallows book!

with love,

Phay Shing

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Tuesday 24 January 2023

Mixed Berry Angry Bird Hatchling Macarons on Checkerboard Butter Cake

 My elder kid requested for macaron form of all the Angry Bird hatchling plushies we have at home for his birthday end of last year. I know this is a way overdue post but Lunar New Year came hot on the heels of Christmas so festive bakes had priority. He wanted a butter cake too. Here's what I made!

Strawberry raspberry macarons on top of checkerboard butter cake based on kek lapis type of recipe

Why kek lapis? Because I had 30 egg yolks at home due to my macaron masterclass in early December last year. But when it was time to bake, I decided not to make the traditional kek lapis with its numerous layers as I was already tired out from two full-day classes. I suddenly remembered my kid likes to play chess so why not make a checkerboard cake!

I split the batter into two and added cocoa and coffee into one portion. All it took was one round of baking without having to eyeball the oven for two hours. I cut the cakes into blocks before gluing the pieces together with marmalade. Butter-based cakes like this freezes well so I made it a few weeks ahead of time, right after the masterclass.

Cutting into rectangular logs before cutting into cubes. I had to run out to meet a friend so I wrapped this up before continuing.

Egg-yolk rich butter cake
Note: You may halve the recipe as this is a big portion. I just wanted to use up my excess yolks at one go since the cake freezes nicely.

Ingredients (makes two 7x7" cakes):
460g unsalted butter, cubed (cool and firm)
60g condensed milk
380g caster sugar (split into 80g and 300g)
1/2 tsp salt
500g egg yolks (About 30 yolks. Room temperature. You may use whole eggs for less rich cake)
100g milk (room temperature)
1 tbs vanilla extract

460g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder

2 tbs Instant coffee granules
2 tbs cocoa powder
2 tbs hot water

1. Preheat oven to 160C (fan)/ 180C (top and bottom heat). Grease base and sides of trays and line bottom with parchment paper.

2. Sift together cake flour and baking powder. Set aside.

3. Dissolve instant coffee and cocoa powder in hot water in a small bowl. Set aside.

4. Beat egg yolks and 80g with electric mixer until it is pale and thick. This should take about 15min. Set aside.

5. Beat butter, salt and 300g of sugar with paddle attachment in standmixer until pale and fluffy, scraping down the sides several times in between. If you kitchen is too hot like mine (27-31C all year round), don't take the butter out too early. Beat the yolks first before working on the butter. It takes 10 min or less to soften the butter.

4. Gradually add half the beaten egg yolks while continuing mixing with paddle attachment. Don't add the egg too quickly. Add a third of the sifted flour and mix until just combined at low speed, scraping down the sides.

5. Continue to add the egg yolks and continue mixing until just combined. Gradually add milk, condensed milk and vanilla extract until just combined. Continue beating for 1 min.

6. Gradually add sifted flour and beat at low speed. Stop to scrape down the sides as necessary. Once there is only a little trace of flour left, complete by folding with a spatula.

7. Divide batter into two and fold in chocolate coffee paste into one of them. Pour into prepared trays.

8. Bake for about 25 min (can range from 20-30min depending on individual ovens) or until tops are lightly browned and skewer comes out clean. Cool in tray for 5 min before removing from trays to cool on rack.

9. Cut to desired size (or not cut at all!) and assemble by using marmalade of choice of jam. Consume within three days if stored at room temperature. Cling wrap tightly before freezing for longer storage. You may store in fridge as well but it will dry out with storage time. You may spread a thin layer of condensed milk to moisten the cake before eating if you wish! It is delicious especially with the rich butter flavour and mocha parts! 

I used my default Swiss meringue method recipe for making the macarons. A little white colouring was added to keep the colours pastel.

I used royal icing to add in details for the eyes. It was really tedious!

Here's a look at the feet on the macaron shells!

I was really busy during that period as I had another request to deal with so I settled for filling that was the same as that for my other project: strawberry-raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream with the same berry mix compote.

Mixed berry compote
300g frozen or fresh strawberries/raspberries (sieve raspberries to remove pips if you prefer smoother compote)
30g sugar (or to taste)
Pinch of salt
1 tsp lemon juice

Cook everything together in saucepan until reduced to 60% original weight on over low heat. 

Mixed berry Swiss meringue buttercream
75g egg whites
50g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
135g unsalted butter, cubed and slightly softened
50g mixed berry compote

1. In a clean, grease-free mixing bowl, double-boil egg whites, caster sugar and salt while whisking constantly until the egg whites reach 71.1C. Remove from heat.

2. Beat the egg whites at medium-high speed until cooled to room temperature and stiff peaks.

3. Add softened butter one cube at a time, waiting for each addition to be incorporated before adding the next. Continue beating for another 2min.

4. Add compote a little at a time, mixing well with each addition. You may add a little strawberry paste if you wish to enhance the strawberry flavour further.

Lovely cross-section view of the macarons!

I insulated the compote with buttercream to prevent the macaron shells from turning soggy.

Thank God the birthday kid loved it!

with lots of love,

Phay Shing

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Tuesday 17 January 2023

Rabbit Sugar-Free Tau Sar Piah

 One activity that people do around Chinese New Year is to declutter and clear out the old stuff. For bakers, that includes freezer as well. I had some frozen mung bean puree to clear from my Mooncaron class last year so I thought hy not bless my family with sugar-free Tau Sar Piah! 

It's the Year of the Rabbit so of course I had to cutesify it to match the Zodiac 🤭

A closer look at the cut cross-section...

For those of you who are not familiar with tau sar piah (豆沙饼) or mung bean biscuit, it originated from Penang (known as Tambun biscuits over there). It's a sweet and savoury pastry with thin flaky crust and mung bean filling bursting with fried shallot flavour. What I made is different from the original as I was working with a rather moist and extremely finely sieved mung bean puree, rather than from dried split mung beans. As a result, my paste is very smooth instead of grainy, and took longer to cook off the moisture, causing most of the fried shallots to disintegrate and dissolve into the paste at the end of cooking time. BUT the flavour is still very good and spot-on, according to hubby who was a Malaysian.

I didn't want to compromise the taste and wanted it to taste as authentic as possible despite using sugar replacements and frozen puree. Upon doing research, bakers suggest using butter for best taste but it doesn't hold the shape well, doesn't give you the best flaky texture and the dough is difficult to handle. While buttery pastry tastes and smells great, personally I feel it isn't authentic tasting as traditional Chinese pastries generally don't use butter as fat. 

Before I share the recipe and steps, let me give credit to my references and discuss the ingredients used. I based my recipe on this recipe and followed the filling and dough proportions from here. I also found interesting information from here and here.

Traditionally, pork lard is used as the fat for the pastry and vegetable oil is used for frying the shallots. But due to religious reasons or dietary preferences, other forms of fat such as vegetable shortening or ghee are common replacements for lard as they still produce the nice flaky texture. Coconut oil or butter can be used as well but as mentioned earlier, butter is difficult to handle so you may want to substitute only part of lard/shortening/ghee with butter. Oil is generally not recommended except for coconut oil which has a higher melting point than other oils. I rendered my own pork fat to get the lard. I used it for the pastry and mixed with some peanut oil for cooking the mung bean paste. Neutral tasting vegetable oil is usually the default oil for frying shallots but I wanted to use up the lard I made just for this bake 😆.

Homemade lard!

I used this recipe as my reference but used only about 400g of pork fat.

Use more oil if you prefer a moister filling, and less oil if you prefer a drier filling that crumbles upon bite.

Generally, fine white sugar is used for the filling and powdered sugar is used for the pastry. You may use brown sugar if you like. I used a mix of Erythritol and Allulose for the filling, and Sukrin (powdered form of Erythritol) for the pastry as the sugar replacements. You can't detect any artificial taste from them at all because the flavour of the other ingredients is strong! As with all alcohol sugars, consume in moderation as some people may have digestive sensitivities to them. But having said that, both Erythritol and Allulose are zero calories and does not raise the blood sugar levels at all.

Plain flour with moderate protein content is usually used as you want the pastry to hold the shape well. If you prefer a more tender bite, you may replace some of the plain flour with a low protein flour like cake flour.

Dried split mung beans are used. The beans should be thoroughly washed and drained before steaming. You may choose to add water to the beans before steaming or omit it. Which ever the case, steam until the beans are soft and you can mush the beans easily between your fingers. The steamed mung beans are then blended before mixing with the other ingredients. There is no need to sieve the blended beans like I did. I was just using up old freezer stock meant for another bake.

Rabbit Sugar-Free Tau Sar Piah
(Makes about 24-25 rabbit pastries)
Mung Bean Filling
200g dried split mung beans rinsed & drained*
300g water*
80-90g oil of choice (I used 30g peanut oil, 60g lard)
60-70g chopped shallots
135g sugar (I used 75g Erythritol, 60g Allulose)
1/2 heaping tsp salt
1/4-1/2 tsp white pepper

*I used 540g mung bean puree from my frozen stock.

1. Steam mung beans in water for 20min or until soft enough to mush the beans between your fingers. Blend the steamed mung bean to make puree.

2. Fry shallots in oil until browned.

3. Place mung bean puree, fried shallots with the oil, salt, pepper and sugar into a saucepan or frying pan and cook on low heat until a dough forms. Enough moisture needs to be cooked off such that you are able to form a ball of dough that is able to hold its shape. Set aside to cool before dividing into balls of 20g each. You may prepare this a day ahead of time and store in airtight condition at cool room temperature.

This recipe yields about 500g filling.

Mung bean filling portioned into 20g balls

Water dough
180g plain flour
70g icing sugar (I used Sukrin)
1 tsp salt
54g lard (cold from the fridge)
63g ice water

1. Sift together flour, sugar & salt. 

2. Rub in lard until mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. 

3. Add ice water & mix until ball of dough forms.

4. Knead for 5 min, cover with cling wrap & let it rest for 30min. In the mean time, work on the oil dough.

5. Divide into 12g portions & cover with cling wrap until ready to combine with oil dough.

There may be a little excess dough. You may add more flour if the dough is very sticky. Different brands of flour have different absorption properties.

Oil dough
128g plain flour, sifted
56g lard (cold from the fridge)

1. Combine the ingredients until a ball of dough forms. 

2. Keep in fridge until water dough has rested fully.

There may be a little excess dough.

1. Mung bean filling in 20g portions
2. Water dough in 12g portions
3. Oil dough in 7g portions
4. 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
5. 1 tsp water
6. Black sesame seeds
7. Almond slices
8. Pine nuts (optional)

1. Divide oil dough into 7g portions.

2. Flatten a portion of water dough to form a disc. Wrap a ball of oil dough with it. 

3. Roll the dough flat with rolling pin. Roll the flattened dough up like a Swiss roll. Rotate by 90° and roll the dough flat again. Roll it up like a Swiss roll the second time and set aside. Let the dough rest for 20min.

4. Preheat oven to 180C fan/190C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper/Teflon sheet/baking mat.

5. Lightly dust a portion of dough and the work surface with plain flour, or just light dust the work surface and cover a portion of dough with cling wrap (shown in video). Roll the dough into a disc about 10-12cm in diameter. Wrap a ball of filling. Pinch seal the base tightly. Dab with a little water to help with the seal if necessary. Gently roll one side of the ball of wrapped filling to make a slight taper for the rabbit body shape if you wish. Place on lined baking tray.

6. Mix egg yolk and 1 tsp of water. Sieve the mixture to make the egg wash. Brush the egg wash on the pastry tops with a brush.

7. Add on the pine nut tail (optional), almond slice ears and black sesame seed eyes. You may outline the almond ears with egg wash but that's optional.

8. Bake for 20 min or until golden and lightly browned. Cool completely before storing in airtight container at cool room temperature.

The amazing thing about this design is you can apply to other types of cookies and pastries like pineapple tarts, butter cookies, peanut cookies etc for the Year of the Rabbit!

You may find it helpful to watch my Instagram reel for the whole process:

Happy Chinese New Year everyone! 

with lots of love, 
Phay Shing
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Monday 16 January 2023

My Melody Burger Chiffon Cake


Food meets fun this CNY! My Melody-inspired burger chiffon cake coming fresh of the grill!
 I've shared the assembly video here on my IG. 

Some other updates in response to some messages. My new classes here: 

Happy CNY in advance!! 

With love, 

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Wednesday 11 January 2023

Rabbit Pineapple Creampuff

 Lunar New Year is just around the corner and many bakers are baking pineapple tarts. I have decided to share a creampuff version of this well-loved pastry in cute bunny form to welcome the Year of the Rabbit!

I made the pineapple jam from scratch using the Ninja Foodi Power Blender Ultimate System from Ninja Kitchen Singapore. I was amazed at how easy it was to get pineapple puree that is so evenly blended at the touch of a button! There wasn't a need to manually pause & scrape down the blender multiple times. See it for yourself in the video below! It was super easy to clean too as the blade is removable.

Please use my promo code: PSCB402 to enjoy $150 off original price of $499 for the blender! Visit Ninja Kitchen Singapore's website if you would like to make the purchase.

I used the pineapple jam on its own & added a sieved portion to whipped cream as filling for the creampuffs.

1kg fresh pineapple flesh, cut into chunks (about 2 pineapples)
120g caster sugar
30g brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 cinnamon stick

1. Blend pineapple chunks
2. Cook pineapple puree with rest of ingredients over low heat till reduced to half (500g).
3. Discard cinnamon stick
4. Store in airtight glass jar in the fridge until ready to use.

Baker's Notes:
- Jam for pineapple tarts is reduced to 20% original weight of puree. But for choux pastry it's reduced to 50% for a softer & moist filling to complement the whipped cream & light, buttery pastry case. Taste isn't compromised! It tastes like a creampuff version of pineapple tarts!
- Adjust sugar according to taste & tartness of pineapples
- Add lemon juice if you like it really tart
- Add cloves/vanilla if you like
- Extra jam can be reduced further for making pineapple tarts 

Please refer to chapters 7-9 on my YouTube channel on the basics of choux au craquelin for more details on the technique involved. Over here for chapter 7 on craquelin, over here for chapter 8 on basics of choux pastry batter, and over here for chapter 9 on piping and baking choux buns. I will just briefly describe the steps in this blog post.

Ingredients (makes about 18 mini choux buns):
21g unsalted butter, softened
18g sugar
21g plain flour, sifted

Choux batter
1 egg, lightly beaten (about 50g)
30g plain or bread flour, sifted 
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
55-60g water
20g butter 
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Toasted almond slices
Dark chocolate couverture/chips
A little shortening or oil

1. Make craquelin. Briefly cream butter and sugar together. Fold in flour. Roll the dough to thickness of 2-3mm between parchment paper. Freeze until firm. Cut out 3cm circles and place on lined baking tray, and freeze the cutouts again until ready to use.

2. Preheat oven to 200C(fan)/220C. Line baking tray with perforated mat (preferable) and 2.3cm circle template. You may line with parchment paper if you don't have the mat. Perforated mat helps choux pastries to retain better shape and have a flat base.

3. Make choux batter. Place water, butter, salt, sugar and vanilla into small saucepan. Heat on low heat to melt butter while stirring. Once butter is melted, quickly bring to roiling boil, stirring occassionally. Remove from heat and pour all the flour in at once. Stir until a ball of dough forms. Make sure all lumps of flour are mixed in. Cook on medium-low heat until some water from the dough is cooked off for about 2-3min (about 10% reduction in weight of dough). Transfer to bowl to cool for 10min.

4. Add half of egg and mix well until batter is smooth. Add half of remaining egg. Mix until batter is smooth. Add the remaining egg a tsp at a time, mixing until smooth with each addition, until batter is able to fall off spatula in 3 seconds.

5. Transfer to piping bag fitted with a 8mm round tip (Wilton #12). Pipe batter onto prepared tray. Dab some water around the piped batter. Carefully place craquelin on top of piped batter.

6. Put tray in oven. Immediately reduce temperature to 180C (fan)/190C and bake for 20-25 min. Reduce temperature to 140-150C and bake for another 20-25min or until thoroughly crisp. We need it crisp all the way as we are adding decorative pieces on the choux case. Do note that baking temperature and time may vary as each oven is different so adjust accordingly.

7. Cool completely before decorating by cutting the top one-third off. Carefully pierce 2 slits on the top piece before inserting almond slices for the ears. Paint or pipe on the eyes and nose of the bunny cap using melted chocolate with a little oil or shortening. Addition of shortening or oil helps the chocolate stay in piping/painting consistency for a longer time. Store in airtight container while preparing the pineapple whipped cream.

Honestly I would prefer using pineapple diplomat cream to pair with the pineapple jam in the middle for filling but it would be conflict of interest to share my class material here. I chose to share a simple filling that is much faster to make and uses less ingredients so that you may be encouraged to give this a try!

150g Whip Topping (non-dairy whipping cream)
50g heavy cream (35% fat dairy cream)
80g sieved pineapple jam

*You may choose your preferred choice of cream depending on climate and where you are serving the pastries. Full dairy cream tastes the best and you may use double cream (45% fat) if you wish. Use stabilizers like gelatin and add a little sugar if using dairy cream. Singapore is very warm so I use non-dairy whipping cream with some dairy cream mixed in. Non-dairy cream is very stable and is pre-sweetened but doesn't taste as good as pure dairy cream. Adjust amount of sieved jam according to taste too.

1. Whip whipping cream of choice until firm/stiff peak. Be careful not to overwhip if using purely dairy cream. 

2. Whisk/fold in sieved jam a little at a time.

3. Transfer a little cream into small piping bag with a small hole cut or Wilton #7 tip attached. Transfer the remaining cream into a large piping bag fitted with a large round tip (e.g.  Wilton 1A which is around 13mm in diameter)

1. Fill the choux pastry with whipped cream until about half to three-quarters full. Use the rounded base of a half teaspoon to push the cream against the base and sides of the pastry case to create a well.

2. Fill the well with a heap of pineapple jam.

3. Pipe a generous mound of whipped cream over the jam from large piping bag for the bunny head.

4. Use cream from small piping bag to pipe on the paws, snout and ears. 

5. Add eyes using melted chocolate. Add rosy cheeks if desired. I coloured a little whipped cream with pink gel colouring for the rosy cheeks but you may use natural sources of food colouring like beetroot or red yeast if you like.

I was in a hurry racing against the sunset as it was getting a little too dark to take good videos and photos! I was also multi-tasking by working on this and cooking dinner at the same time 😆😅.

6. Place top piece of pastry case on top of bunny head and you are done!

Keep refrigerated for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for a month in airtight condition. The frozen pastry tastes like ice-cream filled creampuffs, and the chilled version tastes like creampuff version of pineapple tarts!

I tried to keep the design simple and artificial colouring minimal so that you can give this a try!

Please see my second reel below for making of the choux pastry, pineapple whipped cream and assembly:

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Friday 6 January 2023

Rabbit Family Chiffon Cakes


My Little Rabbit Family hopping into the New Year and the Year of the Rabbit! Sincerely wish my dear friends here the best in 2023!❤️❤️ 

Some assembly scenes here.

With lots of love,


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Wednesday 4 January 2023

Bunny Marshmallow with Mixed Berry Filling

 It's the Year of the Rabbit so of course I have to make bunny marshmallows!

A closer look at the cross-section with filling!

The strawberry-raspberry filling is delicious on its own and pairs really well with vanilla marshmallows too! My kids both gave a big thumbs up for these! 

The marshmallows are also coloured with flavourings instead of gel colours. The pink marshmallow parts are coloured with strawberry paste and the light brown marshmallow parts are coloured with chocolate paste. 

You will learn the basics of character marshmallows, how to make filled character marshmallows and how to use my new templating method to make them. I will share a little bonus of how to make the teeny marshmallow carrots too! 

Please refer to this link for online class and this link for studio class. All studio class participants will have access to online class material for free.

Please contact Sharon of Artz Baking and Culinary Studio via whatsapp at +65 96882777 for enquiries. 

Video link for these marshmallows in squishy action below!

with love,

Phay Shing

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