Wednesday, 16 November 2016

'Bouquet of Flowers' Gula Melaka Chiffon Cupcakes

As the school year draws to a close, perhaps it's time to show the teachers some appreciation :). My friend requested for some bouquet cupcakes for her children to present to their teachers. It's my first attempt at making a bouquet although I have made flower cupcakes a number of times. Here are some bouquets, big and small :).

I will focus on how to assemble the bouquets in this post, as well as share the cupcake recipe. You may refer to Creative Baking: Chiffon Cakes for details on how to make the sunflowers, this post and this post on how to create the daisies and dahlias.

Recipe for gula melaka chiffon cupcakes
Ingredients (makes about twenty-five 44x35mm cupcakes):
4 egg yolks
100g gula melaka, chopped
46g coconut oil (or any vegetable oil)
80g coconut milk
4 Pandan leaves
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp caramel flavouring (optional)
80g cake flour
1/4 tsp fine sea salt

5 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
32g caster sugar

1. In a heavy based saucepan, combine coconut milk, gula melaka and Pandan leaves together. Heat over low heat until all the gula melaka has dissolved. Set aside to cool. Pass the mixture through a sieve and squeeze all the liquid from the Pandan leaves. Discard the leaves.

2. Set oven rack to second lowest position. Preheat to 140°C. Place a tray of water at the base of the oven (optional).

3. Prepare egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolks until pale and thick. Add coconut oil and whisk until well combined. Add coconut milk mixture and mix well. Add flavourings and mix well. Gradually sift in flour and salt and whisk until no trace of flour is seen.

4. Prepare the meringue. In a clean metal bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks form, gradually adding in the sugar once the egg whites are foamy.

5. Fold the meringue into egg yolk batter quickly but gently in three additions. Tap the tray to release air bubbles.

6. Fill the cupcake cases until the batter is about 1cm away from the rim. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Cool the cakes completely before decorating.

After assembling and decorating individual cupcakes, here's how you assemble a bouquet:

Tape the cupcakes together at the sides.

Place the assembly of cupcakes on top of a square piece of baking sheet, which is lying at 45° on top of a non-woven sheet (or any paper that you fancy, as long as it is waterproof)

Gather up the sides of the outermost sheet and staple it such that it wraps the cupcakes snuggly.

Cut some square pieces of green paper. I chose waterproof ones again. Reason being, the cupcakes give out a lot of moisture during storage and any packaging material used must be able to withstand that. Fold the paper as shown.

Insert the green pieces of paper into any spaces between cupcakes or between cupcake and wrapping paper as you see fit.

You may wish to add on a ribbon. I had to staple the ribbon to the wrapping paper at two points to prevent it from slipping down.

Remember to brush the surface of the cakes with simple syrup to keep the cakes moist. Store in airtight container in the fridge. These cakes can keep for a few days.

A few loose cupcakes were requested as well. Here they are :)

With love,
Phay Shing

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