Thursday, 31 August 2017

Creative Baking: Deco Chiffon Cake Basics with Marshall Cavendish (Chiffon book 3)


(9/11/17) Kinokuniya Book Launch Event on 2nd Deco 2018! See u there =)

From Kinokuniya instagram

(13/11/17) Top 10 Non-fiction Bestsellers in Kinokuniya! Thank God!

(13/11/17) Bestsellers in Periplus (Indonesia) and Naiise (Malaysia/SG)!! Thank you!




(1/11/17) Rated Bestseller in Kinokuniya. Thanks for your support! <3


(5/11/17) Updated: Reviews/encouraging comments! So thankful for them!




(12/10/17) Good news! Deco Chiffon Cake Basics is finally available at all major bookstores in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand! It's also the first book to be in all Malaysia Popular!

Book availability:

Singapore:    Popular, Kinokuniya, Times, Naiise, Kinokuniya (online store)

Malaysia:     Popular, Kinokuniya, Naiise, Kinokuniya (online store), mphonline

Indonesia:          Periplus, Books & Beyond, Kinokuniya, Periplus (online store)

Thailand:           Asiabooks, Kinokuniya

Other Online stores:                   Localbooks online (Free shipping in SG & ships internationally)

Book depository/Amazon UK:     From Feb 2018

Kindle / ebook:                          Nov 2017

*Cookbook giveaway on my instagram @susanne.decochiffon and fb - closed 15/10/16. Winners have been announced.

(4/10/17) Honored to be on YES93.3! I shared about the new Basics cookbook and we had a challenge! Catch the facebook live here.

(28/9/17) Featured on Korea's major site Naver!


(18/9/17) Honored to be interviewed by Radio channel JIA88.3 FM on my cakes. Catch their facebook live here.

(10/9/17)
Pre-orders have closed, thank you for your overwhelming support!!
Those who placed their orders from Singapore, should receive it the week of Sept 23rd-29th.

For those who missed it, not to worry, it will be available at all major bookstores in Singapore from mid to late October. And available worldwide in a few months. This version will also be in Popular Malaysia! =) It will be also be available worldwide in a few months!

****

This Basics book is different from the first two Chiffon cake books in that it is centered around the Basics techniques (around 14) of Deco Chiffon Cakes. There are detailed step-by-step pictures for every recipe (e.g. bottom panel in the poster). The additional step pictures are also accompanied with special Deco/Troubleshooting tips for tricky steps in the recipe.

Hopefully this will help bakers and especially beginners alike master the Basic key techniques of Deco Chiffon Cakes. Here is the book cover!





Thank you Prima flour, Chew's eggs and Phoon huat for your generous sponsorship of the premium ingredients used in Deco Chiffon Cake Basics!



Thank God and thank all of you for your continued love and support! I am very grateful.

With lots of love,
Susanne

My other Deco Chiffon cake books
Book II: Creative baking: Deco Chiffon Cakes


Book I: Creative baking: Chiffon Cakes




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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Tsum Tsum Winnie the Pooh, Piglet & Tigger Earl Grey Macarons

My friend wanted to surprise her sister with a Winnie the Pooh themed birthday treat so she requested for some Pooh themed macarons :)

Pooh, Piglet and Tigger!

She wanted to bring the macarons to an island resort where she would spring the surprise on her sister. So I had to make sure that the macarons are not too fragile (therefore the choice of Tsum Tsum designs) and contain fillings that can survive a boat ride. I have highlighted in this post the various pointers about creating macarons that are meant to survive longer (and possibly slightly bumpy) transportation and storage out of fridge so I will not repeat it here.

I used the reduced sugar recipe for the macaron shells here. Both regular and reduced sugar recipes can be found here. You may refer to my Creative Baking: Macarons book for a systematic presentation of the basics and complex shaped macarons. You may refer to my video tutorials for macaron basics and piping of complex shapes on the blog too.

Just to share some photos of the process...

Piping the shells!

Freshly baked shells and beginning to decorate with royal icing and edible marker. Check out the feet on the shells too!


I filled the macarons with Earl Grey white chocolate ganache.


I hope these cuties brightened up your day just as they did for me as I worked on them :).

With love,
Phay Shing

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Saturday, 26 August 2017

Domo Chocolate Chiffon Cake


Happy birthday to my dearest mummy! Made a Domo chiffon cake for my mummy this year. Last year was Pikachu during the Pokemon-go craze hehe. How one year flies! I'm so thankful to my dear mummy for her love and support all these years. For those who don't know, Domo is the adorable furry mascot of Japan's NHK. My kids thought it was a giant chocolate bar and were elated!

I baked a Reduced Sugar Chocolate Chiffon Cake recipe in a rectangular baking pan. This recipe was previously developed specially for my health concious friend. It tastes yummy and balanced without being overly sweet so it great for the elderly like my mum. The recipe in the above link is also shared for a 18-cm tube pan, so you can use it to bake a normal chiffon cake as well. Similar to the Airplane Chiffon Cake in my first book, Creative baking: Chiffon Cakes, you do not need to grease the pan. If you didn't underbake or overbake it, it should peel off easily.

Here's having fun cutting the cake lol =p. I actually posted this on my Instagram story while cutting the cake!


With lots of love,
Susanne


Some exciting news, my 3rd book Deco Chiffon Cake Basics is open for preorders! The structure and focus is different from my 1st two books. It's focus is on Basic Techniques of Deco Chiffon Cakes, with more step-by-step pictures for each technique that will be clearer for beginners. Hope you will find it helpful!



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Thursday, 24 August 2017

Sakura Heart Macarons

Here is another Teacher's Day bake that I prepared. Sakura Heart macarons!


These dainty treats are made with dried Sakura flowers and dried Sakura flower powder that my Japanese friend bought from Japan. The dried flowers can be found in baking specialty shops in Singapore but I have not seen the lovely pink powder sold anywhere here. The powder tastes exactly like the dried flowers, salty and full of sakura flavour.

The day before baking the macaron shells, I washed the flowers thoroughly to remove excess salt on them. I try to open up the petals gently and lay them flat on paper towel to dry. I oven dried at 50℃ with the fan on for a few hours to make sure that the flowers are thoroughly dried.

Washed and dried flowers

I used the reduced sugar recipe for the macaron shells here. Both regular and reduced sugar recipes can be found here. You may refer to my Creative Baking: Macarons book for a systematic presentation of the basics and complex shaped macarons. You may refer to my video tutorials for macaron basics and piping of complex shapes on the blog too.

Just to share some pictures of the process..

You may refer to this video tutorial on how to pipe the perfect heart shapes:

In order to attach the flowers to the shells, let the shells partially dry until a sticky membrane forms. Gently stick the flower on. I dabbed a little Sakura powder on the shells at this stage as well.

Adding flowers and sakura powder

Freshly baked shells! Checkout the awesome feet!

As these are to be given away as gifts, I filled them with sakura white chocolate ganache that fan be safely kept out of the fridge for a few days at cool room temperature. If you are unable to get hold of sakura powder, you may use sakura jam or tea to infuse the flavour into the filling.

Sakura white chocolate ganache
Ingredients (fills about 35 macarons):
110g white chocolate, chopped (I use vanilla bean white chocolate)
15g vegetable shortening
15g unsalted butter
30g heavy cream
2 tsp Sakura flower powder
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

Steps:
1. Place white chocolate, shortening and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat at medium power for 20 seconds and mix with spatula. Repeat until fully melted.

2. Heat cream in a small saucepan until it starts to bubble. Pour over melted chocolate and mix well.

3. Add salt and vanilla and mix well. Freeze for 2 minutes and mix well with spatula. Repeat freezing and mixing and start beating with spatula when mixture firms up. Keep beating until mixture is light and fluffy like buttercream.


4. Add sakura powder and mix well.


Earthy pink coloured ganache!

5. Transfer ganache to piping bag and pipe onto shells.


Refrigerate at least 24h in airtight container in the fridge before eating. Let the macarons sit at room temperature for 10min before consuming.

Here's a sneak peak at the insides :)

Yums!


With love,
Phay Shing

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Monday, 21 August 2017

Orange Chocolate Sunflower Shortbread Cookies

Want to bake something simple yet yummy and impressive looking for Teacher's Day? Why not try making these lovely sunflower shortbread cookies :). They smell and taste lovely too!



I love shortbread cookies because they are simple to make (no special equipment or technique involved) using few ingredients. The original recipe just uses icing sugar, butter and plain flour in a very easy to remember ratio of 1:2:3 by weight, and therefore very easily adaptable for scaling the quantity and various flavours.

The baking part is easy. It is the rest of the craft portion that may be more time consuming. So feel free to improvise the design :).

Ingredients (makes about 50-55 4cm sunflowers):
Orange dough
50g icing sugar
100g unsalted butter
150g plain flour
1/8 tsp sea salt
Zest of 2 oranges (orange part only)
1/8 tsp orange paste/emulco (optional)
A drop of lemon paste (optional)
A few drops of Queen's natural yellow food colouring (optional)

Chocolate dough
20g icing sugar
40g unsalted butter
55g plain flour
5g Cocoa powder (I used Dutch processed cocoa powder)
A pinch of salt
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)

Decorative items
Royal icing*
Cake pop sticks/ wooden skewers (cut to about 5-6cm)
Styrofoam board (cut to fit inside cupcake case)
Green coloured paper (cut to leaf shapes)
Green shredded paper
Large cupcake cases (about 5cm at the base)

* The icing consistency should be less runny than the recipe link I provided. To do so, add a bit more icing sugar until the icing is able to form peaks that can hold for 20 seconds.

Orange zest! The key to awesome tasting orange cookies!

Steps:
1. The method of making the dough differs depending on whether you are using electric mixer or not. I will describe both over here. Resulting texture may be lighter for the electric mixer version but both are still yummy.

A) Without electric mixer:
Sift together flour, icing sugar, salt and cocoa powder (for chocolate) or orange zest (for orange). Add small pieces of butter into flour mixture and use your finger tips to rub the butter into the flour and knead until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add flavouring/colouring and knead the mixture until a ball of dough forms.

B) With electric mixer:
Cream icing sugar, salt and softened butter with mixer until creamy and well combined. Add flavouring/colouring and orange zest (for orange) and mix well. Add flour and cocoa powder (for chocolate) and fold in with a spatula until a ball of dough forms. Use your fingers towards the end if necessary.

Divide each coloured dough into two or three portions. The reason for dividing the dough is this, Singapore is really warm so the dough softens quite fast at room temperature. It is easier to work with a firm but pliable dough. At any one point the dough becomes too soft, simply re-roll, freeze it and take the other frozen batch out of the freezer to work with so there is no in between waiting time for the dough to firm up again.

Coloured and flavoured dough

2. Roll each ball of dough to thickness of 4mm between two baking sheets. Freeze the dough until firm. The dough can keep in the freezer for a few months in airtight condition.

3. Prepare a small portion of cornflour or plain flour for dusting. Use a Daisy (or any flower cutter you have) fondant cutter to cut out the orange base flowers. Dust the surface of the dough and spread a thin coat of flour on the dough before cutting out the shapes. Let the dough soften a little before cutting otherwise it will crumble. Place the cut-outs on a baking tray lined with baking paper, about 2-3cm apart from each other. Dust the cookie cutter with flour if necessary but knock off the excess flour as much as possible.


Cookie cutouts

4. Use a small knife to make imprints on the petals if you wish (optional). Make criss cross patterns on the brown portion using the knife as well. If you find that the dough sticks to the knife, dust and coat the brown portion with a teeny bit of flour before making the imprint. This is also optional if you are feeling lazy.


5. If you feel really hardworking, you may add on a little darker yellow highlight on the petals near the flower centers. Dissolve a little golden yellow gel food colouring in water and use a fine paint brush to paint on the highlights. I am providing these options for details just in case you want to make more realistic looking flowers but these steps are just cosmetic.


6. Refrigerate the whole tray of cutouts until firm. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 150℃ and set the rack to second lowest position.

7.  Bake for 12-15 min or until the base of the cookies show telltale signs of being browned.  This is perhaps the trickiest part. It is safer to underbake, check the cookies and return them to the oven to bake longer for a few more minutes than to overbake them at the start. But don't worry, they still look pretty and taste yummy even when slightly browned. Keep a close watch on the browning towards end of baking time.

Freshly baked sunflowers!

8. Cool the cookies on the tray. Place the cookies on paper towels for an hour or even overnight to absorb excess oil from the base of the flowers. You may place the whole tray of cookies in jumbo ziplock bag to keep it in airtight condition.

9. Flip the cookies over such that the base is facing upwards. Prepare royal icing and cake pop sticks. Pipe a generous dollop of icing at the center of the flower base and insert a cake pop stick as shown below.


Leave the icing to dry in aircon room or under a fan for at least a few hours until fully hardened. Cookies won't turn soft if they are thoroughly baked through.

10. Cut pieces of styrofoam such that it can fit into the large cupcake cases. Cut leaves of appropriate size too.

This is to show the rough sizes of the styrofoam

11. Insert three flowers into the styrofoam block. You may find it easier to poke holes using a toothpick/wooden skewer first before inserting if you are using cake pop sticks. Carefully place the flower block into the cupcake case. Insert leaves and shredded paper as you wish.

Depending on how you want to pack, you may place in airtight container large enough to fit the whole assembly. I didn't have that so I packed them in large cookie bags but I had to make a more rigid barrier around the flowers to protect them. I also placed the base of the cupcake cake on a rigid piece of plastic. You may use small round cakeboard for this purpose but I didn't have them on hand too. The rigid barrier around the flowers and piece of plastic under the cupcake case are transparent so they aren't very visible as you can see here...


These cookies can keep for a month in airtight condition in a cool and dry place.

Inspired to try :)? Feel free to adjust accordingly to what you can manage. You can even do away with the flower pot idea and simply place each flower on pretty paper cupcake cases and pack a few in a box. Go on and bless your teachers or loved ones ;)

With love,
Phay Shing



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Sunday, 20 August 2017

Rainbow Unicorn Rainbow Chiffon Cake


Here's a new Unicorn Chiffon Cake with Rainbow on top of a Rainbow Chiffon Cake! I've made a number of different Unicorn Chiffon Cakes for my friends. It seems to be forever popular <3.



The Rainbow chiffon cake is my signature creation. I've shared recipe for my Rainbow Chiffon in my first book, Creative baking: Chiffon Cakes two years back. It even made the book cover! After the book came out, it was trending among home bakers and even bakeries =).


Recipe for Chiffon Cake Rainbow is also shared in Creative baking: Chiffon Cakes. Hope you will like these sweet ideas!



The Chiffon Unicorn with step-by-step illustrations will be shared in my newest 3rd cookbook Deco Chiffon Cake Basics coming out in Sept/Oct. The 3rd book will be very different from the 1st and 2nd books, focusing on getting the Basic techniques of Deco Chiffon right with more pictures!

Hope this sweet creation brings a smile to your faces! Have a great week ahead!

With lots of love,
Susanne

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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Gudetama Coconut Macarons (Reduced-sugar Swiss method)

There are some days when you feel just like Gudetama, don't you 😜?


I had a small batch of macarons to work with so I decided to try a reduced sugar adaptation of the Swiss method which I have yet to try. I made these Gudetama macarons along with a couple of Minion macaron cake toppers so keep a lookout for that.

Recipe is adapted from the Broma recipe with reduced sugar adaptations. For those of you unfamiliar with the Broma recipe, it has an extremely easy to remember ratio for almond: icing sugar: caster sugar: egg whites of 1:1:1:1. It uses the Swiss meringue method which partially cooks the egg whites so as to make the meringue more stable. If you find difficulty in working with a wetter batter than your usual recipes, try increasing the amount of almond and/or icing sugar portion as I find that this recipe has a relatively lower almond and icing sugar content compared with other formulas. This may be necessary especially when working in humid climates like Singapore.

Recipe for reduced sugar coconut macaron shells (Swiss method)
Ingredients (makes about 16-20 macarons):
50g egg whites
50g caster sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
40g superfine almond meal
10g dessicated coconut, sifted
4g coconut cream powder
45g icing sugar
5g rice flour
2g cornflour
Gel food colouring

Steps:
1. Prepare baking tray with template and line with baking paper. Set oven rack to lowest position.

2. Sift all dry ingredients together (almond, dessicated coconut, coconut cream powder, icing sugar, cornflour and rice flour). Divide into two equal portions.

3. Place egg whites, caster sugar and salt in a heatproof bowl. Whisk over a pot of gently simmering water until mixture temperature reaches 50℃ and all the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and beat with electric mixer at medium speed until stiff peaks form. Divide meringue into two equal portions. Use a little meringue to stick the baking paper onto the tray.

4. Add yellow gel to one portion of meringue and gently mix well. Scatter the dry mixture over the meringue. Gently fold with spatula until well combined. Scoop out about 1.5 tbs of white batter and add colouring for the bacon slice. Continue folding the batter but deflating it by pressing it to the sides of the bowl until consistency is that of a slow-moving lava. You may refer to  this post  for the basics of folding and testing batter consistency.

5. Transfer to piping bag and pipe away! You may refer to my Creative Baking: Macarons book for a systematic presentation of the basics and complex shaped macarons. You may refer to my video tutorials for macaron basics and piping of complex shapes on the blog too.

Piped shells

6. Bang the tray on the table after piping between steps. Dry in aircon room or under the fan until the shells are dry to touch. Note: people who used the Broma method mentioned that there is no need to dry the shells prior to baking but I find it necessary.

7. Preheat oven to 160℃. Place tray in oven and turn heat down to 140℃. Bake for 10 min. Reduce temperature to 110℃ and bake for another 10-15 min or until feet doesn't appear wet. Cool completely on tray before removing the macaron shells.

I decorated the shells with edible marker and royal icing.

Decorated shells!

Recipe for coconut white chocolate ganache
Ingredients:
42g white chocolate, chopped
21g unsalted butter
21g vegetable shortening
26g heavy cream or coconut cream
6g coconut cream powder
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp lemon juice (optional)

Steps:
1. Melt white chocolate, butter and shortening in a microwave-safe bowl at medium power for 20 seconds. Mix well with spatula. Repeat heating and stirring until mixture is smooth and melted.

2. Mix coconut cream powder and heavy cream/ coconut cream in a small saucepan. Heat on low heat until the powder is dissolved and mixture starts to bubble. Pour into white chocolate mixture and mix until well combined.

3. Add salt and lemon juice. Mix well.

4. Freeze mixture for 2 minutes and mix well with spatula. Repeat this and start whipping the mixture when it starts to thicken. Beat until texture is fluffy like buttercream.

5. Transfer into piping bag and pipe onto shells. Store in the fridge for at least 24h before serving. Let the macarons sit at room temperature for 10 min before eating.


If you like coconut flavour, this is a delectable macaron for you as it is nice and delicate after maturing and full of coconut fragrance!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Sunday, 13 August 2017

'Woodlands animals' Wooden Stump Chiffon Cake


Woodlands 🦊🦉🍁 "Wooden Stump" Chiffon Cake! 🌲 I had lots of fun creating a Wooden Stump this time and various Miniature Animals from chiffon cake!

My friend was worried about her daughter being sad about cutting up her favorite animal hence all mini mini =p.

It's vanilla chocolate flavour and naturally-coloured. It uses a similar recipe to my previous Sushi Wood-style Chiffon Cake, but the wood grains configured in circular fashion like a wooden log. Also I concentrated the chocolate batter at the sides and made cuts on the chiffon cake to mimic a wooden stump exterior.

*NEW* 16/8/17: Uploaded video on my instagram.


Wooden Stump Chiffon Cake (9-inch tube pan) ~ Vanilla chocolate chiffon cake
8 egg yolks
53g castor sugar
106g vegetable/corn oil
119g water
13g vanilla extract
160g Prima cake flour, sifted
1 tsp cocoa powder, sifted (alkalized)

11 egg whites
120g castor sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

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). *You may omit steam baking; I like to use it to control my oven temperature rise.

2. Beat eggs with sugar with whisk till pale and light before stirring in oil, water and vanilla extract.

3. Next add in sieved flour and whisk till no trace of flour lumps are found.

4. Spoon out 20 tsp and add 1 tsp cocoa powder, mix well.

5. Meringue: Beat the egg whites with ¼ tsp cream of tartar till firm peaks, mixing in caster sugar gradually in a few additions.

6. Spoon out 40 tbsp meringue for cocoa batter, leaving the rest for plain batter. Gently but quickly fold in the meringue into the respective egg yolk batter.

7. Transfer the 3 tsp cocoa batter into a piping bag. Pipe thin "wood grains" onto the base of the pan and a ring around the side of the pan. Spoon the plain batter gently into the spaces between the "wood grains". Cover the "wood grains" in the middle gently with more plain batter. After this, I just spoon cocoa batter at the side of the pan and plain batter in the middle (doesn't need to be neat as long as the sides are covered with cocoa batter).

8. Bake the chiffon cake for 15 min at 160°C and then at 150°C for 10 mins and 140°C for 30-31 min, or until skewer comes out clean. *This is just a guide as each oven’s internal heat is different, do optimize for your own oven.

9. Invert the chiffon cake once removed from oven.

10. Unmould the chiffon cake by hand after cake is completely cool (watch Video tutorial 'Hand Unmoulding Chiffon Cakes for a Clean Finishing'). 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.

11. Made cuts along the sides of the cake using a knife.


The animals are made from baking chiffon batter in small 3-cm cake pops molds and then adding on details like spikes cut from sheet cakes. I've also shared the Mushroom chiffon pop in my 2nd chiffon book Deco Chiffon Cakes. In the book, I also have some small animals from cake pops like mini sheep.



Some of you may know, I'm currently working on a new Basics Techniques book. It will be very different from the first two books; the book format is centered around pictures (more pictures and pictures for every step), to show you more in-depth how to get various shapes and patterns. It also has more in-depth on how to control the oven temperature to prevent browning, sort of textbook-style =). Hopefully this will help more people master the Basics of Deco Chiffon cakes!

Have a blessed week ahead!

With lots of love,
Susanne =)


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