Wednesday, 20 September 2023

BT21 Cherry Blossom Scene (a marshmallow & cookie creation)

 My friend requested a creation from me to surprise his girlfriend who is a BT21 fan. A picture of the whole squad in a cherry blossom field was sent to me along with the request. He was kind enough to give me an open date and let my imagination go wild. Presenting my version of the scene made out of marshmallows and cookies!


This was before I scattered the cherry blossom "petals".


And this is the reference picture!


I refused to use a huge cakeboard or make the characters really tiny so it isn't an exact replica but I tried my best to capture the essence of the scene.

I made the tree trunks and base out of cookies using my favourite brown sugar cookie recipe but I replaced brown sugar with regular sugar. The characters and foliage are made out of marshmallows. The sakura petals are made out of wafer paper coloured pink with lustre dust. I used royal icing and store bought sugar flowers for the other details.

Here are some pictures of the trees and characters before assembly!


The characters have not been dusted yet in these pictures. I make duplicates of each character in case of accidental uglification 

I used templates for my marshmallows and it helps a lot because I can't do freehand piping of characters very well. I will show you the technique in detail in my upcoming Deco Marshmallows book.

Here's a reel for what went on behind the scenes:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CxaersoykFw/?igshid=MWZjMTM2ODFkZg==


Thank God the surprise was very well received!


with love,

Phay Shing

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Tuesday, 19 September 2023

Bear Red Velvet Tiramisu Cups

 


Tiny cups of bear-y deliciousness: coffee-infused red velvet hearts, cuddled between layers of mascarpone cream and cocoa magic! ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿฅฐ 
Assembly video here
More detailed recipe can be found in my previous post

With lots of love, 
Susanne 

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Monday, 11 September 2023

Earl Grey Pear Chiffon Cake

 If I had a choice, I would rename the title of this post as "Earl Grey Honey Milk Tea Vanilla Pear and Lime Chiffon Cake" but that would be too long and a big mouthful to read out aloud ๐Ÿ˜†. But that's the true representation of this really aromatic, refreshing and yummy cake!


I made not just one but two such cakes! One for my dad's birthday and another for my uncle's birthday.


The pears on top are actually made of chiffon cake. This is the Instagram reel on how to make it:


The large cakes are made up of:
- Earl grey honey milk tea chiffon sponges
- Earl grey pear tea with honey agar jelly 
- Pear and lime compote with brown sugar and honey
- Chantilly cream

I have to thank Lizzy (@homecookinglizzy Instagram account ) for the inspiration for this cake flavour and the recipe for the pear and lime compote. It's amazing ๐Ÿ˜.

I was trying out baking without using steam baking but with a different baking temperature profile to see if it works too. Fan mode was used when I usually use top and bottom heat only. My conclusion is, there isn't really much difference in results from my usual temperature profile which starts at a higher temperature and then gradually lowering it, while using steam baking.

Earl Grey pear tea
This is used for making the chiffon "pears" and the agar jelly.

Ingredients:
1 large ripe Packham pear, peeled and grated
2 Earl Grey tea bags
1/2 tsp black tea powder (or 1 Earl Grey tea bag)
1 stick of cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
400ml water

Steps:
1. Place all ingredients in saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.

2. Turn off heat and leave it to cool completely. Discard cinnamon stick. Squeeze out the tea bags. Sieve the Earl Grey pear tea through fine sieve. Store in airtight glass container refrigerated until needed. You may prepare this 1-2 days in advance.


Earl Grey pear tea chiffon cake "pears"
Ingredients (makes about 15-16 pears):
Egg yolk batter
2 egg yolks
28g vegetable oil
28g Earl Grey pear tea
40g cake flour
Pinches of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Green and yellow gel food colouring
1/2 tsp Earl Grey tea leaves from tea bag (optional)
Cinnamon stick cut to thin slivers (for pear stems)

Meringue
2 egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
38g caster sugar

Steps:
1. Wash egg shells and remove membrane inside. Air dry completely before using. Use silicone hemisphere tray, muffin cases or disposable cupcake cases to hold each eggshell upright.

2. Preheat oven to 120-130C fan mode.

3. Prepare egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolks until pale and thick. Add oil and whisk until well combined. Add tea, salt and vanilla and whisk until well combined. Gradually sift in flour and whisk until no trace of flour is seen. You may add some tea leaves from a tea bag to the flour before sifting together to add black specks on the pear to mimic real pears. Set aside.

4. Make the meringue. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks or just reach stiff peaks, gradually adding sugar once egg whites are foamy. 

5. Quickly but gently fold meringue into egg yolk batter in three additions. Transfer into large piping bag. Cut a hole about 7-8mm. Fill the egg shells about 2/3-3/4 full.


6. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Increase temperature to 160C and bake for another 5 minutes. Leave to cool completely before cutting off the excess cake that rose out of the egg shell. Crack the egg shells with the back of metal spoon and gently releasing the cake. Adjust baking temperature and time according to your oven as each oven is different. 

7. Use a strip of cling wrap to tie a knot at where you want the "waist" of the pear to appear on each cake. Leave it for 10-15 minutes before untying it. I was impatient and didn't want to use so much plastic so I just did it one at a time, using the time to unmould each cake as the length of time to "strangle" the previous cake. The sponge would bounce back a little but I just shape it with my fingers again.


8. Insert a sliver of cinnamon stick for the pear stem. You may use chocolate if you wish but I prefer something that is less fragile and easier to handle in hot and humid Singapore. 



9. Brush the surface of the sponge with syrup (1:2 sugar: hot water) and store in airtight condition in the fridge. You may store at room temperature too if consuming within 3 days.


Don't they look cute?๐Ÿ˜

Earl Grey pear tea with honey agar jelly
I portion the jelly ingredients such that the jelly layer I set in my silicone tray is about 7-8mm thick. My tray is about 8" in diameter.

Ingredients:
270g Earl Grey pear tea
40g honey
5g agar powder
Zest of 1 large lime (calamamsi), optional

Steps:
1. Put cold or room temperature tea in saucepan. Scatter agar powder over and whisk. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. 

2. Add honey and lime zest. Bring to boil while whisking frequently.  Simmer for 3 minutes while whisking. 

3. Pour mixture through a very fine sieve into tray. Leave it to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 1 h.

4. Use a small teardrop shaped cutter (or any other shape you like) to cut out pieces for lining the sides of the cakes. Finely chop the remaining leftover jelly for adding to the filling in the middle with the pear and lime compote. Keep the cutouts and finely chopped pieces covered and refrigerated until needed.

Pear and lime compote 
Ingredients:
3 ripe but firm pears, peeled and finely chopped
2 large limes (calamamsi), zest and juice
45g light brown sugar
15g honey
15g water
1/8 tsp salt

Steps:
1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until pear appears translucent.  Set aside to cool completely. You may prepare this a day in advance. Store in refrigerator if preparing in advance.



Earl Grey honey milk tea chiffon cakes
Ingredients (makes one 15cm and one 17cm chiffon cake in tube pans*):
Egg yolk batter
7 egg yolks
80g vegetable oil
110g Earl Grey honey milk tea**
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
5g black tea powder***
145g cake flour

Meringue
7 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
105g caster sugar

*Please scale recipe according to your chiffon cake tin size. Use 2 or 3 egg portion for 15cm and 4 egg portion for 17cm tin.

** Dissolve 55g of honey in 100g of milk by heating and stirring in a saucepan. Remove from heat once honey is dissolved and milk is steaming hot. Soak 6 Earl Grey teabags for 10-15 minutes. Squeeze out as much tea as you can from the tea bags. Portion out 110g for use. Top up with more milk if amount is not enough.

***Extra notes: You may replace tea powder with more Earl Grey tea bags if you don't have it, adjust amount according to taste and brand. The tea powder I use is able to dissolve in water. You may add milk powder if you wish the taste to be milkier. I omitted it although Lizzy added it, because the sponges are eaten with dairy cream instead of eaten alone or without pairing with something milky.

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 120-130C fan mode. Set oven rack to second lower position.

2. Dissolve black tea powder in Earl Grey honey milk tea if using. Set aside.

3. Prepare egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolks until pale and thick. Add oil and whisk until well combined. Add tea, salt and vanilla and whisk until well combined. Gradually sift in flour and whisk until no trace of flour is seen. Set aside.

4. Make the meringue. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks or just reach stiff peaks, gradually adding sugar once egg whites are foamy. 

5. Quickly but gently fold meringue into egg yolk batter in three additions. Pour into chiffon cake tins until batter is about 1" below the rim. Run a chopstick along the base and sides of the tin to pop any large air bubbles.

6. Bake for 1h - 1h 10 minutes. The cakes don't brown at all in my oven at this temperature. Increase temperature to 160C and bake for another 7-10 minutes or until tops appear a little browned. Immediately invert the tins to cool completely before unmoulding by hand. Slice each cake horizontally into 3 slices. I sliced into 4 so that I can fill the hole in the middle with circular cutouts from the fourth slice.

Chantilly cream
You may use any type of cream or combination of cream you like according to taste preference and ambient conditions that you are serving the cake. Non-dairy holds up the best, is pre-sweetened and impossible to overwhip. Heavy cream tastes the best but may need stabilizers like gelatin and sugar, and tends to be over whipped more easily if not careful. You may also use double cream which has higher fat content than heavy cream, tastes great too but able to hold its shape better in warmer conditions. I use a combination of non-dairy and double cream to get the best of both worlds of taste, stability and ease of handling. I use a ratio of 2:3 for non-dairy : double cream.

Make sure sponge cakes are sliced and all filling ingredients are ready before whipping the cream. Use it immediately to assemble the cakes.

Ingredients:
250g Whip topping (non-dairy whipping cream)
375g double cream (45% fat)

Steps:
1. Whip non-dairy whipping cream until stiff. Set aside.

2. Whisk double cream until loosened and able to hold some soft to firm peaks. Be careful not to over whisk or it will split. That's why I recommend using the hand whisk instead of electric mixer for this.

Whisked double cream till soft-firm peak

3. Gradually fold in whipped non-dairy cream into double cream until well combined.

Assembly
1. Place a slice of sponge on 7 or 8" cakeboard. Wrap an acetate sheet around the cake and tape it in place. Fill the hole with a sponge cutout if you wish.

2. Brush the sponge with some syrup from the compote. 

3. Spread a thin layer of cream over the sponge.

4. Slide agar jelly cutouts down the sides of the acetate sheet so that there is no air gap. Line the whole circumference of the cake with the jelly.

5. Transfer some cream into piping bag with a small hole (4-5mm) cut. Pipe cream around the jelly cutouts, making sure there is no air gap. Use a skewer or chopstick to nudge the cream if you see air gaps from the outside. 

6. Fill the middle with pear and lime compote and chopped bits of Earl Grey pear tea jelly.


7. Cover with cream and smoothen it relatively flat.

8. Carefully insert second sponge layer. Fill hole with sponge cutout if you wish.

9. Repeat steps 2-8.

10. Cover the top with cling wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before removing the acetate sheet. You may leave the acetate sheet in place if you wish until ready to serve. Keep refrigerated and consume within 3-5 days. 

My family loved the cake because it is so light, refreshing and fragrant, with a good balance of flavours! I thought the addition of lime to Earl Grey and pear an unusual one but it turned out very well! Here's a peek at the messy yummy slices!



To be honest, I would have filled the "pears" with some cream and compote as well but these cakes came at a very busy period for me with multiple deadlines happening around the same time. I decided to keep things simpler. If you would like to know how to fill the pears, you may refer to my apple black tea chiffon cake apples or chiffon strawberries posts.


with lots of love,

Phay Shing

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Saturday, 9 September 2023

Pineapple Chiffon Roll Cake

 


Rolling into good times with this Pineapple chiffon roll cake๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’• ! Ong Lai Huat ah =). For the uninitiated, the pineapple was the symbol for our newly elected president! Some Chinese also like to roll the pineapple through a new house/office. I was inspired to make this pineapple chiffon from a roll cake, and it is also for a friend. It is also a tribute to our new president! The cake has pineapple whipped cream, as well as mini pineapple surprises inside =). 

 Watch the video tutorial here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cw6XeWsP7nX

I'm opening up a Hands-on Class on Oct 6th for Pineapple chiffon cake, following some requests from friends. Sign up here if you are keen =). 

With lots of love,

Susanne


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Monday, 4 September 2023

Snow Skin Mooncakes: Basics, Green Tea & Ombre with a Surprise (Video tutorial)

 I have been commissioned by Phoon Huat to create a video tutorial for snowskin mooncakes made using their ingredients and plunger moulds. Those of you not in Singapore may wonder if there's any point in going through this blog post then. Yes there is! The basics and patterning techniques shown here can be applied to other recipes using cooked or raw glutinous rice flour. I will include blog links to my other recipes without using the premix at the end of this post.


Feel free to upsize the portion to 12 mooncakes but I don't recommend working more than that in one round if you are making the ombre version or making coloured patterns like the green tea version as the dough gets more difficult to work with when you let it rest for too long regardless of the recipe/method you use. I colour my snowskin mooncakes using natural sources like Matcha powder and fresh pink dragonfruit puree that has been sieved. Feel free to use food coloring of your choice or other natural sources of colouring!

Here's the YouTube video tutorial:

Basic Snow Skin Mooncake
Ingredients (makes 6 mooncakes with 50g flower mould):
100g snow skin premix, sifted
20g vegetable shortening
50-55g cold water
Food colouring or flavouring of choice (optional)
150-160g lotus paste (or any filling of choice)
2 tsp (6g) melon seeds, toasted (optional, use more filling if omitting)

1. Toast melon seeds if using. It adds a nice crunch & breaks the monotonous texture of the filling

2. Knead melon seeds into lotus paste. Divide into 26-28g portions

3. Rub-in shortening into sifted snow skin premix until very fine crumbs form

4. Add colouring &/or flavouring into cold water. Optional as premix already has milk powder added for a milky flavour. Use less water if adding liquid flavouring.

5. GRADUALLY add water & knead until dough forms for premix to absorb as much water as possible to keep snow skin moist longer.

6. Continue kneading until dough is smooth & elastic.

7. Cover & rest for 10-15 min to relax dough

8. Divide dough into 26-28g portions

9. Lightly dust mould & cling wrap work surface with a little premix

10. Flatten a portion of dough, sandwiching it between cling wrap. I use a wooden coaster as a handy tool for flattening the dough.

11. Wrap a portion of filling with the help of cling wrap. Pinch seal the opening

12. Lightly coat mooncake with premix. Roll between palms until diameter is able to fit into the mould easily

13. Press mooncake into mould, using fingers to press in around the edges for smooth & well-defined looking sides

14. Press plunger FIRMLY onto a flat work surface. Patterns won't be distinct if you don't press hard enough. Push mooncake out. Brush off excess dusting


Here's the reel for the basics:


I made Instagram reels as well if you need some thing a little faster paced.

STORAGE & CONSUMPTION TIPS
Store in airtight condition in the fridge. Best consumed within 3-5 days. Leave at room temperature for 20 minutes before eating to soften cold snow skin. Snow Skin mooncakes tend to harden from the third day onwards so it really makes a difference to let the cold mooncakes soften at room temperature before you eat it. Proper storage is important to help to keep the mooncakes moist longer. Make sure there is minimal air gap between mooncake and the container. You may cover with cling wrap to help minimize the air gap. Repeated opening and closing of the box also releases a lot of moisture so you may want to keep each one individually covered if you want to keep the snow skin as soft as possible for a longer time. 


Green Tea Snow Skin Mooncake
Ingredients:
100g snow skin premix, sifted
20g vegetable shortening
27g cold water
27g hot water
1/4-1/2 tsp matcha powder
150-160g green tea lotus paste 
2 tsp (6g) melon seeds, toasted 

1. Whisk matcha powder in hot water. Cover & refrigerate for at least 2h

2. Knead toasted melon seeds into green tea lotus paste. Divide into 26-28g portions.

3. Rub-in shortening into sifted premix until very fine crumbs form. Divide into two 60g portions

4. GRADUALLY add cold water/matcha & knead until dough forms & is smooth & elastic

5. Cover & rest the dough for 10-15 min

6. Divide each coloured dough into 26-27g portions. Set aside a few grams for patterning. Keep any dough left idle covered with cling wrap

7. Lightly dust flower mould of choice with premix or cooked glutinous rice flour. Cover the pattern with a little dough. Don't overfill the pattern or the dough will spill over to adjacent sections when pressed. Press dough into pattern with your finger. Cover finger with cling wrap if dough tends to stick to your finger.

8. Wrap green tea filling with colour of dough that is different from pattern dough. Insert into mould & press the mooncake out.

Ombre Fuchsia Snow Skin Mooncake with Kinder Bueno Surprise

Ingredients:
100g snow skin premix, sifted
20g vegetable shortening
27g cold water + 1/8 tsp pink dragonfruit puree (sieved)
20g cold water + 1.5 tsp pink dragonfruit puree
6 mini Kinder Bueno
120g lotus paste

1. Divide lotus paste into 20g portions. Wrap Kinder Bueno with lotus paste.

2. Rub-in shortening into sifted premix until very fine crumbs form. Divide into two 60g portions

3. GRADUALLY add concentrated/diluted dragonfruit water & knead until dough forms & is smooth & elastic

4. Mix 7-8g of dough from each colour to form a shade of fuchsia that is in-between

5. Cover & rest the dough for 10-15 min

6. Divide light & dark fuchsia into three 24g portions & three 1g portions. Divide dough in step 4 into six 2-3g portions. Try to work quickly & keep dough that is left idle covered

7. Place 24g of dark/light fuchsia dough on lightly dusted cling wrap. Press a ball of 2-3g fuchsia dough on top followed by a ball of 1g light/dark fuchsia dough. Cover with cling wrap & press flat

8. Flip flattened dough with ombre side down. Wrap filling with dough. Insert into mould & press the mooncake out. Don't worry if the ombre pattern is a little off-center. It will still look pretty!

Here's the reel for making patterned green tea snow skin mooncake and ombre fuchsia with Kinder Bueno surprise filling:


Alternative Recipes
Some of you may have preferences for types of ingredients used or you may not have access to cooked glutinous rice flour. Here are some alternatives you may refer to.

My favourite default recipe uses cooked glutinous rice flour and you can choose to use the premix if you wish. It is able to keep moist and soft for the longest time, about a week, if stored properly. If you expose it too much in the fridge or use too much flour for dusting, it will still dry out faster. The texture of the snow skin is like soft mochi for the first two days so if you prefer it more snow skin-like, wait for 3 days before consuming. I adapted it from Ann Low's recipe.

This recipe uses oil for those of you who prefer not to use vegetable shortening. It also uses cooked glutinous rice flour.

Those of you who are not able to get a hold of cooked glutinous rice flour may wish to use this recipe instead that uses raw glutinous rice flour. It is more work but the texture is really good too! This recipe uses oil too. I adapted it from Kenneth Goh's recipe and provided the link in my post if you wish to see the original recipe.



with love,
Phay Shing
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Thursday, 31 August 2023

Marshmallow Cats in Ice-Cream Cone Class

 Want to learn how to make these adorable marshmallow cats in ice-cream cones? Join me for this class happening in October!


The cone is coated with chocolate and filled with Biscoff toasted pecan marshmallow mix 



Most people find getting the right consistency for various parts of character marshmallows challenging. In this class I will show you how to get a consistency that can hold the shape for larger structures like the head, a slightly softer one for patches and runnier consistency for adding on very fine features. Piping techniques are covered too!

Take a peek at how squishy they are and how I piped one of the cats in my reel below!

https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cv4oKnGg2LI/?igshid=MWZjMTM2ODFkZg==


Please click on this link for more information or to register.

Don't be intimidated by the seemingly long hours. We gave a longer window of time so participants don't feel pressured by time to complete their work quickly. We want the session to be fun and enjoyable!


with love,

Phay Shing

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Monday, 28 August 2023

Tuxedo Sam Roll Cakes

 


Tuxedo Sam roll cakes, adorned with a surprise bow inside! It's made for Sanrio's Friend of the Month

Watch the video tutorial here

With lots of love, 
Susanne



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Thursday, 24 August 2023

Biscoff & Dark Chocolate Shiba Dango Macarons

 I discovered a couple of months ago that crunchy Biscoff spread makes such a great convenient filling that is stable at warm temperatures and is vegan-friendly. Not to mention, it is a popular flavour especially amongst kids and teens! I had a small quantity bake that was made last minute for a request so this handy filling came in...well, handy!

I paired the Biscoff with a simple dark chocolate ganache

I kept the piping simple so I added on the white parts and facial details using royal icing. I used my default Swiss meringue method recipe to make these brown sugar shiba macaron shells. I replaced the caster sugar with brown sugar.



Thank God these were very well received!


with love,

Phay Shing

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Friday, 18 August 2023

Mooncaron and Piglet Macarons (new imprinting technique!)

 When I first tried to make mooncarons back in 2017, I tried all sorts of ways to replicate the imprints on traditional mooncakes but none of them worked. "Mooncaron" was a name I came up with in 2017 to describe my macarons made to look at taste like traditional baked mooncakes that are eaten and sold around Mid-Autumn Festival season. I resorted to laboriously piping the designs by freehand from then till now because it is the only foolproof method. But when I saw the imprinting technique shared by Hannah (@mcfonsa_macaron) on Instagram, I knew I had to try it on mooncarons. I finally managed to come up with something that is somewhat mooncake-ish by imprinting the design!

I am including the cutesie version of piglet mooncakes in macaron form this year too!

I used textured parchment sheets from Intricut Edibles. Although they have geometric designs that are similar to mooncake mold imprints, it is faster and easier (I shall explain why later) to pipe those designs using macaron batter. Instead, I chose floral designs with lots of intricate curved lines, which are more challenging to pipe consistently and quickly by freehand.



While the imprinting technique works, it is not without challenges and drawbacks:

1. Embossed designs on the parchment are a lot shallower than mooncake molds. As a result, the imprints do not appear to pop out as much as piped designs.

2. Macaron batter is meringue based so it is impossible to avoid all air bubbles under the parchment sheet. In order to fix the air bubbles, the holes have to be filled post-baking, leading to possibly more time for the whole process. Whatever time you saved from not having to pipe the designs may be lost through the longer baking time required for the first round of baking and extra time needed to patch the holes, rest and bake the second time.  Having said that, if you wanted complex floral designs, it is definitely faster to use the imprinting method, whereas if you wanted geometric designs with straight lines, it is faster to pipe them.

You may compare the set of imprinted mooncarons with my usual piped ones.

Piped designs appear to pop up more, just like actual mooncakes.

I have put together a reel to show you how to use the textured parchment sheets to make it work for you. It definitely needs some patience but it is a lot easier for those who struggle with piping intricate designs! 

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CwFedOaAu13/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==

Let me share part of the caption of the reel in this blog post for easy reference.


DON'Ts

❌ Improper placement of parchment resulting in huge air pockets

❌ Underbaking resulting in parchment stuck or patchy-looking tops 

❌ Applying "egg wash" paint without following the contours of the designs resulting in indistinct appearance of patterns


DOs

✅ When placing parchment on top of piped batter, start from one edge & slowly work across to the opposite edge as shown in reel

✅ Bake a few minutes more than usual as batter covered with parchment takes longer to bake

✅ Outline designs with egg wash paint & use lighter coloured paint for raised portions to let the designs stand out to compensate for shallow embossed designs on parchment


You may be concerned that the shells are overbaked due to longer baking time & double-baking to eliminate holes & to add on the rim. This can be fixed by brushing the base of shells with cream or milk before filling but in my case, the filling (lotus paste based) has enough water content to soften the shells so it's not necessary.

You may see this reel for how I prepare the lotus seed puree and lotus seed paste from scratch:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CuVTHf6gSpi/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==

My mooncaron class with the piglet macarons this year is also up for registration, with both online and studio class options. The online class has been up before this year but we will update the class material with the new filling-- lotus paste instead of the previous mung bean paste, and also include the piglet template and video of piping and decorating it. All studio participants will have access to online class material at no extra charge.

Please click on this link for the studio class and this link for the online class


with love,

Phay Shing

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Tuesday, 15 August 2023

Love SG Raspberry Tiramisu

 

Going to share this Raspberry Tiramisu with vegan mascarpone cream this Sat at my church ARPC's Let's Carnival to bless the community =). As Singapore's National was around the corner, I spruced up the traditional Tiramisu, which usually has dreamy layers of mascarpone cream, coffee soaked-ladyfingers and cocoa powder, with additional red raspberry layers! The combination is really rich and refreshing at the same time! 

Tiramisu is said to have originated from Veneto in the 1800s. Authentic tiramisu using raw (or sometimes pasteurized nowadays) whipped egg whites, and separately whipped egg yolks with mascarpone to obtain super creamy mascarpone cream. Due to food safety concerns, many modern day versions (and also mine) uses whipped cream to replace the eggs. The resulting mascarpone cream is also rich and creamy =). To make the recipe even safer, the version that I am presenting is dairy-free/vegan, using non-dairy whipping cream as well as vegan cheese substitute, which should be able to sit out for around 2hrs.

So here goes the recipe! 

Love SG Raspberry Tiramisu

100g heavy cream + 100g mascarpone cheese (or 150g non-dairy cream + 50g vegan cheese substitute)
24g icing sugar
2g vanilla extract
1/2 cup strong coffee (5 g coffee powder, 100g hot water, 7g sugar)
1/2 tbsp kahlua/rum/marsala *optional
200g raspberry preserve/compote (recipe below, or store bought)
16 ladyfingers (savoiardi) - 2 fingers/tiramisu
Cocoa powder (for sifting in between layers)
Raspberry powder and snow powder (for sifting decorations on top)

1. Make strong coffee by dissolving coffee powder and sugar in hot water. You can also use espresso. Add 1 tbsp kahlua/rum/marsala (optional).

2. Mix mascarpone cheese, icing sugar and vanilla until combined.

3. Beat heavy cream until medium-stiff peaks.

4. Whisk in mascarpone cheese mixture and beat again till smooth. Transfer the mascarpone cream mixture to piping bag.

5. Smoothen the raspberry preserve and transfer to a piping bag.

Assembly:

1) Dip the ladyfingers quickly in a shallow dish of coffee and line the base of the glass cups.

2) Pipe a layer of mascarpone cream.

3) Pipe a layer of raspberry preserve. 

4) Sift a thin layer of cocoa powder.

5) Line a layer of coffee-infused lady fingers (try to pack neatly).

6) Pipe a layer of mascarpone cream.

7) Sift a layer of raspberry powder (with design), or sift a layer of raspberry powder, followed by snow powder (with design)

*You can repeat steps 1)-4) if your jar is taller. 


Raspberry compote/preserve (You can DIY or use store-bought)

240g raspberry (2 cups)
14g granulated/castor sugar (2 tbsp)
10g lemon juice (2 tsp)
4g pectin (1 tsp) or 4g cornstarch (2 tsp)* optional

1. Place the raspberries and lemon juice in a saucepan.

2. Add sugar, or sugar mixed with pectin (or cornstarch), to the saucepan. Stir with a whisk or spatula.

3. Bring to a boil over low heat and allow to thicken (few mins) till the compote coats the back of a spoon.

4. Allow to cool and transfer to piping bag. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.

Here's a short video tutorial I made before to make the raspberry compote/preserve. It was actually for another online class I had :)



Ladyfinger sponge (savoiardi) (You can DIY or use store-bought)

100g egg whites
½ tsp cream of tartar
83g castor sugar
3g salt
83g egg yolks (5 egg yolks)
83g plain flour, sifted

1. Whisk egg whites with cream of tartar using an electric mixer. Add sugar and salt in 3 additions and whisk till stiff peak.

2. Whisk in egg yolks using the mixer (< 5sec).

3. Fold in the plain flour in 2 additions.

4. Transfer to piping bag and pipe 2” long fingers.

5. Sieve icing sugar over.

6. Bake at 180C for 8 min.

And here are some other versions :)

 

Hope you enjoy this creation! =)

With lots of love,

Susanne


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Saturday, 12 August 2023

Ice-Cream Cone Marshmallow Surprises (Class)

 This is the first marshmallow class I planned after finishing my work with Deco Marshmallows: Ice-cream cone marshmallow surprises!


I intend to share a few kid-friendly flavour combinations in this Junior chef class. Participants are of course free to mix-and-match whichever way they prefer!

Just look at the yummy surprises inside!


Strawberry marshmallows with homemade strawberry jam centers. The cones are coated with strawberry white chocolate inside. I use a combination of freeze-dried strawberries and strawberry paste to impart the flavour and colour to the marshmallow.

Biscoff and vanilla marshmallow with crunchy Biscoff surprise inside! The cones are coated with dark chocolate.

Strawberry and vanilla swirl marshmallows with cookies n cream marshmallow and Ferrero Rocher surprise inside. Cones are coated with dark chocolate.

Here's a reel of piping the swirls, squishing and cutting open the cones!

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CuO-W8lgtC4/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==

If you are interested to join this class with your child, please click on this link for more details or to register.


with love,

Phay Shing

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Sunday, 6 August 2023

Bear Sando Toaster cake with a Flower Surprise

 


Bear Sando Toaster cake with a Cheesecake and Flower Surprise! ๐Ÿ’•๐ŸŒท 

Hope this made you smile! 

Tutorial can be found here

With lots of love, 

Susanne 



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Saturday, 5 August 2023

4-Ingredient Gluten-Free Coffee Cashew Butter Bear Cookies

 These gluten-free and dairy-free bear cookies are soft, chewy, fragrant and tasty, BUT insanely easy to make! 


This is so easy even young kids can help to make the dough! If you don't bother with the bear design, it is also very quick to make these cookies. You only need a mixing bowl, hand whisk and spatula to make the cookie dough. The recipe can be applied to any nut butter. I used the coffee cashew butter from Redman but you may omit the coffee bit and just use any nut butter of choice. The coffee in the nut butter I used isn't too strong and I feel helps to round out the flavour. My kids love it!


Cookie dough
(makes about 22 rounds or 19 bears)
250g (1cup) coffee cashew nut butter
140g brown sugar 
1 egg (60-65g with shell on)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt (optional)
1/8 tsp caramel essence (optional)

Decoration
White chocolate chips
Mini dark or milk chocolate chips
Black cocoa powder (optional)

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line baking tray with baking paper/mat.

2. Dump everything for the dough into mixing bowl. Lightly beat the egg with a whisk. 

3. Mix everything with whisk & switch to spatula when it gets too thick to whisk. Sugar doesn't need to be dissolved but dough should look homogeneous.

4. Set aside for 10min to firm up. 

5. Shape into balls of about 20g each. Place on baking tray at least 5cm apart. Flatten the balls of dough. Add ears of about 1g each if desired.

6. Bake for 8-12 min or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on tray. 

7. Decorate bear face if desired, with chocolate chips & melted chocolate.

Tips & Notes:
- I used Central Sugars Refinery's "Better Brown low GI sugar" that tastes great but only has a glycemic index of 55 (that's way less than plain flour!)
- Salt & caramel essence are optional but they serve to improve the flavour
- I reshaped the bear heads to be slightly oval but that's optional
- Use a fine zester to smoothen the edges of baked cookies if you wish
- Make sure excess black cocoa powder is dusted off thoroughly or you may stain the cookie if you accidentally drop it on the bear.

You may refer to my Instagram reel for the tutorial of shaping and decorating the bear face. You may choose to decorate it any way you want or leave it undecorated too!

https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cvdzdc-gHkM/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==


Here's a peek at the insides!



with love,

Phay Shing

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Saturday, 29 July 2023

Chocolate Hazelnut Bear Swiss Roll

 Phoon Huat wanted me to create content with detailed recipe sharing using their chocolate hazelnut spread, Hazella, once again, so I chose to share this simple bear swiss roll!


I had simplicity in mind when I made this so I used as few ingredients as possible & kept it to only one round of baking. You may have noticed I baked a very thin sponge. That's to make it easier to roll without cracking & you get more rounds within the swirl for a more aesthetic effect. Feel free to use whatever pan sizes you have at home & use the principle shown here to create your own bear Swiss roll! I used the tray (37x31.5cm base area) that came with my built-in oven.

Ingredients:
Egg yolk batter
3 egg yolks (60-65g with shell on)
45g boiling hot water/milk*
90g Hazella (chocolate hazelnut spread)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
48g cake flour
1/4 tsp baking soda*

Meringue*
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar*
45g sugar (use up to 60g if you prefer more stable meringue & sweeter cake)

Chocolate hazelnut whipping cream
75g whipping cream of choice*
75g Hazella 

Decoration
White chocolate chips
Mini dark/milk chocolate chips

* See technical tips/notes.

Steps:
1. Line base of baking tray(s) with Teflon sheet (preferable) or baking paper. Preheat oven to 175C (no fan)/160C (fan)

2. Make egg yolk batter. Whisk hot water or milk with Hazella until smooth. Add egg yolks & vanilla. Mix well. Gradually sift in cake flour with baking soda. Mix well.

3. Make meringue. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add sugar & beat until firm peaks.

4. Fold meringue into egg yolk batter in 3 additions. Add meringue to egg yolk batter for first two additions. For the last addition, pour the mixture into the meringue. Fold gently to avoid deflating the meringue.

5. Pour batter into prepared tray(s). Use bench scraper to smooth out batter into thin layer. Bake for 9-12 min or until done (skewer comes out clean). Immediately flip baked sponge onto fresh sheet of baking paper, roll up to cool. Note that baking temperature & time are oven dependent so adjust accordingly.

6. Cut out 2 squares & a long rectangle (as long as you can) sponge using cakeboards or baking trays as guides. I used 6" cakeboards. You may use small rectangle pieces instead of square pieces for the ears if you prefer the bear to have smaller ears. Just make sure the width (the side of sponge perpendicular to rolling direction) of all 3 sponge pieces are the same. Keep in airtight condition until ready to assemble.

7. Make chocolate hazelnut whipping cream by whipping whipping cream of choice to stiff peak. Add Hazella & mix well. Adjust ratio of whipping cream & Hazella according to preference.

8. Spread thin layer of cream on square sponge pieces for the ears. Roll the sponges very tightly. Cling wrap & shape the rolls. Spread slightly thicker layer of cream on the rectangle sponge for the head. Roll up & cling wrap. Freeze all 3 rolls for at least 2 h. Refrigerate unused cream.

9. To assemble, cut off 1/3-1/2 of the ear rolls length-wise. Apply cream to the cut surface. Stick onto large roll. Freeze for at least 10 min before slicing. Decorate slices with white & mini dark chocolate chips for the bear eyes, nose & snout. 

*Technical tips/notes:
๐Ÿฅ›Hot water or milk, choice of ingredient ratios:
Most chocolate hazelnut chiffon cake recipes you find from a Google search copy from the same original source which used milk. That recipe has very high wet to dry ingredient ratio. The result is a denser, moister cake which may be trickier to work with due to the high fat/moisture/cocoa content because all these interfere with the meringue stability. You may use those recipes as reference if you wish, especially if you are a seasoned chiffon cake baker. My rationale for a "drier" sponge batter (but still way higher wet to dry ingredient ratio than regular chiffon cakes) is to make this bake as easily successful as possible for beginners. Hazella already contains milk so you may use water if you don't have milk on hand.

๐Ÿซ™Baking soda & cream of tartar:
Again, I included these to increase chances of success. You may omit them both if you are a seasoned baker. Cream of tartar is an acid that helps with meringue stability. Using it will prevent the meringue from deflating prematurely so your sponge remains light & airy. The type of cocoa powder in Hazella is not specified so I am assuming it isn't alkalized. Using baking soda helps to counteract the acidity in the cocoa, as well as from the cream of tartar.

๐ŸฅšMeringue:
Make sure that you can consistently make firm peaks (peak that stands tall with a small curl at the end) all over your meringue. Gently whisk by hand & test several times to make sure. At any time the meringue flops instead when you test, you need to continue whipping. Underwhipped meringue will deflate quickly during folding stage. But be careful not to over whip your meringue or it becomes broken, not smooth. Using more sugar helps the meringue to be more stable & gives you a larger margin between just nicely whipped & overwhipped. Use low to medium speed to whip egg whites to build the meringue slowly. Meringues that are built up slowly are more stable without large air bubbles. Use fresh eggs! They really make a difference in the quality of meringue! Make sure your metal or glass mixing bowl is dry & grease-free.

๐ŸฆWhipping cream of choice:
I chose the simplest option of non-dairy, pre-sweetened & stabilized cream. It's impossible to overwhip & doesn't melt into a puddle in tropical Singapore. You may use dairy or a mix of both types for better taste. Be careful not to overwhip dairy cream or it will split. You may choose to add sugar &/or stabilizers if using dairy cream.

Please see the video tutorial of this from my Instagram reel:


Having tried other brands of chocolate hazelnut spread, I must say that Hazella comes across as the richest and most flavourful one, both for chocolate and hazelnut flavours in the spread. Whatever bakes you make with it will taste rich!

I hope you find these tips helpful! Happy baking!


with love,
Phay Shing






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Monday, 24 July 2023

Less Sweet Pandan Kaya Cake

This cake was tailor-made for my friend's mum's 70th birthday. How good was it? The birthday girl who has a long history of refusing cake because she doesn't like cream, butter or anything too sweet finished the slice given to her! The rest of the cake? Everyone else finished it within minutes despite being too full after a meal. It's tasty, refreshing & not too sweet. I decorated the cake with blueberry-apple marshmallow flowers & simple cocoa gula melaka chiffon basket weave ring.


Here's the review from my friend!

Those of you not familiar with the colloquial language of Singapore, siu-dai or siew-dai means less sweet. So I had the challenge of making a cake that is really less sweet but still tasty enough for the birthday girl and everyone else at the celebration.

Not many people make pandan chiffon cake the old school way from homemade pandan juice concentrate nowadays because it's a labour of love! I use a combination of homemade concentrate & bottled pandan paste to impart flavour & colour that my recipients love so much over the years.

I adapted the recipe from this basket weave cake I made for my mum a few years ago.

Pandan Chiffon Sponge

(makes two 7.5" round sponges)

A)

45g oil

70g pandan juice concentrate*

40g coconut milk

12g Gula Melaka, grated (coconut palm sugar)

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp pandan paste 


B)

120g cake flour, sifted into large bowl


C)

6 egg yolks


D)

6 egg whites

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

72g caster sugar (use more if prefer sweeter & for more stable meringue)


Pandan Kaya pudding

E)

720g coconut milk

300g water^

60g clear pandan water*^

45g Gula Melaka, grated (use more & add caster sugar if prefer sweeter)

3/4 tsp vanilla

3/8 tsp pandan paste

3/8 tsp caramel essence (optional)

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp green liquid colouring (optional)

2 tsp agar powder


F)

78g cornstarch

390g water^


* Blend about 25-30 mature pandan leaves with 120g of water. Strain juice & squeeze out as much liquid as you can from pulp. Let juice settle over 3 days in fridge. Separate clear water from concentrate. 

^ Traditional recipes use pandan water from water boiled with a few pandan leaves. Over here I just used what is usually discarded. It saves you the effort for one step!

Steps:

1) Line pans with parchment paper or teflon sheet. Preheat oven to 140-150C (no fan) with optional steam baking. Note that baking temperature and time is oven dependent so adjust accordingly.

2) Place A) in saucepan & heat until gula melaka is dissolved & mixture is 80C.

3) Pour 2) into B) & whisk until a dough forms.

4) Add C) 2 yolks at a time. Whisk until well combined after each addition.

5) Make meringue (D). Whip egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks form, adding sugar gradually once egg whites are foamy. Slowly build up your meringue using medium speed to avoid creating large air bubbles and to help with stability.

6) Fold meringue into 4) in 3 batches. I like to use the whisk to fold in the first two batches and finish off using a silicone spatula.

7) Fill pans until 80% full. Bake for 40 min or until done. 

8) Cool completely & unmold. Slice each cake horizontally for 4 pieces of sponge.

9) Mix F) in jug. Set aside.

10) Put E) in pot, whisk to disperse agar & set aside for 5 min. Bring to boil while whisking continuously. Continue simmering for 1 min while whisking. 

11) Whisk F) again to disperse cornstarch before pouring in a thin stream into 10) while whisking continuously. Continue cooking pudding for another 1-2 min. Remove from heat.

12) Assemble cake by alternating sponge and pudding layers within a cake ring or acetate sheet. Stir pudding mixture in pot to prevent it from setting during assembly. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before unmolding. Neaten the pudding layers if need be by carefully cutting stray bits off.

See my Instagram reel for snippets of the process!

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CvE_U7PgJKl/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==

Traditional pandan kaya cake is usually totally covered with the pudding and garnished with some desiccated coconut or finely grated fresh coconut. I kept the design clean and simple for this cake so I omitted the coconut and revealed the pudding and sponge layers as part of the aesthetics.

See how squishy my marshmallow flowers are in this post! I used some sugar-replacement to replace white sugar so it is overall a little more diabetic-friendly. Keep a lookout for my Deco Marshmallows book which will cover how to make marshmallow flowers made from lots of fresh fruit, as well as how to make them without white sugar too!


Do give this cake a try if you are looking for something that's tasty, refreshing and not too sweet for birthday celebrations! 


with love,

Phay Shing


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Tuesday, 11 July 2023

Chocolate Hazelnut Bear in Panda Suit Choux Pastries

I was given two bottles of Hazella, a chocolate hazelnut spread, by Phoon Huat (Redman) to try. I decided to share something cute, yummy, simple and uses minimal ingredients. Here are some chocolate hazelnut bears in panda suits!


There is no added artificial colouring too! I shared the recipe and decorating steps in my Instagram reels where you can see how I created the panda cap and bear filling. As mentioned in my caption with the reel I recommend watching my youtube videos for choux pastry technique if you are new to making choux pastries as it is a bake that requires some attention to detail and knowing how to work with your oven as well, but much as it is easier than macarons or chiffon cakes.

Chocolate Hazelnut Choux Pastry Bears 
(makes about 15 small pastries)

Please scale quantity according to preference as this is a small batch.

Choux pastry:
Craquelin:
21g unsalted butter
18g sugar
21g plain flour, sifted

Batter:
60g water
20g unsalted butter
1/8 tsp fine salt
1/2 tsp sugar
30g plain flour, sifted 
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Bear filling:
200-250g whipping cream of choice* 
250g Hazella (or any chocolate hazelnut spread)

Decoration:
Mini chocolate chips
Mini chocolate Crispearls (optional, for bear's nose)

*I used non-dairy cream that's pre-sweetened, stable in hot Singapore & impossible to over whip. Please use an electric mixer to whip the Whip Topping. Be careful not to over whip dairy cream if that is what you choose.

1. Make craquelin. Mix sugar & butter briefly. Add flour & form a dough. Roll until 2-3mm thick. Freeze until firm. Cut out 3cm circles & freeze until needed.

2. Preheat oven to 180C(fan)/190C. Line tray with perforated mat or baking paper.

3. Make batter. Place water, butter, salt & sugar in small pan. Bring to boil. Pour flour in & mix until dough forms. Cook over med-low heat to evaporate some water. Cool briefly in bowl. Add egg gradually until batter is able to hold a long "V" on spatula. 

4. Transfer into piping bag with round tip. Pipe generous mounds about 2.3cm at the base. Place craquelin on top. Bake for 20 min. Reduce temperature to 140C(fan)/150C & bake for 25 min until thoroughly dry inside.

5. Cool completely. Cut off the top of pastry & decorate with mini chocolate chips/melted chocolate for panda.

6. Whip cream until stiff. Mix 100-150g cream with 250g Hazella. Adjust ratio according to taste. Pipe bear with creams. Use melted chocolate & Crispearls to decorate. Assemble panda hat & refrigerate or freeze (Ice-cream version๐Ÿ˜‹!)

A note about using melted chocolate for decoration. Please melt it using low heat and be careful not to overheat. You may use microwave or double-boiling to melt chocolate. Add a little shortening/butter/oil to make the consistency a little runnier for ease of painting/piping the features. It also helps prevent the chocolate from setting too fast. Adding a fat is optional but I find it helps to make it significantly easier to work with.


Besides using Hazella as a toast spread, why not try this as a simple two-ingredient chocolate hazelnut ice-cream! You may consume the creampuffs refrigerated or frozen (my preference!). I was honestly rushing when I took the photos and videos, hoping that I could still make use of some natural sunlight. This forced me to keep everything as simple as possible. So feel free to add Biscoff spread (crunchy one please๐Ÿ˜‹) or Fererro Rocher to add even more dimension to you pastries!


with love,

Phay Shing

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