Wednesday 26 April 2023

Lychee Cake with Marzipan Covered Walnut Brown Sugar Cookie Deco

This is a way overdue post! I didn't get around to posting it because it has so many components to this bake! I made this cake for my friend's son who was turning 21... a year ago ๐Ÿ™ˆ. She wanted a theme that showcased his love for Chelsea and his stage in life as a young man about to enter business school. I made a lychee raspberry rose cake with marzipan and cookie cake topper.

It's my first time making anything remotely fondant-like as the centerpiece. Those of you who know me long enough know that I don't touch fondant because it does not taste good. Marzipan on the other hand, is still somewhat edible although sweet as well. Almond is nutritious after all ๐Ÿ˜†. 

I used Cooking Tree's recipe for marzipan, which contains more almond than sugar and doesn't use raw egg whites. The books, laptop, scarf, outer layer of soccer ball, the limbs and outer layer of the figurine were all made of marzipan. The Graham cookie base was covered with a thin layer of marzipan too.

240g almond flour
200g icing sugar
50g light corn syrup (or honey but honey imparts colour)
30g water

1. Sift together almond flour and icing sugar.

2. Add light corn syrup and water and knead until a dough forms. Dust with extra icing sugar if it gets too sticky.

3. Add gel colouring and form into shapes desired. Keep any unused portions cling wrapped to prevent drying out. Like fondant, marzipan can be left out to dry to harden.

As I didn't want the decorative parts to contain too much sugar, I used edible cookie dough for the head, body and center of soccer ball.

Edible cookie dough with toasted walnut 
(Adapted from
38g butter (I use Golden churn)
44g light brown sugar
Pinches of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
40g heat treated plain flour (microwave to reach 71.1C)
20g chopped toasted walnut

1. Briefly cream together butter, brown and salt.

2. Add vanilla extract and mix well. 

3. Add sifted heat treated plain flour and mix until a dough ball forms. Add chopped toasted walnuts (optional) and mix well. Store in airtight condition at cool room temperature until ready to use, preferably within a few days.

Here's the weight of marzipan and edible cookie dough I used for the various parts. I am recording this more for myself but it's great if you find it helpful too!

Soccer ball
The core is 8g cookie dough, followed by a layer of 8g marzipan wrapping around it. The outer surface is made up of 20 small white balls and 12 small black balls. The small balls are 1-1.5g each. The white ball in middle made up of the core and marzipan wrapping it should be about 8x bigger than smaller balls.

Marzipan soccer ball that tastes way better than any fondant ๐Ÿ˜†

Legs 56g
Shoes 7g each
Body 52g  (marzipan + cookie)
Hands 10g each
Head 50g (marzipan + cookie)

The head and body are marzipan wrapped edible cookie dough.

I mounted the scene on a large Graham cracker base. But instead of whole wheat flour, I used plain flour for a softer texture. This firm but yummy base is necessary for anchoring the marzipan figurine to the base so it doesn't fall apart accidentally during transport. I ran a skewer from the head through the body into the cookie base. 

Graham cracker
142g whole wheat flour or plain flour
85g light brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp baking soda
3/8 tsp salt
50g unsalted butter (slightly softened but still firm)
23g milk
42g honey
1tsp vanilla extract
Chopped toasted walnuts (optional)

1.  Line 7" round baking tin with parchment at the base and sides. Preheat oven to 150-160C.

2. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and baking soda in a mixing bowl.

3. Add butter in and use fingertips to rub in until fine breadcrumbs form. Alternatively, you may use a blender, a pastry cutter, or a pair of butter knives to do this.

4. In a measuring jug, mix together honey, milk and vanilla. Pour into dry ingredient mixture and form a dough. The dough will be sticky.

5. Press dough into baking tin, making sure the top is flat. Press in some toasted chopped walnuts if you wish. Bake for 30 min. Cool completely.

Freshly baked large cookie base

I used desiccated coconut that is coloured green with vodka and vanilla extract added as the "grass". The desiccated coconut was glued onto the marzipan covered base using a little water.

Ta-dah! My first hand molded figurine cake topper!

The cake on which the cake topper sits is made of three layers of lychee rose chiffon cake filled with chopped canned lychees, lychee jelly, lychee rose diplomat cream and raspberry lychee reduction. The whole cake was then coated with lychee rose Italian meringue buttercream (IMBC).

Lychee rose chiffon cake
(makes three 9.5" cakes)
9 yolks
112g oil
113g canned lychee puree, strained
1.5-2 tsp rose syrup
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
190g cake flour

9 whites
135g caster sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

* Split the meringue ingredients into separate batches if you don't have multiple ovens. Bake in preheated oven at 150C for 30 min. Cool in oven for 5min with door ajar. Cool in open for 5 min before removing from pan. Line base of pan with parchment.

I didn't want to make this long post even longer than necessary so you may refer to this post on method of making the chiffon cake batter.

Lychee Rose IMBC 
( Reference recipe from Catherine Zhang over here)
300g canned lychee syrup
15g caster sugar (added to syrup that is not too sweet)
2 egg whites (76g) + 5g caster sugar
1/2-1 tsp rose syrup
300g unsalted butter, softened but cool
20g icing sugar (optional)

1. Place egg whites and 5g sugar in standmixer and mix of low speed. The little bit of sugar is to help stabilize the meringue.

2. In the meantime, heat 300g canned lychee syrup with 15g caster sugar. I added a little sugar as the syrup wasn't too sweet to begin with so I wasn't sure there was enough sugar in the lychee syrup.  Heat syrup until 115C without stirring.

3. When syrup reaches about 110C, turn mixer speed up to medium and whip until soft peaks. Turn mixer speed down if syrup is not yet 115C. 

4. When syrup is ready, turn mixer speed up to medium high and slowly pour syrup down the sides of the mixing bowl. Continue beating until totally cooled to room temperature.

5. At medium speed, add butter 1 tbs at a time. Continue beating 10minutes more until light and silky.

6. Add rose syrup and beat until well combined.

7. If your IMBC is rather soft due to low sugar content of lychee syrup, you may add a little icing sugar and beat for a couple of minutes at this point.

Refrigerate up to a week or a month in freezer

Filling in cake
10 chopped canned lychees
Lychee jelly
Lychee rose diplomat cream
Raspberry lychee reduction

Lychee jelly
Bloom 6 sheets of gelatin (12g) in 50g cold lychee syrup. Melt in microwave. Stir in 100g lychee syrup. Set in fridge until firm before cutting into small pieces.

Raspberry reduction
110g raspberry puree (strained to remove seeds)
15g lychee syrup

Cook over low heat and reduced to 70g.

Lychee Rose diplomat cream
2 yolks
20g cornflour
50g milk
150g lychee puree, strained
6g rose syrup
Pinches of salt
15g unsalted butter
100g whipping cream*
(I use non-dairy whipping cream which is pre sweetened and stabilized. If using dairy cream, stabilize with gelatin and add sugar)

Please refer to this post for the method for diplomat cream.

Here's a peek at assembling the layers. I spread some raspberry reduction before layering on diplomat cream and topping with lychee jelly and chopped lychees.

I coloured half the IMBC blue so that I could frost the cake in Chelsea colours.

Thank God it was very well received!

with love,
Phay Shing
Read More »

Monday 24 April 2023

Burger and Fries Chiffon Cake Class


Here's my next hands-on class in May, a cute Burger and Fries Chiffon Cake Class! Hope they made you smile! 

Best wishes, 


Read More »

Wednesday 12 April 2023

Shiba Inu, Rilakkuma & Korilakkuma Vegan Mitarashi Dango Macarons

 This was the last project I embarked on before focusing on making marshmallows to take step-by-step photos for Deco Marshmallows. Shiba Inu, Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma Mitarashi dango macarons! 

The macaron shells, decoration and filling are all vegan except for the caramel coated Pocky stick.

This is my third attempt at vegan macarons but first attempt at Swiss method for vegan macs. I think I prefer this to the French method which I used earlier for my Hanami dango macarons. I decorated the macaron shells with vegan royal icing. The brown shells are coloured with Hojicha powder.

Inspired by Mitarashi Dango, which is a traditional Japanese rice dumpling smothered in an irresistibly sweet soy sauce glaze. The dumplings are skewered on a bamboo stick and enjoyed all year round. I filled mine with toasted white sesame ganache and soy sauce caramel, both are vegan. But the "wooden skewer" is a caramel Pocky biscuit stick which is not vegan. I can't bring myself to make that from scratch as well after all the work ๐Ÿ™ˆ.

I am unable to share the recipe and method as I intend to use it for future class material. But you may have a look at my Instagram reel to see the process of making these! 

Just to share some pictures...

Freshly baked macaron shells! Although the brown is coloured with Hojicha powder, you can't taste it much as the filling is strong flavoured.

Toasting white sesame seeds until aromatic

White sesame paste made with a little peanut oil and a pinch of salt added to toasted white sesame.

Filling macaron shells with toasted white sesame soy sauce ganache and soy sauce caramel. Not forgetting the caramel Pocky stick!

These macarons have a depth of flavour that is so delightful! From the first bite until you swallow, the lingering taste in your mouth changes. My kids gave a thumbs up!

Keep a lookout for class announcement for Shiba Inu Mitarashi dango macaron class probably third quarter of this year on my Instagram!

with love,

Phay Shing

Read More »

Sunday 9 April 2023

Lemon Minions Bunny Egg Cakes


Sharing some cute Lemon Minion Bunny Egg Cakes with recipe =) ❤️ 

Ingredients (5 egg shells) 
1 egg yolk 
13g vegetable oil 
7g lemon juice 
7g milk 
1/4 tsp vanilla extract 
20g cake or all-purpose flour  
¼ tsp lemon zest 
Yellow and blue food coloring 

1 egg white 
25g castor sugar 
Few drops lemon juice 

Whisk egg yolk with oil, lemon juice, milk, vanilla, zest. Add sifted flour and whisk till well combined. Divide the batter 2 (yellow): 1 (blue). Whisk egg whites with sugar and lemon juice in a new bowl till firm peaks. Fold in the meringue into respective colored batter. 

Pipe yellow batter till 1/2 full, followed by a layer of blue batter in each egg shell. Bake at 140C for 30 mins. Crack open the egg shells when the cakes are cool. Decorate with melted chocolate. 

Hope they made you smile!!❤️❤️๐Ÿฅฐ 

Video baking/assembly reel here on my IG: @susanne.decochiffon 

With love,

Read More »

Monday 3 April 2023

Passionfruit honey Winnie the Pooh Marshmallows

 Part of book writing involves testing of recipes that I write in the book. I took the chance to make Winnie the Pooh passionfruit honey marshmallows to satisfy my curiosity to see if there is a difference between fresh and freeze-dried fruit options for marshmallows. I took the chance to satisfy my curiosity to see if there's a difference using tapioca starch instead of cornstarch as dusting too. Here's what I made!

Here's a peek at the piped marshmallow batter before I added in the small details!

You may see how I piped both designs in my Instagram reels:


I coloured the brown marshmallow parts with chocolate paste. The facial features and "Hunny" lettering where painted or piped on with melted dark chocolate. Yes the hunny pots are marshmallows too! 

The little bees on top of some of them were made out of yellow candy melts, a little bit of blue sprinkle and melted dark chocolate. 

See how squishy they are in this video!

with love,

Phay Shing

Read More »