Monday, 30 June 2014

Vanilla-Chocolate Ice Cream Chiffon Cake

Would you care for a scoop of rum and raisin ice cream on a hot day? :)

My kids love ice cream but can't take too much cold stuff, so I thought it would be a great idea to make them a chiffon ice cream cone treat for their tea break on weekends. I chose vanilla and chocolate which were among their favourite flavours, but added raisins to the vanilla chiffon cake so that it would look like a cone of rum and raisins ice cream! They were delighted! :D My son ate up four ice cream cones! As I am sharing, I can't help but smiling :).

I used conical paper cups for drinking (from skp) and baked the chocolate chiffon batter in them to make the "cones". I baked the vanilla-raisin chiffon batter in 11 mm (outer diameter) Iwaki glass bowls to make the "rum and raisin ice cream".
These are my chiffon ice cream cones :).

It was a perfect treat for my girl who just fell and had a goose egg on her head. She was cheered by the ice cream treat.

With love,

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Saturday, 28 June 2014

Panda Liu Sha Bao -- My first bao making attempt

I was into bao making before Susanne and I started this Loving Creations for You blog. This post is to share my very first attempt at making bao and lessons I learnt from it now that I have a bit more experience. I am definitely not a "bao master" and still can't pleat baos like a pro. Just a little trip down memory lane into the recent past some time in October last year ;).

Pandas are about the easiest cute and fancy steamed bun that you can make so I couldn't resist making them even though it was my first try. My kids love liu sha baos so I thought of making salted egg custard filling for my first attempt. I have changed the recipe for both bao skin and filling since this first attempt. I have yet to master the perfect liu sha filling but the bao skin I have been using for my farm animals and guinea pig liu sha baos is the best I have come across so far. As part of my baking journal, I will type out the bao skin and filling recipes for my maiden attempt. The filling is still yummy and runny but doesn't taste quite like what you get at dim sum restaurants. The bao skin is nice enough but not as soft and fluffy as the one I am using currently.

Recipe for filling adapted from here and recipe for bao skin adapted from here.

Ingredients (makes 11 small buns):

Creamy salted egg and milk custard filling:
55g Salted egg yolks (4 salted egg yolks)
60g Condensed milk
10g Cake flour
200g Evaporated milk
30g Butter

Black bao skin:
10g Hong Kong Bao flour
1 tbsp black sesame seeds (makes about 5g of ground roasted black sesame)
A pinch of baking powder
1/8 tsp instant yeast  
3g icing sugar  
8ml water

White bao skin:
200g Hong Kong Bao flour  
2g baking powder  
2g instant yeast  
20g icing sugar  
107ml water
10g vegetable oil (I used canola oil)

Steps for making custard filling:
1. Boil the salted eggs for 10 minutes. Peel the eggs and separate the yolk from the white. Mash the egg yolks with the back of a metal spoon.
2. Whisk the condensed milk and cake flour into a paste.
3. Cook the evaporated milk in a pot until it boils then pour it into the condensed milk/cake flour paste. Whisk until everything is incorporated.
4. Pour the mixture back into the pot, add butter and keep cooking until it boils. Turn the heat off. The mixture needs to be stirred constantly so the bottom of the pot won’t burn.
5. Add the mashed salted egg yolks into the mixture and stir until everything is incorporated. Sieve the mixture to remove any big lumps of egg yolks. Pour the mixture into a bowl and let it cool. Refrigerate the mixture until it sets. I refrigerated it overnight.
6. Once the custard is set, divide into balls of 20 g each, cling wrap each ball tightly and freeze until ready to use. Note: The thickness of the salted egg custard can be changed by adjusting the amount of flour used in the filling.

Steps for making black bao dough:
1. Place the black sesame seeds in a pan and roast over medium low heat until the seeds start popping. Remove seeds from pan and cool in a bowl. Alternatively, you can toast it in the toaster oven until the seeds start to pop.
2. When the seeds have cooled, pour them into a ziplock bag and hammer the seeds until a powder forms. I used a hammer type of meat tenderizer to pound the seeds. Alternatively, you can use a food processor or mortar and pestle to grind the seeds. Sift the ground seeds and discard any big pieces that don't pass through the sieve.
3. Mix the ground black sesame, bao flour, baking powder, yeast and icing sugar together in a small bowl. Add the water gradually while stirring until a ball of dough forms.
4. Knead the small ball of dough on a non-stick mat or a lightly floured surface for about 10-15 minutes.
5. Roll dough into a smooth round, place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with cling wrap and let it proof for about 1 hr or until it doubles in bulk.
6. Punch down the dough and give a few light kneading to release the trapped air bubbles. The dough can be cling wrapped and refrigerated until ready to use.

Steps for making white bao dough/panda bun:
1. Sift Hong Kong bao flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Add yeast, icing sugar and mix well.**(I dissolve baking powder in a bit of the water used in the dough and add in bit by bit as I knead now. This is to avoid unsightly yellow spots from forming on the surface of the bao skin.)
2. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, add in water and mix to form a dough. Transfer dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead dough until it becomes smooth (about 5 mins). Knead in the vegetable oil and continue to knead for another 10-15 mins or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. **(I prefer using shortening now as I find the bao skin softer and more moist than using vegetable oil.) Take a piece of dough (about the size of a table tennis ball) and stretch it, you should be able to stretch it to a fairly thin membrane without tearing off easily, if not continue to knead for another 5 to 10mins.
3. Roll dough into a smooth round, place in a lightly greased mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and let it proof for about 1 hr or until it doubles in bulk.
4. Punch down the dough and give a few light kneading to release the trapped air bubbles. Divide the dough into 11 portions (about 30g each). Roll each portion into a smooth round.
5. Flatten each dough into a small disc with your palm or a small rolling pin, make the edges thinner and the center portion thicker. Wrap each dough with the frozen balls of salted egg custard. Pinch and seal the seams. Place dough seam side down on a square piece of parchment paper.
6. Take bits of black dough to shape the ears, eye patches and nose of the pandas, and stick them onto the buns.  Cover loosely with cling wrap and leave buns to proof for 25 mins. **(Baos with room temperature fillings would benefit from being loosely covered with cling wrap to avoid drying out. Baos with frozen fillings in hot and humid Singapore would do better without the cling wrap as condensation forms on bao surface in no time. As the filling is frozen, it is better to proof the baos for more than 25 minutes as the yeast activity takes time to pick up. 25 minutes for second proof is fine for room temperature fillings but it's better to use 35-40 minutes for proofing baos with frozen fillings in order for the bao to be fluffier.)

**(You can tell that I assembled the bun at bottom right corner first and the one on the top left last. As soon as you finish assembling a bun, keep it in the fridge and proof the whole batch at room temperature to avoid getting baos with different proofing times in one batch. This rule applies for fancy bread bun shaping too.)
7. Place buns in a steamer and space them apart so that they do not touch one another. Steam at medium heat for 12mins (make sure the water is already boiling before steaming). **(12 minutes steaming time may be fine for other bao fillings at room temperature with 30g of bao skin dough. But for liu sha baos with frozen fillings this may risk the baos exploding. 8-9 minutes of steaming for liu sha baos would be better). When ready, remove the lid carefully to prevent water from dripping over the buns. Remove immediately and serve warm. Keep any leftovers in fridge (covered with cling wrap or store in airtight containers) and re-steam till hot before serving.**( Freezing the baos after they have completely cooled would be a better option).

 The panda bao that was proofed the shortest time is a little shy to show its face as its so small :P

Note: There is no need to add oil to the black sesame dough as it is already very oily. The dough has a slight bitter taste (but fragrant) so you may wish to double the amount of sugar used and increase the amount of flour to 15g. Increase the amount of water used in the right proportion. This is my first attempt at bao making!

I remember being so thrilled at seeing the cute panda faces. I fell in love with bao making after this :). Cute baos, that is ;). Subsequently, I have made other baos like chicken bao, char siew bao and dou sha (red bean) bao. Still learning and having fun!

Update: I have finally gotten the recipe for filling right!  Tastes like the ones you get at restaurants and super runny! Check out this post.

With love,
Phay Shing

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Panda Japanese Milk Buns

My son had just been to River Safari during the June holidays and he liked Kai Kai and Jia Jia very much. I think they are super adorable too! We were going to have a picnic on Saturday and he asked me for panda buns for the picnic. I think I shared previously that he rarely requests for bakes, so I was more than happy to oblige him :).

I searched for a bread recipe that would have minimal browning so that my pandas would stay white and black. I found them in the very talented Bento, Monsters' Japanese Milk Bun Bears. The milk buns were amazingly white and pretty. I was further piqued that the recipe was very similar to the Wu Pao-Chun Champion Toast Recipe that I have been wanting to try, with no egg and only slightly less flour, sugar and butter. 

I modelled the pandas after the cute panda steamed buns in River Safari and those I saw in Japan. As my kids love chocolate, I used a combination of cocoa powder and charcoal powder for the eyes, ears and nose. They were brownish black before baking but turned out black after baking, which was perfect for pandas. The baking temperature at 140°C (after preheating the oven at 190°C) seems to be one of the key factors in preventing browning.

Recipe adapted from Bento, Monsters:

Ingredients (makes 6 buns)
200g bread flour
50g cake flour
3g instant yeast
200 ml fresh milk
10g castor sugar
10g unsalted butter
3g salt

1. Put the ingredients into the breadmaker pan according to the sequence below:
- Add the wet ingredients first: milk.
- Add the dry ingredients next: bread flour, sugar at the side, yeast in the middle (dig a small hole) (top left pic).
- Select dough function on bm. When the mixture is being combined around 2-5 min later (bottom left pic), add in the salt and the softened butter.

3. After the breadmaker is finished with the dough function (right pic), transfer the dough out onto a lightly floured table and punch it down.

4. Divide the dough into six 60g balls. Cover with clingwrap and let the dough rest for 15 min (top row, left pic in collage below). To the remaining dough, add 2 tsp cocoa powder and some charcoal powder (till desired shade of brownish black) and knead in until evenly incorporated. 

5. Roll out the cocoa-charcoal dough into a 2-3 cm thick layer. Use a 1.5 cm round cutter to cut 12 circles for the eyes (top row, middle pic) and a straw to cut 12 circles for the ears (top row, right pic). Gently roll the circles into ovals. Cover with clingwrap and let the dough rest for 15 min likewise.

6. Affix the eyes onto the plain dough balls. Do likewise for the ears on top. For the noses, just pinch a tiny bit of the cocoa-charcoal dough and stick it in between the eyes (bottom row, left pic).

7. Cover with cling wrap and let the dough rise for 40 min. Meanwhile, preheat the oven meanwhile to 190°C. The middle picture in the bottom row shows pandas after proofing and before baking.

8. Lower the temperature to 140°C before placing the panda buns at the lowest rack. Bake for 16 min. *You can test for doneness by tapping the bun with your fingers. A hollow sound means the bread is done.

9. Brush with butter after the buns are out of the oven for a light shine with softer crust and richer taste. It will slightly deepen the colour of the bun. *You can omit the butter wash if you prefer a lighter colour.

*Original recipe calls for all bread flour. I have substituted a small amount of bread flour with cake flour as I find it makes bread even softer, from my favourite sweet bun recipe from Happy Home Baking. You can choose to use all bread flour and the bread should still come out very soft.
*I had about 20 g cocoa-charcoal dough leftover. So you could divide into six 63 g plain dough balls and reduce the amount of coloured dough.
*The baking time in the original recipe was 15 min, but was insufficient for me, maybe because I placed the buns in the lowest rack. It is important to check for doneness as every oven is different.
*At the time of writing after the bake, I realized that Bento, Monsters had also done a different full-body version of black sesame pandas. They look quite different from my steamed buns version but are really cute too! Do check them out too if you're interested to make pandas.
*You can cover with aluminium foil to reduce browning as well.

This is my milk bun version of the pandan steamed buns! Are they cute? My kids were thrilled to see and eat them! :)

Check out the fluffy texture! This recipe is really a keeper. The buns kept well and were soft and moist the next day and the following day.

More panda bears in the serving plate! :)

My daughter had so much fun eating the freshly-baked buns! :)

This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up (June 2014 Event: Butter) organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Jozelyn Ng (Spice Up My Kitchen)


With love,

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Friday, 27 June 2014

Rainbow Swiss Roll with Strawberries and Cream

My friend was craving for something that I bake and suggested swiss roll with strawberries and cream. I decided to try making a rainbow one :). This bake is completely dairy-free as my friend has family members who have dairy intolerance.

Love the pretty rainbow stripes!

I had more than enough batter so I let the kids mess around with their psychedelic rainbow Swiss roll!

I used Ochikeron's recipe and method to make this Swiss roll with minor modifications.

Egg yolk batter
1 egg yolk (63-65g eggs)
33g caster sugar
20ml + 25ml canola oil
60ml water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
80g cake flour
Red, yellow, green, blue and purple gel food coloring

4 egg whites
30g caster sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

2 tsp caster sugar
4 tsp hot water
1 tsp strawberry essence

150ml Whip topping (You may replace with dairy cream which tastes better. But if you do, add 1.5 tbs of icing sugar when you whip.)
1 tsp gelatin powder
1 tbs water
Some strawberries and/or other fruits of your choice, sliced to small pieces

1. Line the bottom of a 10 x 10" pan and 6 x 6" pan (optional) with baking sheet or silicone baking mat. Lightly grease the baking sheet or silicone mat. **(Silicone mat would be better if you can get one as it prevents wrinkles from forming on the surface of your swiss roll. You can see from the psychedelic swiss roll that there is a bit of wrinkling as I used baking sheet for that one and there is no wrinkling for the striped swiss roll as I used a silicone mat.) Prepare 5 piping bags with 1cm round tip attached or simply use the piping tip adapters without tips attached like I did. I only have 5 piping tip adapters of the same size at home and hence only 5 colors for the rainbow. You may choose to just cut a hole in the piping bag but that will not produce the neat, regular stripe pattern that you see on my swiss roll. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
2. In a bowl, place egg yolk, sugar and 20 ml oil. Beat them with electric mixer until white. Add water, 25ml oil and vanilla extract and mix well. Sift in cake flour and mix until the consistency of the batter is like gruel. The cake won't crack so easily this way. Divide the batter into 5 equal portions and color with food coloring until desired shade is reached.
3. Prepare the meringue. In a clean metal bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar until stiff peaks form. Gently but quickly fold in the meringue into the 5 egg yolk batters in 3 batches.

4. Transfer the colored batter into piping bags and carefully pipe diagonal stripes, trying your best to keep the width of the stripes regular. Start by piping a triangle from one corner.

I had some left over batter so I let the kids mess around with it for a small roll.

5. Bake for 14 minutes. Cut the cake around the edges to release it from the pan and turn it out onto a cooling rack.

6. Roll the cake while it is still warm to cool, with baking sheet covering it. This will prevent it from cracking when you roll it later with the filling.

7. Prepare the syrup by dissolving sugar in hot water and adding strawberry essence.
8. Prepare the cream. Sprinkle gelatin over 1 tbs of water and let it bloom (sit and absorb water) for 1-2 minutes. Microwave on medium-high heat for 20 seconds or until gelatin dissolves. Warm up 1.5 tbs of Whip topping and mix well with gelatin mixture. Set aside. Use an electric mixer to beat the Whip topping until firm peaks form. Gradually add the gelatin mixture and continue whipping until well incorporated.
9. Unroll the cakes and brush some syrup on the surface. Apply the cream on top, leaving one inch without cream at the top. Line some strawberries. **(It is not necessary to make horizontal cuts on the cake as this rainbow roll is quite thin and I have rolled the cake while it was still warm. A foolproof way to prevent swiss rolls from cracking!)

10. Roll up the cake carefully with baking sheet and twist the ends. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

11. Cut the ends of the swiss roll, reshape it and refrigerate again for at least an hour. Remember to use a hot serrated knife to cut the swiss roll and clean the blade after each cut.

Here's a collage of my kids piping the batter, applying syrup and cream, and loading their roll with lots of fruits! Last pic is of them eating the leftover fruits after the roll was done :P.

All packed and ready to be presented!

A close up view of a slice!

With love,
Phay Shing & the kids

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Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Soccer Ball Vanilla Chiffon Cupcake

Now that World Cup is ongoing, I thought it would be fitting to turn plain vanilla chiffon cupcakes made from my previous bake's leftover batter into cute little soccer balls!

You may use any of our vanilla chiffon recipes for this but for your convenience, I shall type it out here. I baked these in glass bowls with round bottoms that are about 8.5cm in diameter and 6.5cm in height.

Ingredients (makes 6-8 soccer ball cupcakes):
2 egg yolks (65g eggs)
10g caster sugar
26g canola oil
46g fresh milk
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
48g cake flour

3 egg whites
1/5 tsp cream of tartar
24g caster sugar

Charcoal powder*
Milk powder
Hot water

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
2. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale and foamy. Add in oil and whisk until well combined. Add in milk, salt and vanilla extract. Gradually whisk in flour until no trace of flour is seen.
3. In a grease-free metal bowl, beat egg whites until foamy with electric mixer. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form and the bowl can be overturned without the meringue falling out.
4. Fold meringue into egg yolk batter in three additions gently but quickly. Tap the bowl on table to release any air bubbles. Fill the glass bowls until they are about 2/3 full.
5. Bake for 15 minutes followed by 150 degrees Celsius for 10-15 minutes. Invert the bowls on cooling rack. If the peak of the cake is above rim of bowl, wait for it to shrink a bit before overturning it to cool.
6. Unmould the cakes by hand when cooled.
7. Prepare black milk powder paint by mixing some charcoal powder with milk powder in a small bowl. Gradually add hot water until desired consistency is reached. Cut a small pentagon from a slice of carrot and use a small brush to apply some paint on it. Stamp the carrot stamper on the middle of the cake to make the first imprint. Add more black paint onto cake if the imprint is faint. Draw black lines extending outwards from each corner of pentagon. Use the carrot stamper to make a ring of imprints at the end of each line. Continue painting lines until you get a soccer ball pattern covering the whole cake. Let the paint dry in an air tight container before placing in cupcake liners and serving.

My kids had fun eating these "balls" now that they have finished the black glutinous rice cake I made yesterday :).

With love,
Phay Shing

*If you can't get hold of charcoal powder easily, you can still make the soccer ball print using cocoa powder dissolved in a bit of water until you get the right consistency for painting.

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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Honey Earl Grey Chiffon Cake

A fun bunch of my mummy friends were interested to learn chiffon cake from me, so we had a babies baking playdate. Of course the mummies baked, not the babies :D And it was really difficult to bake with the babies around! It was funny to see all the babies taking turns to cry for milk and the mummies going.. "Wait for the cake to go into the oven first!". Really tiring but great fun :).

I was interested to try Earl Grey chiffon cake because a dear friend of mine Sharron had told me that it was one of the best chiffon cakes! And it was... oh so good! I added honey into the recipe as I remembered from my Honey Matcha Chiffon Cake that the addition of honey just adds a third dimension into the cake!

If there is one chiffon cake you must try, please try this one! It is so fragrant, smooth and refreshing! It is so loaded with earl grey flavour, it was better than having a cup of honey milk earl grey! The texture was also really soft and moist, due to the honey. All the mummies said the cake was really good and my son also whacked 3 slices in a go!! :)

Ingredients (makes one 17 cm chiffon tin)
3 egg yolks
20g sugar
40g vegetable oil
40 ml earl grey tea (3 earl grey tea bags in 50 ml hot milk + 1 tbsp honey)
60g cake flour
Tea leaves from 3 earl grey tea bags

4 egg whites
45g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Heat up 50 ml fresh milk and dip earl grey tea bags. Cover and let it simmer for 3 min. Remove tea bags and add in honey. Remember to really squeeze out the milk from the tea bags for strong tea flavour. The tea bags will soak up milk, so actual volume will be around 40 ml after the addition of honey. Leave to cool (top row, left pic). Keep the tea leaves.

2. Preheat oven to 160°C.
3. Beat egg yolks with sugar with whisk till pale yellow before stirring in oil and 40 ml earl grey tea (weigh out 40g to be precise) (top row, centre pic).
4. Next add in sieved flour (top row, right pic) and whisk till no trace of flour found. Add the tea leaves (middle row, left pic) and mix well (middle row, centre pic).
5. Meringue: Beat the egg whites with ¼ tsp cream of tartar till stiff peak, mixing in caster sugar in 2 additions (middle row, right pic).
6. Fold in the meringue gently into the batter 1/3 at a time (bottom row, left pic).
7. Scoop the batter into the chiffon tin instead of pouring as the batter is thicker. This is to prevent air pockets (bottom row, centre pic).
8. Gently tap the tin on table 3x to remove air bubbles.
9. Bake the cake for 15 min at 160°C then 35 min at 150°C.
10. Invert immediately once out of the oven to cool.
11. Unmould after the cake is cool. Bottom row, right pic shows the cake after cooling, right before unmoulding.

I just bought some snow powder which is a form of icing sugar mix that doesn't melt from Phoon Huat, so I was eager to try it out. See how the snow powder transforms a cake with the help of a floral stencil! Just place the stencil on top of the cake and sieve some snow powder on top of the cake. I found the snow powder more fine than the normal icing sugar, so probably I will take note to use a finer mesh the next time round. But it was really good and didn't melt at all even through the next day.

Every slice was really packed with earl grey goodness and very soft and moist. I love it! Thanks Sharron for bringing this onto my radar!

I think of lovely Karen as I write this too as she's really good with earl grey chiffon. Hope you feel better soon! *hugs*

With love,

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Black Glutinous Rice Zebra Chiffon Cake

My friend got some black glutinous rice flour from Indonesia and wanted me to try making a chiffon cake with it. There are a few techniques and ideas I wanted to try with chiffon to see if it works too. And so this ultimate zebra cake came about! Stripes inside and outside!

Okay, I admit there isn't much of a zebra pattern inside. That's because I didn't want to compromise the taste of the cake for the sake of my experiment :p. I prefer a cake with stronger bubur pulut hitam (a dessert made from black glutinous rice porridge and eaten with coconut milk and palm sugar) flavor. You can easily find online tutorials on how to make zebra cake on the inside with equal amounts of two different flavored batters anyway. But I bet cakes with zebra patterns outside that you can find online are all made from beautiful but really sweet sugar paste or fattening buttercream. So I placed more focus on getting the stripe patterns right on the outside of the cake.

If you would like a truly awesome zebra cake, either change the flavor of the batter, such that black and white batters have equal quantities, or be content with milder black glutinous rice flavor :p.

A couple of baking techniques I wanted to try:
1. Using homemade cake strips to improve heat distribution and act as an insulator to allow the cake to rise slowly and evenly (no "huat" cakes).
2. Using batter to pipe patterns extensively on the vertical wall of the chiffon tin.

Some preparation work is required before you prepare your ingredients. I find this video tutorial on how to make cake strips helpful. I assembled my 15cm chiffon tin with cake strip around it, and place the whole setup into a 6" round tin. The whole setup is nice and snug.

You may not find it necessary to include the round tin outside but I find that my 15cm chiffon tin is made of very thin and light material which heats up very quickly, resulting in cakes that rise too fast and tend to end up cracking badly.

Use edible marker to draw the zebra patterns on base and wall of the chiffon tin. Use a light color like yellow. I used black so that it can be seen more clearly in the photo but some of it came off on the cake and left some greenish or purplish tinge! Make a small dot on the wall and on the base such that you are able to assemble the two parts with the patterns matching. You will need to separate the parts for piping and you don't want to end up playing a puzzle game when assembling them :p.

Black glutinous rice flour is not easily available in Singapore and it seems like you can only get it from Bake King. For now I have 500g worth of it, thanks to my friend :).

I adapted the black glutinous rice chiffon recipe from Ellena Guan.

Ingredients (makes one 17cm chiffon or one 15cm chiffon and 2 cupcakes):
Black glutinous rice egg yolk batter
51g black glutinous rice flour
2 large egg yolks
10g caster sugar
24g canola oil
45g coconut cream
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp charcoal powder (optional)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp pandan flavouring

Plain egg yolk batter
25g + 1.5 tsp cake flour
1 large egg yolk
5g caster sugar
13g canola oil
23g fresh milk
1/10 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp pandan flavoring

Meringue for pattern
1 egg white
12g caster sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar

Meringue for main batters
3 egg whites
38g caster sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Leftover meringue from above

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius.  Prepare a piping bag with Wilton #5 tip. Prepare cake strip and draw zebra designs on 15cm chiffon cake tin.
2. Prepare plain egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolk and sugar until sugar dissolves and mixture turns thick and pale. Whisk in oil until thoroughly combined. Add in milk, vanilla extract, pandan flavoring and salt. Whisk until well combined. Gradually whisk in 27g of sifted cake flour until no trace of flour is seen. Take 3 tsp of egg yolk batter and mix well with 1.5tsp of sifted cake flour in a small bowl.
3. Prepare black glutinous rice egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolks and sugar together, followed by oil, coconut cream, salt, vanilla extract and pandan flavoring. Gradually whisk in sifted black glutonous rice flour and charcoal powder.

4. Prepare the meringue for the pattern. Use an electric mixer to beat egg white until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
5. Scoop about 10-12 tbs of meringue into the bowl with 3 tsp of egg yolk batter. Fold in the meringue in three batches. You should get a batter that is able to cling to the sides of the bowl. If not, add a bit more meringue and fold gently. Transfer batter to piping bag and pipe the patterns on the base followed by the wall of chiffon tin. The batter should be able to stick to the tin and not fall off even when placed upside down! Work quickly before the meringue breaks down and apply a thick layer of batter to ensure good transfer of patterns onto the cake.

Bake for 3 minutes unassembled.
6. Prepare meringue for main batters. Fold in 1/4 of meringue plus any left over meringue from the pattern into the two egg yolk batters in the ratio of 2:1 for black glutinous rice:plain. Fold in remaining meringue in two batches.

7. Assemble the base and wall of chiffon tin carefully without scraping off any pattern. Pipe the joining parts of the pattern with more plain batter before filling the tin with alternating black and plain batters to create zebra pattern inside. Be careful not to let the white batter reach the outer wall of the tin so as not to disturb the external zebra pattern.
**(I didn't use up all the plain batter. I filled two round glass bowls with leftover plain batter and baked for 25 minutes.)
8. Gently tap the tin on the table to release air bubbles. Bake for 15 minutes, followed by 150 degrees Celsius for 25-30 minutes.
 **( Note that if you are not using cake strips, you should reduce baking time by 5-10 minutes.)
9. Invert immediately and cool completely before unmoulding by hand or spatula.

To my surprise, my kids loved this black cake even though the black glutinous rice flour gives it a slightly grainy texture. Gave some to my neighbors and they loved it too! They said it's very nice, like eating pulut hitam and it's not too sweet. It's wonderful to eat this chilled!


With love,
Phay Shing

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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Choo Choo Train Mini Strawberry Chiffon Cakes

My son rarely requests for bakes from me (usually is my daughter). So when he asked me to make a choo choo train cake for him, it was difficult for me to say no, even though I knew it was going to be a lot of work. However, it turned out to be one of my happiest bakes, because my two kids wiped out the entire choo choo train cake in less than 5 mins! As frustrating as it is, how the cake looks matters for little kids! :D And all the work feels worth it when you see their excited smiles and them happily munching down what you made for them :) Oh the simple joys and frustrations of being a mum...

Anyway, I fashioned the choo choo train after his homework, except that I placed the chimney in front instead as I thought it looked weird on top :p

Do the train cakes look like his homework? 

I made the train out of two cakes, one strawberry chiffon cake baked in a 6-inch square tin with removable base, and one chiffon cake with charcoal powder baked in a 9-inch square tray. 

Ingredients (one 6-inch square cake and one 9-inch layer cake)
5 egg yolks
33g sugar
65g vegetable oil
68 ml pureed strawberries in berries juice
100g cake flour
Strawberry paste
Charcoal powder

7 egg whites
75g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Wrap the removable base of the 6-inch square tin with baking paper, sticking it down with meringue. *This is important so that the base of the cake does not get sunken in when inverted during cooling. Line baking paper at the bottom and sides for the 9-inch square tray.
2. Beat egg yolks with sugar with whisk till pale yellow before stirring in oil and strawberry puree.
3. Add in sieved flour and whisk till no trace of flour found.
4. Scoop 13 tsp into another bowl and add charcoal powder for the black layer cake. Add 7 ml strawberry paste into the remaining batter for the red train. Mix well (left picture in collage).

5. Meringue: Beat the egg whites with ¼ tsp cream of tartar till stiff peak, mixing in caster sugar in 2 additions.
6. Scoop over 26 tbsp meringue into the black batter for the black cake. Gently fold in the meringue (top right picture in collage).
7. Pour the black chiffon batter into a 9-inch square tray lined at the bottom and sides. Spread and level the batter with the spatula. Tap the tray on the counter top 3x to get rid of air bubbles in the batter.
8. Fold the rest of the meringue into the red batter in 2 additions (middle right picture in collage).
9. Pour the red strawberry batter into a 6-inch square tin, leaving 1.5 cm from the top. Tap the tray on the counter top 3x to get rid of air bubbles in the batter.
10. Bake the 6-inch square tin for 15 min at 160°C then 40 min at 150°C or when skewer comes clean, and the 9-inch tray cake for 15 min at 160°C.
11. For the 6-inch tin, allow the cake to shrink till below the top of the tin (around 5 min), then invert the tin to cool.
12. For the 9-inch layer cake, flip over the cake onto a clean baking sheet and allow to cool completely.
13. Unmould when the 6-inch square cake is cool, using hand to gently pull the cake from the sides before pushing up the removable base. Then peel off the baking paper.

After this, I cut the red strawberry cake into 1 big rectangular block and 1 small rectangular block, and 3 cubes (see below) for each of the train carriages. I used a round cutter to cut out the chimney for the train. For the black cake, I used a sharp knife to cut out rectangles for the windows, and used a straw and round cutter to cut out the wheels for the train. Lastly, I melted some white chocolate and brushed it on the cakes to glue the black and red cakes together (bottom right picture in collage above).

Here's my choo choo train! Does it look like it's ready to move? :D

Here's a slice of leftover cake from the square strawberry chiffon cake. I loved the soft, melty but springy texture!

And here are my happy kids enjoying the cake! I'm a happy mum! :D 

With lots of love,
Susanne :D

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