Wednesday 28 February 2024

'Capybara in Totoro Dreamland' Vegan Marshmallows

 On and off I have people asking me if it is possible to make character marshmallows vegan. The answer is yes!

The sleeping capybara is based on a plushie we have at home. It's hilarious because the bubble at the nose can be pulled and upon release, the whole toy vibrates and produces a rumbling noise like a snore 😆. Actually I made many more Totoros and the capybara was an afterthought made using the leftover bits of marshmallow batter.

People have also asked if the recipe is in my Deco Marshmallows book. The answer is yes but only as a footnote on how to adapt the vegetarian recipe to make it a vegan one. In my vegan marshmallows, instead of egg whites and gelatin, I use agar powder, reduced aquafaba and apple puree as the ingredients that provide structure and bounce.

The technique for making vegan marshmallows is slightly different from the vegetarian one which uses egg whites instead of reduced aquafaba, because the meringue made using aquafaba is less stable and less robust than the one made using egg whites. Make sure the meringue is whipped stiffer than you would make for the vegetarian marshmallow if you want to make it vegan.

Here's the reel for the Totoro vegan marshmallows and the capybara plushie in action:

Pardon the lack of piping tutorial for capybara because it was made with leftover marshmallow batter & I wasn't confident it would turn out fine. 

These vegan marshmallows are also known as zephyrs (zefir) which are apple puree based & agar is used as the gelling agent. I replaced egg whites with aquafaba to make it vegan. It doesn't taste too sweet at all, in fact it is tart because of the fruit /juice that goes into it! Texture is a cross between regular marshmallows & meringue cookies.

Feel free to upsize as this is for a small batch & a very tiny saucepan I used. 

Apple jam:
1 large Granny Smith apple 
55g sugar
12g lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt

🔸Bake halved apple until soft. Sieve. Cook with rest of ingredients until total weight reduced to 100g. Refrigerate overnight covered

Vegan marshmallow:
Agar syrup:
100g sugar
3g agar powder
13g invert sugar
50g water
30g reduced aquafaba (to 40-50%)
Apple jam

🔸Whip meringue until STIFF. Continue whipping at med-low speed while making syrup

🔸Bring agar syrup to a boil while whisking continuously. Keep whisking until syrup forms a thread when dripped instead of forming droplets

🔸 Turn mixer speed to med-high. Pour syrup in. Continue whipping for a short time until consistency is floppy peak. Check every 30s after syrup is added

🔸Pipe marshmallows

🔸Air dry overnight at room temperature. Dust lightly with cornstarch or mix of icing sugar & cornstarch 

✅ Work quickly & keep unused batter in warm place as it sets up much more quickly than gelatin based marshmallows.

If this doesn't work for you on the first try, it is likely due to technique issues, so don't give up. It takes a little getting used to working with aquafaba but once you get used to it, it should work!

Detailed recipe & technical tips are in my Deco Marshmallows book and upcoming classes.

with love,
Phay Shing
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Friday 23 February 2024

Polar Bear and Hanami Dango Marshmallow Class

Many people think that you need artistic skills in order to pipe character marshmallows. Not true with the templating technique I use! There is hardly any freehand piping needed!

I am pleased to present this marshmallow class which doesn't require artistic skills at all!

Cute animal hanami dango and kawaii fruity polar bear designs will be taught at this class. I use matcha powder, freeze-dried strawberry powder and strawberry paste to flavour and colour the green and pink parts. 

See how squishy they are in this reel!

To find out more about this class or to register, please refer to this link.

with love,

Phay Shing

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Tuesday 20 February 2024

Puppy Heart Chiffon Cakes


These are puppy chiffon cakes modelled after maltipoo and bichon which I love. These were made for Valentine's day and also in collab with Tastemade. Watch the making on my IG here. The recipe is also in the caption. 
Hope you like it and that it made you smile too!  
With love, 

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Friday 16 February 2024

Vegan Hojicha Yuzu Capybara Macarons

As I was finalizing the recipe and processes of an upcoming vegan macaron class, I couldn't resist using the leftover batter to create capybaras!

The macaron shells are coloured and flavoured with Hojicha. Since capybaras are known to soak in onsen filled with floating yuzu, I decided to fill them with hojicha ganache and yuzu marmalade.

Swiss meringue method was used to make the macaron shells from aquafaba that has been reduced by 50%. Remember to shake the can of chickpeas hard before using the aquafaba.

Here's the template for the large capybara with yuzu on the head. 

Please resize the template to fit an A4 sheet

I only had brown and white macaron batter to work with so I used edible paint to add in all the other details. I finally found a brand of edible paint that dries fairly quickly, doesn't need dilution with water or alcohol, and doesn't dissolve the surface it is painted on!

To make the ganache vegan, I used plant based white chocolate.

Please see the reel for the piping and painting video tutorial:

Tips for vegan macarons:

🔸Make sure the meringue is whipped till very stiff. Aquafaba based meringues are not as stable & robust as egg white based meringues. There isn't a danger of over whipping so go ahead and whip away! This applies for all meringue methods using aquafaba. If meringue isn't stiff enough, you get exploding feet & batter breaks down faster
🔸Use an acid to help stabilize meringue
🔸Don't overfold the batter
🔸Pipe larger macs. Small macs tend to have lopsided feet due to weaker nature of aquafaba meringue
🔸Rest your piped batter till really dry to prevent exploding feet. You should be able to swipe a finger across the surface of the piped batter while applying slight pressure. It should feel dry & firm
🔸Try to maintain constant oven temperature as any fluctuations can cause the feet to go wonky
🔸 Don't bake at too high a temperature or you get exploding feet
🔸 Don't bake at too low a temperature or you get lopsided feet or no feet
🔸 Bake longer than you would regular macs since vegan macs bake at lower temperatures than egg white based macs
🔸 Remember you are working with something tricky & it can go all wrong if your oven decides to play punk so don't be a perfectionist. Some hollows are expected

with love,
Phay Shing
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Friday 9 February 2024

Vanilla Black Tea & Strawberry Valentine's Day Bear Marshmallows

 This is a class material for Valentine's Day that I didn't get to share earlier. These cuddly squishy bears have moveable arms that can hug a strawberry marshmallow heart! The bears are naturally coloured and flavoured with black tea.

Watch how the flappy arms work over here:

I made them again recently with shorter body and chubbier cheeks, and packed the strawberry hearts with more freeze dried strawberry powder and less bottled strawberry emulco.

Watch the squish and marshmallow heart piping video over here:

with love,
Phay Shing
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Sunday 4 February 2024

Heart Langue De Chat without using molds (Part 2: Pink Berry Ombre Cookies)

 After showing you how to make assorted heart shaped cookies without using a heart mold, I will show you how to make things a little more interesting by making it sweet ombre pink!

Recipe makes about twelve-thirteen 2" heart sandwich cookies (adapted from siZning's YouTube)

Strawberry Langue De Chat cookie:
50g unsalted butter, slightly softened
45g icing sugar
1/16 tsp salt
25g egg whites
1/4 tsp soy lecithin (optional)
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp strawberry emulsion
50g cake flour, sifted
White & pink gel colouring 

Berry filling:
45g white chocolate 
3g freeze dried raspberry or strawberry powder
1/8 tsp strawberry emulsion

1. Beat softened butter briefly with electric mixer/hand whisk/spatula

2. Add sugar. Beat until well combined

3. Add egg whites in 2-3 additions. Beat until smooth. Add soy lecithin if you wish to help with emulsification.

4. Add vanilla & strawberry emulsion. Mix until combined

5. Add flour. Fold with a spatula until combined

6. Divide into 3 equal portions. Add white or pink gel colouring to achieve desired shades to 2 portions.

7. Transfer into a piping bag with #5 tip. Pipe as shown in the video tutorial link below.

Piped batter

8. Bake at 150-160C for 10-11 min. Bake at 110C for another 5-10 min to dry it out

9. Prepare filling while cooling the cookies. Melt chocolate & add the rest of the ingredients in. Mix well. Fill & assemble sandwich cookies

You may see the piping video tutorial over here:
Please see part 1 for important notes on basic baking tips to ensure success

- Let the batter fall from the piping tip like you would when piping the border on cookies iced with royal icing. Pipe slowly to have better control of the shape. Video is sped up by 7x. To do so, you don't have to apply a lot of pressure on the piping bag but instead, let gravity do most of the work

- Using a skewer to gently nudge the boundary between colours will make the slight indent/crack between colours invisible. It's ok to omit this step if you don't mind the appearance of the indent at the boundaries.

- I added white gel colouring to make the browning less obvious but you may colour it anyway you like!

- Use a metal file used for bakes only or a fine zester to gently file off bits that make the cookie look out-of-shape (see part 1 reel) but you may skip this step if your cookies are in a nice heart shape. Most of the heart shapes in this larger batch turned out fine even though I piped on parchment so I didn't need to file down as many pieces as the smaller hearts in part 1

with love,
Phay Shing
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Friday 2 February 2024

Pineapple Tart Dragon


I was inspired to transform the Pineapple Tart roll into a Flying Dragon! 🍍🐉🥰 
Do you like it?❤️ 
Rolling is such a quick way to shape pineapple tarts, and even easier to construct into a dragon! 

Assembly video here.  

Tart crust recipe (makes 3 dragons) 
228g (2 sticks) unsalted butter 
120g icing sugar 
2 large egg yolks 
60g heavy cream 
400g plain flour 
15g corn flour 
15g milk powder 
Red yeast rice powder (or red food coloring) 

Happy CNY in advance! 



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Thursday 1 February 2024

Dragon Roll Cake


Scaling into the new year with a long (龙) dragon roll cake (pun intended😜)! 🥰
See the video of the making here

Happy Lunar New Year in advance! 

With love, 

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