Sunday, 30 August 2015

'Sushi' and 'Teh' Chiffon Cupcakes!


Homemade sushi with a cup of hot matcha…

Just kidding! It’s ‘Sushi’ and ‘Teh’ Chiffon Cupcakes!
Sushi rice: Vanilla chiffon cake
Nori: Pandan chiffon cake with charcoal powder
Cucumber: Pandan chiffon cake
Pickles: Vanilla chiffon cake (with Queen’s natural turmeric-based coloring)
Roe: Cut from gummies jellies
Tea: Matcha chiffon cake
Cup: Vanilla chiffon cake

I baked the ‘sushi rice’ in small cupcake liners and the ‘tea’ in medium cupcake liners. I baked the ‘nori’ and ‘tea cup’ in baking-paper lined 6-inch trays, and then rolled them like swissrolls around the cupcakes. I baked the ‘pickles’ and ‘cucumber’ as thick layer cakes side by side in baking-paper lined 6-inch tray, and then chopped them up just like how you chop vegetables. I cut the roe from gummy jellies.

Sushi and Tea Chiffon Cupcakes (makes 4 sushi and 2 teas)
1 egg yolk
20g sugar
39g corn/vegetable oil
42 ml water
60g cake flour
Matcha powder
Charcoal powder
Pandan paste
A drop of yellow food coloring (Queen’s natural coloring)

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

1. Preheat oven to 160°C.

2. Beat egg yolks with sugar with whisk till pale yellow before stirring in oil and water.

3. Add in sieved flour and whisk till no trace of flour found.

4. Scoop out 8 tsp batter into 2 bowls each. To the first bowl, add 1/3 tsp pandan paste and charcoal powder (a sprinkle) – for nori. To the second bowl, add 1/3 tsp matcha powder – for matcha tea. Mix well.

5. Scoop out 4 tsp batter into another 2 bowls. To the first, add ¼ pandan paste – for cucumber. To the second, add a drop of yellow food coloring (Queen’s natural turmeric-based coloring) – for pickles. Mix well.

6. Meringue: Beat the egg whites with ¼ tsp cream of tartar till stiff peak, mixing in caster sugar in 2 additions. Transfer 16 tbsp into pandan/charcoal batter (for nori) and matcha batter respectively. Transfer 8 tbsp into pandan batter (for cucumber) and yellow batter (for pickles) respectively.

7. Gently but quickly fold in the meringue into the respectively batters in 2 additions. Fold the rest of the meringue into the remaining plain batter in 3 additions gently and quickly – for rice.

8. Scoop the plain white batter into 4 small cupcake liners (leaving 0.8 cm from the top) and matcha batter into 2 medium cupcake liners. Bake at 160°C for 10 min, then 150oC for 7+ min. *Oven timings may vary, do check if skewer comes clean.

9. Pour the pandan/charcoal batter into a baking-paper lined 6-inch tray. Pour the remaining plain white batter likewise into a baking-paper lined 6-inch tray. Bake at 160°C for 14 min. *Roll the cakes during cooling to prevent cracking.

10. Pour the pandan and yellow batter side by side in a baking-paper lined 6-inch tray. Bake at 160°C for 14 min. Flip over to new sheet to cool.

11. To assemble, unmould the cupcakes from the cupcake liners by peeling the paper off. Wrap the plain white vanilla cupcake (rice) with the matcha/charcoal layer cake (cut to corresponding height).
 
12. Cut out a hole using a bubble tea straw and another hole beside using a drink straw in the ‘rice’ for inserting the vegetables.

13. Slice up the cucumber and pickles layer cakes into 1 cm strips, and then cut to corresponding height, and insert them into the ‘rice’ cake.

14. Wrap the matcha cupcake with the white vanilla layer cake. Cut a circle from the white cake for the cupcake base base.

Tada! ‘Sushi’ and ‘Tea’ Chiffon Cupcakes set, aka ‘Sushi Teh’ for the dear teachers hehe!

With love,
Susanne

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Little Twin Stars Macarons (Tsum Tsum series part 3)

This is the third in my series of Tsum Tsum macaron bake. Kiki and Lala a.k.a. Little Twin Stars!


I filled them with either melted Meiji dark chocolate or raspberry white chocolate. These macarons do not need refrigeration.

You may refer to this recipe for the basic batter and steps, and my newly made macaron video tutorial just in case you need more visuals.  Just some points to note...

Prepare batter in the ratio of 2:2:1 for pink:blue: beige.

Use a Wilton #10 tip for piping the head. Pipe the pink/blue hair for the top shell by piping a semi circle. Quickly pipe on the beige part of the face. Use a toothpick to pull out the wavy lines for the fringe.


A closer look at the wavy boundary between hair and face.

Wait for 15 minutes before piping on the ears and hands using a Wilton #5 tip.

Freshly baked!

In order to get a nice star shape, use a fondant star cutter to make imprints for the star. Use a toothpick or piping bag to paint/ pipe on the stars.


Brush some peach coloured lustre dust for rosy cheeks.  Let the icing dry before filling the shells.

Freshly decorated shells!

Au-natural raspberry white chocolate filling!

With love,
Phay Shing


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Thursday, 27 August 2015

Sweet Cuddly Bear Chiffon Cake


This is a special sweet cuddly bear made from Vanilla-chocolate chiffon cake made for my dear mummy’s birthday! I grew up in the era loving Forever Friends bear and somehow ended up modeling the cake after it as my dear sweet, warm mummy reminds me of it! I used a reduced egg yolk recipe with added chocolate paste to get a cream colour for the chiffon cake. The bear face is baked using a big wilton ball cake pan. The recipe below is actually similar to that for any generic cute bear, so you can use it for any bear you like! =)

Reduced egg yolk vanilla chocolate chiffon cake
2 egg yolks
33g sugar
65g vegetable oil
70 ml water
8 ml vanilla extract
100g cake flour
¼ tsp chocolate cream paste
Cocoa powder (extra dark)

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

1. Preheat oven to 160°C.
2. Beat egg yolks with sugar with whisk till pale yellow before stirring in oil, water and vanilla extract.
3. Next add in sieved flour and whisk till no trace of flour found. Scoop out 5 tsp and add extra dark cocoa powder. Scoop out another 5 tsp and add a drop of pink food coloring. To the rest, stir in ¼ tsp chocolate cream paste.
4. Meringue: Beat the egg whites with ¼ tsp cream of tartar till stiff peak, mixing in caster sugar in 2 additions. Scoop out 10 tbsp meringue to the dark brown and pink batters respectively.
5. Gently fold in the meringue in 3 additions into the cream, brown and pink batters respectively.
6. Divide the cream batter into a wilton ball cake tin leaving an inch from the top (for face), 2 small glass bowls filled to 1 inch thick (for ears and nose), 2 oval bowls filled to 1 inch thick (for arms).
7. Bake the chiffon cakes in the bowls for 15 min at 160°C and then 5-10 min at 150°C, and the wilton ball pan for 15 min at 160°C and then 20-25 min at 150°C or when skewer comes clean.
8. Invert the chiffon cakes once removed from oven.
9. Pour the dark brown and pink batters side-by-side in a baking paper-lined 9-inch tray. Bake the chiffon cake at 14 min at 160oC.
10. Unmould the chiffon cakes by hand by gently pulling from the sides of the tin and then flipping the cakes over. Unmould the layer cake by peeling off the sheet.
11. To assemble, cut the small round bowl cake into 2 for the ears. Place the other bowl cake on top for the nose.
12. Cut circles and hearts from the pink cake. Cut the eyes and nose from the dark brown cake.
13. Use marshmallow cream to assemble the features together.

Made with lots of love! My kids loved it too!
Susanne

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Strawberry Macaron Pops with Strawberry White Chocolate Filling (video tutorial included)

Here are some strawberry macaron pops for Teacher's Day!


My friend requested for these sweet macarons for her kids' school and Sunday school teachers.

Although I prefer swiss meringue buttercream based filling for its light texture, it is often not practical to use it when the macarons need to be individually packed and given as a gift in hot and humid Singapore. So I came up with a strawberry white chocolate "ganache" of sorts that is stable at room temperature in Singapore. As you know, white chocolate is notoriously sweet so I temper the sweetness with a bit of salt and enhance the strawberry flavour with a dash of rose water. I used shortening instead of butter or heavy cream as the oil-based medium to incorporate the strawberry paste and rose water as it is stable at room temperature and won't turn rancid as fast.

Here's the recipe for the macaron shells...

Strawberry macaron shells
Ingredients (makes about seventy 3.5-cm strawberries, 140 shells):
200g superfine almond meal/ ground almonds
200g icing sugar
200g caster sugar
75ml water
160g egg whites, divided into two equal portions
4g Queen's natural pink powder (optional)
1/4 tsp strawberry emulco (optional)
3 drops of red gel food colouring
4 drops of pink gel food colouring
1 drop leaf green food colouring

Steps:
1. Sift almond and icing sugar powder together. Portion out 350g of almond mixture for pink and 50g for green.

2. Add 70g of egg whites and strawberry emulco (if using) to pink mixture and mix well to form the mass. Add red and pink gel food colouring and mix well.

3. Add 10g of egg whites and green food colouring to the smaller mixture. Mix well to form the green mass.

4. Make the italian meringue. Heat caster sugar and water in a small saucepan without stirring until 115°C. In the meantime, beat 80g of egg whites in a clean metal bowl using electric mixer at medium-low speed until foamy and opaque. Do not beat past the soft peak stage. Slow down the beater if necessary to keep egg whites moving. Once syrup reaches 115°C, remove from heat. Turn the mixer speed to medium-high and slowly pour the syrup into the egg whites, taking care to avoid the beaters. Keep beating for another 10 minutes until meringue is stiff, glossy and cool to touch.

5. Portion out the meringue into 7:1 ratio for pink: green. Fold the meringue into the masses in two additions. The first addition is about one-third the portion. Mix in well thoroughly until no trace of meringue is seen. You don't have to worry about over folding at this stage. When you add the second addition, fold in as shown in my video demos for a better idea of how to fold and the consistency you should get that is often described as "slow-moving lava-like consistency".

6. Transfer pink batter into piping bag with Wilton #10 tip and green batter into piping bag with Wilton #5 tip.

7. Pipe the strawberry body by piping a rounded triangle. Bang the tray on the table a few times to release trapped air and flatten any peaks on the piped shells. Dry in air-conditioned room or under a fan for 15 minutes or until a sticky membrane forms on the surface. Checkout my video tutorial for piping the shells!



8. Pipe the leaves on. Checkout my video tutorial for piping the leaves!



Dry the shells until no longer sticky to touch. About 1-2hours depending on humidity.

Dry shells

9. Bake at 135°C with oven rack at lowest position for 16-20 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through baking. If the shells appear wet at the feet or are still stuck to baking sheet, bake for another 5 minutes at 120°C before checking again.

Freshly baked!

10. Prepare some white royal icing and add white seeds onto the strawberries.


 Let the shells air-dry or oven-dry at 60°C fan mode for 15 minutes. Until icing is dry. In the meantime, prepare the filling.

Strawberry white chocolate (fills about 70 strawberries)
200g white chocolate, finely chopped (I used Meiji)
38g vegetable shortening
1/2 tsp salt
2.5 tsp strawberry emulco
1 tsp rose water (optional but flavour is much better with this secret ingredient!)

1. Place shortening, salt, strawberry emulco and rose water in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat and stir until shortening is melted.

Secret ingredient!

2. Melt white chocolate over double-boiler or in microwave oven at 10 second bursts at medium power. Stir well in between bursts of heating until smooth.

3. Gradually add strawberry mixture into white chocolate, stirring well after each addition.


4. Transfer to piping bag. Snip a small hole at the end.

5. Pipe some strawberry white chocolate onto the bottom shell. If the ganache is too runny, wait for 5 minutes before trying again. There is no need to refrigerate the ganache. Place an ice-cream stick or lollipop stick and pipe on more ganache before placing top shell on.


Store in airtight condition in a cool and dry place.

All done!

Individual packaging was requested...


All of them in a box!


That's not all the strawberries I made. I made some for my younger kid's school party for Teacher's Day and my kids' teachers too but filled with green tea or Earl grey white chocolate fillings. A total of 70 strawberry macarons! Plus all the pink shells of video tutorials that you have been seeing lately!! Think I am off pink for a while :p. Thank God my mum was around to help with packing the macaron pops!

Thank you teachers for your hard work! Much appreciated! God bless!

Update: these macarons were very well received! My friend said the filling was wonderful and the macaron pops stayed intact! All said the strawberry macarons were very pretty :). The best part is, these are not too challenging to pipe so why not try it out!

With lots of love,
Phay Shing

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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Piping Basic Shapes - Macaron Video Tutorial

After coming up with my first macaron video tutorial on some macaron making basics, the natural progression would be for me to make video tutorials on how to pipe different shapes since I have been asked many times how I manage to pipe different shapes so nicely. This post focuses on the technique to pipe basic shapes like oval, triangle, narrow rectangle and broad rectangle. You may refer to my first video tutorial for piping circles. I will show you how to pipe complex shapes over here. Making video tutorials are much more time consuming than still photos! But they show much more information! I am sure you agree :)

Oval, broad rectangle, triangle and narrow rectangle shells

A Wilton #10 tip was used for all the demo. If you would like a smaller corner radius for shapes with corners, use a smaller tip.

I generally use a trace-and-fill approach for the various shapes and use a toothpick to pull the batter where necessary. Remember to keep the piping tip perpendicular to the baking tray. Do note that pulling the batter with a toothpick may affect the feet formation of the shells so don't be too alarmed if the feet aren't so pretty for fancy shaped macarons. Your final product will still taste the same :).

Oval shells
These are perhaps the most common fancy shape that I encounter as many character macarons require this shape. They happen to be the easiest to master too :). Simply trace a small oval within the boundary of the template as you apply pressure to the piping bag. End off your piping by lifting the tip off from the center of the shell. Remember not to fill the template all the way as the batter will spread a little. Bang the tray hard on the table a few times to flatten any peaks after piping.


Narrow rectangular shells
Pipe a straight line. If you want rounded edges, skip pulling the batter with a toothpick like the second rectangle that I piped. Bang the tray hard on the table a few times to flatten any peaks after piping and pulling the batter with a toothpick.


Broad rectangular shells
Trace a small rectangle within the boundary of the template as you apply pressure to the piping bag. Fill the center of the rectangle with batter after tracing the outline. Remember not to fill the template all the way as the batter will spread a little. If you want rounded edges, skip pulling the batter with a toothpick as shown in the second rectangle that I piped. Bang the tray hard on the table a few times to flatten any peaks after piping and pulling the batter with a toothpick.


Triangular shells
Trace a small triangle within the boundary of the template as you apply pressure to the piping bag. Remember not to fill the template all the way as the batter will spread a little. If you want rounded edges, skip pulling the batter with a toothpick as shown in the second triangle that I piped. Bang the tray hard on the table a few times to flatten any peaks after piping and pulling the batter with a toothpick.


I hope you find this helpful :). These videos are linked to my Creative Baking: Macarons book!


With love,
Phay Shing

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Sunday, 23 August 2015

'Princess Sophia' Ombre Tier Castle Chiffon Cake


This is my very first Tier Castle chiffon cake and also my first Ombre Castle! It is my 2nd Princess Sofia Castle chiffon cake, made for a very dear friend. I tried a tier castle as she had numerous toppers. I also had the sudden inspiration to make Purple-Pink Ombre capped towers! I made them by baking purple-pink ombre chiffon cake batter in paper cones like my rainbow chiffon cone pops
Don’t they look sweet unmolding?

Happy Blessed birthday Becca!

With lots of love,
Susanne

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Saturday, 22 August 2015

My Melody & Piano Raspberry White Chocolate Macarons (Tsum Tsum series part 2)

This is the second post in my series of Tsum Tsum macaron bake. My Melody and Piano!


I made My Melody macarons a few months ago but with a different version. This is the first time I am trying out a new non-refrigerated filling - raspberry white chocolate! I bought some dried raspberry powder from Phoon Huat a couple of months ago on a whim, thinking I can use it as a natural source of colouring and/or flavouring.

You may refer to this recipe for the basic batter and steps, and my newly made macaron video tutorials just in case you need more visuals :).  Just some points to note...

Divide the batter into ratio of 2:2:1 for dark pink:light pink:white. Use Wilton #10 tip for the heads and My Melody's ears. Use Wilton #5 tip for the face, hands and Piano's ears. Wait for the head base to dry for 15 minutes before piping on the ears, face and hands. Use a toothpick to pull the white batter for Piano's ruffled face. Remember to bang the tray hard on the table after piping the head and various parts.

Freshly piped!

Bake at 130°C for 17-20 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through baking. If the shells are stuck to baking sheet, reduce temperature to 120°C and bake for 5 minutes more before checking again to see if the shells are still stuck to the baking sheet.

Freshly baked shells!

Make some royal icing and pipe the bows using the same template for the heads. Oven dry at 60°C fan mode between each step of piping the bows to create 3D features. Dry thoroughly before attempting to remove the royal icing bows. Attach them to the shells with a bit of royal icing.

Royal icing bows

Icing the face!

Raspberry white chocolate  (fills about 12-14 macarons)
Ingredients:
80g white chocolate, chopped (I used Meiji)
10g unsalted butter
2 tsp (4g) dried raspberry powder (more if you prefer. Mine is nicely fruity.)

Steps:
1. Melt butter in a small saucepan and add sifted raspberry powder into it. Stir well.
2. Melt white chocolate by double boiling or in the microwave oven at 10 second bursts using medium power, stirring between heating bursts.
3. Add melted butter with raspberry into the melted white chocolate a little at a time. Stir until well combined between each addition. Let the mixture sit for a while at room temperature to firm up a little until desired piping consistency, a bit like toothpaste.
4. Transfer to piping bag and pipe the filling on.


5. Store in airtight container at cool and dry place.

With love,
Phay Shing

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Thursday, 20 August 2015

Tsum Tsum (Sanrio) Rainbow Chiffon Cake


Sanrio plus Tsum Tsum = Cuteness overload! All the Tsum Tsum Sanrio characters here are made from soft chiffon cake. My heart melted when my friend sent me pictures of these cute fluffy Tsum Tsum Sanrio plush toys! The characters are Little Twin Stars, Tuxedo Sam, Piano, My Melody and Cinnamaroll (some of them I only learnt now LOL).

It turned out to be one of my most difficult cakes so far. I learnt a valuable lesson here that chiffon cakes are too soft to stack LOL. These are now stacked lying on the cake as they get squashed when stacked upright so I had a difficult time trying it out. All these characters are made from patterning chiffon in small bowl cakes in combination with layered chiffon cakes of various colours to cut out their features. She also requested for a rainbow cake, so the base is a pretty sweet 9-inch Rainbow chiffon cake (can't be seen clearly from here).

Thank God for really helping here. I’ve never been so happy and relieved the cake was well-received =p.

Happy birthday to sweet Megan!

With lots of love,
Susanne

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Macaron Basics (my humble first attempt at video tutorials!)

This is my first attempt at recording some videos of macaron making process that are a bit hard to show in static pictures. So pardon me for my amateurish attempt :p. All videos are taken using my phone camera mounted on a tripod.

Macaronage
How should you fold your batter? Not too gently but this way...


Use a fold and press motion to incorporate the Italian meringue into the mass. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure that all the mass is incorporated into the meringue. I didn't take a video of the full length of the process. Just keep folding and pressing until no trace of meringue is seen, then start testing your batter consistency.

Testing batter consistency
Under-folded batter. Batter falls in dollops off the spatula...


Give your under-folded batter a few more folds and test again until you get...

Well-folded batter. Batter is able to fall in a ribbon off the spatula. When you tilt the bowl, the batter flows slowly.


No video of overfolded batter :p. I don't want to waste my ingredients, thank you!

Piping the batter
Keep the piping tip at right angles to the surface of the baking sheet. Release pressure on the piping bag and give a little twirl before lifting off.


Testing to see if shells are dry
You should be able to run a finger across the surface of your shell. If it sticks to your finger, it is not ready for baking. I piped the rows of circles on the left earlier than the ones on the right to show you dry and wet shells.


I hope you find these videos helpful! It's a challenge for me to do this while multitasking!

Checkout my next video tutorial on piping different basic shapes of macaron shells and another one on how to pipe complex shapes!

(Update 4/3/16): You may want to check out this short video on the correct way of removing macaron shells from baking sheet. Remember to peel the baking sheet away from the shell and not the other way round!




These videos are linked to my Creative Baking: Macarons book! Do check it out as the basics are presented in a more systematic way than what I can ever do on the blog.

With love,
Phay Shing



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Wednesday, 19 August 2015

'Roses' Honey Matcha Chiffon Cake (Improved Stronger Flavour)



Honey Matcha one of my favourite flavours because of the moistness of honey and flavour of matcha! I revisit it often as I often get requests for it (my mum and aunty whom I made this for love it!). I previously shared how steam baking plus the addition of honey makes the cake lighter and moister! Here, I have improved upon the previous recipe to have much stronger tea flavour as I have acquired a love for matcha during the time I was in Japan! With better oven control, I was also able to retain the natural green shade of matcha to have a brighter, sweeter-looking cake as garden backdrop for the roses.

The flowers are made from strawberry chiffon cake baked in silicone roses mould. It’s perfect for people who are not using to working with cakes (carving or rolling) ;). Here, I also modified the way the leaves were made by using cutters instead of patterning which may be daunting for chiffon cakes. The leaves are cut from pandan chiffon cake using a leaves cutter so it’s simpler. If you do not want to make the roses and leaves, you can just omit the steps in asterisks. 

The original recipe was very lightly adapted from Lily's matcha chiffon cake. I personally found the addition of honey and hot milk to be very fragrant. 

And for those who know me, the heart chiffon tin had me a 'hello' ;). So I always use it for bakes meant for gifts to show the 'love' :).

Ingredients (makes one 17cm heart chiffon tin and 5 "roses")
4 egg yolks
27g sugar
47g vegetable oil
63ml hot milk
3.5 tsp matcha powder
80g cake flour
1/8 tsp salt
15 ml honey (1 tbsp)
2 ml strawberry paste*
1 ml pandan paste*

5 egg whites
55g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Method
1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Prepare a tray of water at the bottom of the oven (I used the lowest rack to bake the cake).
2. Dissolve matcha powder and honey in 15 ml hot milk.
3. Beat egg yolks with sugar with whisk till pale yellow before stirring in oil and 45 ml hot milk.
4. Add in sieved flour and salt and whisk till no trace of flour found.
*5. Scoop out 7 tsp batter. Add 2 ml strawberry paste in 3 ml hot milk, mix well and add to the batter.
*6. Scoop out 5 tsp batter. Add 1 ml pandan paste and mix welll.
7. To the rest of cake batter, add the matcha/honey in hot milk.
8. Make the meringue. *Scoop over 14 tbsp to strawberry batter and 10 tbsp to the pandan batter.
9. Fold in the rest of the meringue into the matcha batter gently in 3 additions. Pour the cake batter into the heart chiffon tin from a height and tap on table top 3x to release bubbles.
10. Steam bake the cake at 160°C oven for 15 minutes, then at 140°C for 30 mins.
*11. Fold the meringue for the strawberry batter gently in, then bake the strawberry roses at 150°C for 25 mins.
*12. Fold the meringue for the pandan batter gently in, then pour the batter into baking-paper lined 4x6 inch dish/tray and bake the layer cake at 160°C for 13 mins.
13. Invert when heart chiffon cake is removed from oven.
14. Unmould the chiffon cake by hand. Gently pull the cake from the sides of the tin at each angle and push the removable base up to unmould the sides. To unmould the cake from the base, gently lift up the cake from the base using hands, repeating this at each angle before turning the base over.
*15. Unmould the roses and pandan layer cake when cool.
*16. Use a leave cutter to cut out leaves from the pandan cake.
*17. Use melted marshmallows to glue the roses and leaves onto the heart matcha chiffon cake.

Tada! A Roses Honey Matcha Chiffon Cake made with lots of love! It was very well-received in terms of taste and texture. Check out my previous post for the 'yoga' picture ;)

With love,
Susanne

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One-Eyed Monster Chiffon Cakepops

Here are some one-eyed monster chiffon cakepops!


I used blue pea flowers, strawberry paste and natural pink food colouring, and blueberry to colour the cakes blue, pink and purple. Some artificial colouring is still needed for blue and purple but less is needed.

Natural sources of food colouring

I was puzzling over how to make the horns on the heads without carving. Suddenly I thought of using paper cones! As I have to make many horns but they are all small, I cut the paper cones and used the cut-off portions as paper cone stands. This method does away with the need for aluminum foil holder and you can squeeze lots of cones into the oven in one single round of bake ;). I managed to fit 36 cones into the oven at once!

Paper cones with diy paper cone stand


I baked brown (cocoa powder coloured) and white layer cakes for the eyes. The black portion of the eye can be cut from the cakes baked in the paper cones.

Recipe for egg shell cakepops with paper cone horns 
Ingredients (makes about 18 cakepops, 36 small cones):
2 egg yolks
20g caster sugar
56g canola/vegetable oil
48g milk
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste/ vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
80g cake flour
1/2 tsp blue pea flower extract (steep 1/2 tbs dried flowers in 1 tbs hot water for half an hour. Strain and squeeze out the water)
1/2 tsp strawberry emulco
1 tsp Queen's natural source pink powder food colouring (optional)
1/2 tsp blueberry puree (made from dissolving 1/2 tsp blueberry powder in 1 tbs hot water, filter through filter paper)
1/2 tsp charcoal powder
A drop each of blue and purple gel food colouring

5 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
52g caster sugar

Steps:
1. Prepare eggshells for baking. Poke a small hole at pointy end of egg. Empty the egg, wash thoroughly and remove the inner lining from the shell. Air-dry thoroughly. Prepare paper cones. Preheat oven to 160°C with oven rack at second lowest position. Prepare a baking tray of water at bottom of oven (optional).

2. Prepare egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Gradually add oil and whisk until well combined. Gradually add milk and vanilla bean paste. Mix well. Gradually whisk in flour. Whisk until no trace of flour is seen. Divide the batter into 4 equal portions.

3. Add charcoal powder + 1/2 tsp water to one portion, blue pea flower extract and blue colouring to one portion, strawberry emulco and pink powder into one portion, and blueberry puree and purple colouring into the last portion.

4. Prepare meringue. I baked the cones and shells in two separate rounds so I divided the meringue ingredients accordingly. In a clean metal bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form, gradually adding in sugar along the way when the egg whites become foamy and opaque. Do not overbeat.

5. Fold the meringue into egg yolk batter in three additions gently but quickly.

6. Scoop about 1 tsp of black batter into each cone as fast as you can. Bake for 10-11 minutes. Cool completely before gently removing the cake from the paper cone.

Filled cones

Freshly baked!

7. Fill egg shells to about 2/3 full. Bake at 160°C for 5 minutes, 150°C for 5 minutes, 140°C for 10-15 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Note that baking times are approximate as each oven is different. Cool completely before removing egg shells. Use the back of metal spoon to tap on shells to crack the whole surface. Gently peel the shell off. Slice off the rough portion of the cake that protrudes out of the shell.

Freshly baked and unmoulded.

8. Melt some marshmellows with sprinkling of water to make glue. Use round cutters and straws to cut out the parts for the monster eye. I used Yakult straw to cut out the tiny white highlight in the eye. Use a knife wherever necessary to trim parts of the cakes. Stick the parts on with marshmellow glue.

Freshly assembled!

9. Brush the surface of the cakepops with syrup (5g sugar dissolved in 20ml hot water). Store in airtight condition in the fridge.

Individual wrapping was requested...


Hope these one-eyed monsters bring a smile to your face :).

With love,
Phay Shing



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Sunday, 16 August 2015

Rilakkuma & Kiiroitori Dark Chocolate Macarons (Tsum Tsum series part 1)

Susanne's friend requested for 10 different designs of Tsum Tsum macarons that don't require refrigeration. This is the first time I am making so many different designs in a single bake! I will be posting a 5-part series of Tsum Tsum macarons. Will intersperse the macs with other bakes now and then so you don't get tired of seeing macarons :p.

To kick off the series, here are some Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma and Kiiroitori macarons!


Needless to say, it was a challenge to handle so many different colours of batter with much portioning to do...

Sorting out the masses and Italian meringue! Need to be careful with the math! Picture shows only half the amount!

This is not the first time I am making Rilakkuma macarons. I made them before with different fillings here and here.

You may refer to this recipe for the basic batter and steps and my newly made macaron video tutorials just in case you need more visuals :).  Just some points to note...

Divide the mass and Italian meringue into 3 equal portions. Colour one portion yellow with gel food colouring. Colour the other two portions by adding sifted cocoa powder until a desired shade is reached 1/4 tsp at a time. Do note that the batter will lighten up in colour after folding in the meringue.

After folding in the meringue, take 1 tbs of dark brown batter and colour it black with 1/8 tsp charcoal.

Transfer batter to piping bag fitted with Wilton #12 tip to pipe yellow, light brown and dark brown. Transfer black batter into piping bag fitted with  Wilton #5 tip. Pipe the chick's hair.

Dry for 1-2 hours or until you are able to run a finger across the surface of the shells in an air-con room. Too humid in Singapore to air-dry in the open.

Shells about to be baked!

Bake at 130-140°C with tray at lowest or second lowest rack for about 17-20 minutes. Continue baking at 120°C if the shells are still not dry and check after every 5 minutes.

Freshly baked shells!

Use royal icing to add on the features and oven dry at 60°C fan mode.

Filling with melted dark chocolate (I used Meiji brand)

Keep a lookout for My Melody & Piano, Little Twin Stars, Cinnamaroll, Tuxedo Sam and Hiro from Big Hero 6!

Here's a peek at about two-thirds of the whole batch individually packed!



With love,
Phay Shing

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Saturday, 15 August 2015

Baymax and Baby Chiffon Cupcakes (Vanilla-chocolate)


This cute Baymax and baby was a simple bake for the family celebration of my bil and daughter (who loves Baymax) who were turning 40 and 4! Hence the giant and small cupcake for each of them :p. The cupcake is made from reduced egg yolk vanilla chiffon cupcake, with eyes and features made from chocolate chiffon cake (because my nephew likes chocolate!). I was trying out the extra dark cocoa powder (Bakeway) I bought from Phoon huat. It does darken the shade very much naturally while being yummy!

Reduced egg yolk vanilla chiffon with chocolate chiffon cake eyes
1 egg yolk
20g sugar
39g corn/vegetable oil
37 ml water
5 ml vanilla extract
60g cake flour
Cocoa powder (extra dark)
Charcoal powder

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

1. Preheat oven to 160°C.
2. Beat egg yolks with sugar with whisk till pale yellow before stirring in oil, water and vanilla extract.
3. Add in sieved flour and whisk till no trace of flour found.
4. Scoop out 10 tsp batter and add 1 tsp cocoa powder (extra dark) and ¼ tsp charcoal powder. Mix well.
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 20 tbsp meringue and gently fold into the chocolate batter in 2 additions.
7. Fold in the rest of the meringue gently into the plain batter 1/3 at a time.
8. Pour the batter into a wilton ball cake pan (for the giant cupcake) and a 11 mm Iwaki glass bowl (for the small cupcake) till ¾ full. Gently tap the bowls to remove air bubbles from the batter.
9. Bake the giant cupcake at 160°C for 15 min then 140°C for 20-25 min (or until skewer comes clean). Bake the small cupcake at 160°C for 15 min then 140°C for 15 min.
10. Pour the chocolate chiffon batter into a 9-inch tray and bake at 160°C for 14 min.
11. For the ball cake pan and bowl, invert once out of the oven to cool and leave to cool on the cooling rack. *If the batter rises above the top, wait for the cake to shrink a bit till below the top then invert.
12. For the chocolate chiffon layer, flip the cake over to a new baking sheet once out of the oven and cover with another baking sheet to cool.
13. Unmould cupcakes by hand after the cakes are cool. Gently pull the cake from the sides of the bowl and then flip it over onto a plate/cake board.
14. Assembly: Cut circles using a circular cutter (1.5 cm diameter) and bubble tea straw respectively for the giant and small cupcake. Cut strips using a sharp knife. Melt some marshmallows with some water and apply it to the undersides of the chocolate chiffon to stick them onto the cupcakes.

There you go! Baymax and baby chiffon cupcakes! The kids had fun blowing out the many candles and the chiffon cupcakes were well-received in terms of taste and texture! 

This is a belated post as my girl's birthday was 2 weeks ago :).

With love,
Susanne

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Thursday, 13 August 2015

Baymax Oreo Cookies Chiffon Cupcakes

I have a request for Baymax chiffon cupcakes for Susanne's friend. She sent a photo of an example of what she would like. Since the design requested was a simple one, I focused on making the cupcakes an awesome one :). Not that I don't give my best for every bake, but I took the liberty of choosing a more interesting cake flavour (not the usual ones you find on our blog) and took pains to make the cakes yummy.

Here are my really soft and fluffy oreo cookies chiffon cupcakes topped with Baymax's face!


A closer look at the awesome texture of the oreo cupcake...


A closer look at the fondant replacement for cupcake decorations using chiffon layer cakes...


Reduced-egg yolk recipe was used for the white layer and charcoal was used to colour the black layer cake. Both layers are vanilla flavoured.

Some of the good stuff that went into the cakes include Hokkaido milk...


...and a good brand of vanilla bean paste for better flavour.


Recipe for oreo cookies chiffon cake is adapted from Mandy's baking journey. I used high quality ingredients to make sure that it's really yummy, used a lower flour:liquid ratio and steam baking to make the cake softer and more moist.

Ingredients (makes about thirty-two 44x35mm cupcakes:
6 egg yolks
30g caster sugar
84g canola/vegetable oil
84g milk (I used Hokkaido milk)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
120g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinches of salt
5 oreo cookies coarsely crushed, discard filling (went into my kids' tummies :p as reward for helping me to crush cookies. You may add one more cookie if you like.)

8 egg whites*
80g caster sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

* I divided the meringue ingredients into two as I baked the cupcakes in two rounds.

Steps:
1. Prepare a baking tray of water at the base of the oven (Optional. Baking time will be shorter by about 5 minutes without steam). Set oven rack to second lowest position. Preheat oven to 140°C. I used an oven thermometer. The dial setting was at 180°C but actual temperature reads 140°C due to the steam.

2. Prepare the egg yolk batter. Beat egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Gradually add oil and whisk until well combined. Gradually add in milk and vanilla bean paste/extract and mix well. Gradually whisk in sifted flour, salt and baking powder until no trace of flour is seen. Add crushed oreos and fold in using the whisk.

2. Prepare meringue. Beat egg whites in a clean metal bowl until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form, gradually adding sugar while beating.

3. Fold the meringue into the egg yolk batter in 3 additions quickly but gently.

4. Fill the cupcake cases until almost full. Tap the tray of cupcakes on the table.


5. Bake 140°C for 25-28 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

Freshly baked and cooled.


All packed! I made 29 of these.

I made some extra cupcakes for my kids to enjoy and share with friends and grandma :). They all loved it! Even my elder kid who is not a fan of cakes was happy to have more than one helping :).

With love,
Phay Shing



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