Saturday 27 April 2024

Capybara Yuzu Chocolate Hazelnut Choux Pastries

 My family loves capybaras because they are so cute! They are a source of inspiration for me when it comes to bakes too. Here's my choux pastry take on these cute creatures after I made macaron and marshmallow versions of them.

The capybaras are made of yuzu diplomat cream and chocolate hazelnut whipped cream, nestled in choux au craquelin coloured and shaped like fruits. 

Here's a reel of them!

This is actually a class material I have with Baker's Gym. Registration is still open although we are almost full up! Please click on this link for more information or to register.

with love,

Phay Shing

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Friday 19 April 2024

Vegan Floral Marshmallows

 Floral zephyrs (agar-based marshmallows) are a common thing but have you seen them made vegan? I made hydrangeas and roses a couple of years ago but they can be made vegan too!

The filling inside the hydrangeas is yummy crunchy Biscoff spread. The whole thing tastes like apple pie! 😋

To make these marshmallows vegan, I rely on reduced aquafaba, agar and Granny Smith apple puree to create the fluffy, bouncy texture. 

The hydrangeas and roses can be found in my Deco Marshmallows book too but they are egg white-based instead if aquafaba-based so it's vegetarian but not vegan. Making it vegan requires some tweaks in techniques. 

Join me for this class if you are interested to learn the techniques to make this in time for Mother's Day!

with love,

Phay Shing

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Monday 15 April 2024

Pompompurin Surprise Party Horn Chiffon Cake


Always dreamt of making 4D cakes! Watch the party horn blow here

Hope this made you smile too! 

With lots of love, 


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Saturday 13 April 2024

Sugar-Free Floral Blue China Chiffon Cake

 I wanted to make a floral blue china porcelain themed bake for my mum's birthday this year but I wasn't sure I could pull it off so here's my trial bake that I am really pleased with!

A closer look at the individual cakes...

And a look at the cut cross-section!

Let me explain the components in these 8cm petite cakes.

Sugar-free egg yolk-free lavender rose chiffon sponge. The pattern is almost sugar-free so it was quite a challenge to work with because I prefer a meringue-based pattern recipe. The method which uses 1:1:1:1 ratio for egg whites: flour : sugar : butter for the pattern is more popular because it is more straightforward but the texture isn't as close to the base sponge as a modified chiffon recipe. So this is entirely my personal preference.

Sugar-free vanilla rose diplomat cream

Blue pea lavender honey agar jelly made 100% naturally coloured. This component is mainly for aesthetics as well as to provide some bite in addition to the strawberries. You may leave it out if you want less work

Other components:
Raspberry reduction, fresh strawberries and dainty wafer paper butterflies! The butterflies are for aesthetics so you may leave it out but I strongly recommend including the strawberries and raspberry reduction.

It's my first time trying out making the butterflies. Such a fun crafting activity!

Here's the video of the process!

I will be sharing the recipes for all components except the pattern. Although I have tried making chiffon cake sugar-free with other sugar replacements in the past, I believe this maltitol-erythritol combination is one that comes close to chiffon cakes made using white sugar in terms of taste and texture. My hubby said he couldn't tell that it's sugar-free! Do note that maltitol isn't zero in glycemic index but it's still significantly lower than regular sugar. Erythritol is commonly found and has zero GI but it doesn't dissolve easily in water and tends to make bakes gritty as a result. It also leaves a cooling aftertaste. Using it in combination with maltitol seems to make these downsides of erythritol hardly noticeable! As with all sugar-free bakes, I always caution consumption in moderation and watch for any side effects as alcohol sugars are known to cause gastrointestinal discomfort in some people. 

I used honey as the sweetener instead of sugar replacement for the jelly because I still want it to taste great 🤭. I chose Acacia honey for its lower GI value.

Cake flour also contributes to the overall GI. I wouldn't substitute that with keto-friendly options though because low protein flour is essential for the texture of the sponge. All in all, this bake contains minimal white sugar but it's so flavourful and refreshing that you wouldn't think it's almost sugar-free! I tried my best to keep the flavours true to the floral theme of the design by keeping rose and lavender flavours the star of this cake, while balancing the floral notes with other components.

Sugar-free lavender rose chiffon sponge
This quantity is good for two 7x7" pans for sheet cakes or one 6" chiffon tin

15g neutral flavour oil
40g floral milk tea*
35g cake flour, sifted
pinches of salt

2 egg whites (about 75g)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
15g erythritol 
15g maltitol 

* Heat 120 milk with 6g Moroccan rosebuds & 1 tsp dried lavender flowers. Steep for 30min. Strain. 

1. Whisk together oil, milk, salt & flour. Set aside

2. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Add maltitol and erythritol. Whip meringue to firm peaks or just reach stiff peaks. Build it up Sloooowly to improve stability. This also prevents large air bubbles from forming and the texture of the sponge will be finer

3. Quickly but gently fold meringue into 1. in three additions. 

4. Pour into lined trays or chiffon tin. I line the tray with teflon sheet for smoother wrinkle-free sponges. For sheet cake, bake at 170C for 14min. For tall chiffon, bake at 140-150C for 45-50min. Adjust baking temperature & time according to Your oven as each one is different.

5. Immediately flip sheet cake onto fresh parchment paper to cool completely. Cool cakes baked in chiffon tin by inverting the tin and unmolding by hand when cooled.

Store the cake in airtight condition if not assembling yet. I painted in the details using cake paint from Sweet Sticks. I cut out 8cm circles of sponge using the cake rings I use for assembly .

Sugar-free vanilla rose diplomat cream
Diplomat cream usually contains some butter but I omitted it to try to keep the colour & taste light. Butter is usually added after the pastry cream is cooked but before chilling in fridge.

1 egg yolk
5-10g erythritol
5-10g maltitol 
Pinches of salt
8g cornstarch 
110g rose milk tea*
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
100g whipping cream of choice**
2-3g gelatin (depending on serving ambient temperature and preferred firmness of cream)
white colouring (optional)

* Heat 140g milk with 6g Moroccan rosebuds. Steep for 30min. Strain. 

** I used a mix of dairy & non-dairy whipping cream in 1:1 ratio & stabilized with gelatin. Sweeten with sugar of choice, adjust according to taste & whether pre-sweetened non-dairy cream is used 

1. Heat rose milk in saucepan until hot but not boiling

2. Whisk together in a heavy jug egg yolk, cornstarch, sugar of choice & salt

3. Pour 1. into 2. slowly while whisking egg yolk mix

4. Pour 3. back into saucepan. Whisk & cook on med-low heat until it just starts to bubble. Continue whisking over heat for another minute. 

5. Remove from heat. Add vanilla, mix well. Press cling wrap on surface. Refrigerate at least 2h or overnight

6. When you are about to assemble, bloom gelatin in 15g cold cream for 5min. Melt gelatin bloom. Whip whipping cream of choice to soft peaks. Transfer 15g whipped cream into melted bloom. Mix well. Add gelatin mix into whipped cream while whisking the cream until incorporated

7. Briefly whip chilled pastry cream. Fold in whipped cream. Add white gel colouring if you wish to match the white sponge. Transfer into piping bag for assembly.

Note that the consistency of the cream should be on the soft side, not too stiff in order to fill the air gaps between the jellies for a neater, more aesthetic look from the outside.

Blue pea lavender honey jelly
I made it light & refreshing to balance the cream & sponge so adjust according to taste. The sponge and cream are full-bodied in flavour so I wanted something lighter for the jelly.

20g acacia honey
3g agar powder (bloom in 40g cool water)
120g blue pea lavender tea^
20g milk
80g water
1-2 drops alkaline water for adjusting pH/color shade as necessary

^ Heat 180g water with 4g dried blue pea flower & 1/2tsp dried lavender flowers. Steep. Strain

1. Whisk agar in 40g cool water in saucepan. Set aside 5min

2. Add blue pea lavender tea & honey. Whisk & bring to boil. Continue whisking over heat for 1 min

3. Remove from heat. Add milk & 80g cool water. Whisk until combined. Add alkaline water to adjust shade of blue if desired

4. Pour into tray. Cool to room temperature & refrigerate 30min or overnight.

Use a small floral cookie cutter to cut out the flowers. If the jelly is thicker than 8mm, it may not stick to the acetate sheet during assembly well so slice the cutouts thinner if necessary. Keep the cutouts refrigerated until assembly. 

Tea and honey are slightly acidic so the shade of the jelly may tend towards purple. I added a little alkaline water to change the pH to make it less acidic to change the shade of blue towards... well...more blue 😆. Blue pea flowers contain anthocyanins which change colour due to the pH of the solution it is in so be aware of this when using blue pea to colour your stuff naturally.

Raspberry reduction
50g raspberry puree, sieved
5g sugar replacement of choice
2g lemon juice

1. Combine everything together. Heat & stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved & mixture thickened to preferred consistency. Cooled to room temperature before using

1. Line 8cm cake rings with acetate sheet. Alternatively, you may just tape the acetate sheet into a ring shape.

2. Place a layer of sponge for the base. I wasn't sure I would succeed with the sugar-free patterns that's why the base sponge has a little blue tinge as seen from the cross section.

3. Pipe a ring of cream over the sponge

4. Fill the middle with raspberry reduction. Pipe some cream to cover it 

5. Carefully slide the jelly flowers down the sides of the acetate sheet to make sure there is no air gap.

6. Place fresh strawberries in the middle. Fill the gaps and cover the jellies and strawberries with more cream 

7. Spread a little raspberry reduction over the cream, be careful to avoid the edges of the cake or it will show on the outside

8. Place the patterned sponge on top. Press gently but firmly down to squeeze out any air gaps in the cream.

9. Refrigerate for at least 2 h or overnight. Unmold and enjoy!

My taste testers from a family with adults and young kids loved the taste of the cakes so I am sure you will love it too! 

with lots of love,

Phay Shing
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Tuesday 9 April 2024

National Gallery Singapore Dark Chocolate Macarons

 In this day and age where many bakers own an edible printer like Eddie, a projector or at least an airbrush with stencil maker like Cricut, freehand drawn and painted macarons are seldom done. But because I don't do these often, I don't own any of the equipment that enables bulk production, I do it the old fashioned way😆. These are my attempt at making the National Gallery Singapore macarons as a farewell gift for a request.

I used my default Swiss meringue method recipe for the macaron shells.

I used a mix of edible marker and edible paint to include the details on a blank canvas of plain white macarons. I filled the macarons with a simple dark chocolate ganache. 

Bitter dark chocolate ganache recipe
150g dark chocolate (70%)
85g heavy cream
6g light corn syrup
15g unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract/bean paste
1/8 tsp salt

1. Melt dark chocolate using double-boiler or microwave. Set aside.

2. Heat cream, corn syrup and salt until hot but not boiling. 

3. Pour cream over melted chocolate. Stir in one direction until smooth.

4. Add butter and vanilla and stir until well combined. You may use an immersion blender if you wish to get it really smooth.

5. Press cling wrap onto surface and chill in refrigerator for 20-30min or until firmed up to toothpaste/pipeable consistency.

Here's my Instagram post with a short video of filling the macaron with dark chocolate ganache. Swipe all the way to see the video!

with love,

Phay Shing
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Tuesday 2 April 2024

Pompompurin Brown Sugar Cookies

 Besides Pompompurin macarons, I made brown sugar cookies as requested by my friend!

Here's a picture with both macarons and brown sugar cookies in view!

My friend loves my brown sugar cookies and looks forward to having them each year. This is the 10th year I am making them for her daughter's birthday!

You may refer to this post for my brown sugar cookie and royal icing recipe. There's a good reason why she asks for it every year. It's so fragrant and tasty without being overly sweet. Do give it a try if you would like an iced cookie base that actually tastes better with age/storage 😊. 

with love,

Phay Shing

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