Sunday, 17 December 2017

Num Noms Chiffon Cake


This Numnoms Chiffon Cake is a birthday cake I baked for myself lol.. the great thing about being a baker is that I get to make what I like for my own birthday! It's a nice break and not sad at all hehe.

Just sharing the cut slice and hidden surprise inside since I rarely get to cut my own chiffon cakes =p


The kids had lots of fun eating the ribbons and ears =p

Another year that has passed, I'm so thankful for everything that has happened and everyone I met.. Thank God for everything, and thank you so much too!!

With lots of love,
Susanne



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Friday, 15 December 2017

Mushroom, Panda and Rainbow Chiffon Cakes


Which cake will you pick? =)

All made entirely of soft fluffy chiffon cake!!


I'm still on holiday, so this will be a short post, so sorry about it..

For those interested in making them:

Recipe for Rainbow Chiffon Cake has been shared in my first book Creative baking: Chiffon Cakes.


Recipe for cute Mushroom Chiffon Cake has been shared in my 2nd book Deco Chiffon Cakes.

Lollipops (on the rainbow chiffon cake) are also in Deco Chiffon Cakes book.


Recipe for Panda Chiffon Cake has been shared in my 3rd book Deco Chiffon Cake Basics.



Just so happens they are from my 3 different cookbooks.. I actually made these for filming a while back.

Have a blessed family time too!

With lots of love,
Susanne


PS: I just got a question --> Book availability are in the links in the book covers =). The books are available at all major bookstores or online on book depository and Amazon.



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Thursday, 14 December 2017

Nativity Christmas Brown Sugar Cookies

While many families are off on holidays this December school holidays, my schedule is pretty much hectic due to baking classes I have at ToTT and Culinary Arts Ministry with the church. I have limited time to create Christmas bakes for my extended family and Susanne's family and yet I have always wanted to create meaningful Christmas bakes that reminds us of why we celebrate this occasion -- our Lord Jesus’ birth. It's been a tough juggling act to handle many things at home, baking for sale (thankfully very few because I limit the number) and class prep. Thank God for enabling me to stay afloat so far! And so, I decided to create this Precious Moments inspired nativity scene made out of brown sugar cookies :).

Baby Jesus with Joseph, Mary and a sheep!

You may exclaim that this doesn't look simple at all and must be very time consuming to create. I love brown sugar cookies for the fact that they have a long shelf life and I can breakup the work into short, bitesized manageable portions each time and just chuck the half done portions in the freezer (for the dough) or whole tray of half decorated cookies into a jumbo ziplock bag.

Some planning and prep work has to be done of course for making the templates. I chose to decorate the characters with more freehand drawing this time to reduce the time spent on filling the details with the help of the template and a wider range of royal icing colours. E.g. my standard approach for filling a character's face with royal icing is to ice the nose and eyes first with the help of templates before filling in the flesh coloured icing around the features. This is rather time consuming so I chose to fill the face first and add on the features after the royal icing has dried. But this requires good artistic skills which I am not perfect at so positioning of the features is not so accurate.

You may refer to this recipe for brown sugar cookie and royal icing. If you prefer to make a gingerbread version, you may refer to this recipe instead. Just to share some photos of the process...

Cookies iced with royal icing. I was working concurrently on something for my elder kid's birthday :). Use a stiffer icing for the hay by adding some icing sugar to the royal icing.

Details like adding shading effects and facial features were done using either edible marker with vodka wash or royal icing and a needle (the features like the eyes are really fine!)

Using edible marker and vodka wash is a lazy way of adding details without having to make royal icing of different colours and is therefore a time saver. Make sure the royal icing is thoroughly dried (preferably overnight) before using edible marker on the surface. You may refer to this post on how this is done. Over here, I have also created white paint to add on lighter shades or highlights. The white paint was made by dissolving some white gel food colouring in vodka.

Partially assembled houses. I used the stiff royal icing for the hay to act as glue.

Finally all done!

This bake is going to be the decoration for my coconut Gula Melaka Ah Ma sponge cakes. I will update this blog post with a photo of the nativity scene on the cake so stay tuned!

With lots of love,
Phay Shing
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Sunday, 10 December 2017

Cute Puppy Macarons

I have covered French and Swiss method of making macarons in my first two macaron classes with ToTT. Here's my first Italian method class at the start of 2018 and in time for ushering the year of the Dog!



This design is taken from my Creative Baking: Macarons book.


Those of you who have purchased the book and would like a hands on session with me for this, please mark your calendar for 26 Jan 3-6pm. I will cover the basics of Italian method, how to create this cute puppy design and how to make dark chocolate ganache filling for the macaron that is suitable for Singapore's weather.

Please click on this link to register.

With love,
Phay Shing
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Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Cupid Hello Kitty Strawberry & Dark Chocolate Macaron Carousels

I made not just one but two girly pink Hello Kitty macaron carousels! One regular sized and one downsized. Kitty is dressed up as a cupid this time :)


I used the non-reduced sugar macaron shell recipe but used icing sugar that already has cornflour added in. 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. You may refer to this post for the dimensions of the shells required to make the carousel and the respective baking times. I piped a scalloped roof like the one similar to the sheep macaron carousel as I think it's really pretty and it is very helpful for positioning the paper straws during the assembly. Checkout the sheep carousel post for detailed steps of assembly.

Just to share some photos of the process...

I piped carousel base and roof of different sizes as the carousels are of different sizes.

I piped the letters using macaron batter instead of my usual royal icing. I painted some gold and glitter lustre dust dissolved in vodka post-baking.

Piping the Kitty shells!

Freshly baked kitties! Check out the awesome feet!

The intricate bow and arrow and ribbon are made of royal icing.

Freshly baked circular shells for the carousel frame. Looking pretty in a stack :)

Dark chocolate flavour was requested but for aesthetics, I decided to add a layer of strawberry white chocolate so that it looks visually more pleasing when assembled. I used dark chocolate ganache for the circular shells in the middle, followed by dark chocolate and strawberry white chocolate. The latter outer layers do not contain heavy cream whereas the ganache does. You may refer to this recipe for dark chocolate ganache. I used about 80g worth of dark chocolate ganache.

Recipe for filling
Ingredients:
Dark chocolate
85g dark chocolate, chopped
20g vegetable shortening
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 tsp fine sea salt

Strawberry white chocolate
120g white chocolate, chopped
30g vegetable shortening
2 tsp strawberry emulco
3/8 tsp fine sea salt

Steps:
1. Place chocolate and shortening in a microwave safe bowl. Melt at medium power for 10-20 seconds and stir. Repeat until melted and smooth.

2. Add salt and mix well with spatula.

3. Gradually add flavouring and mix well. Note that adding strawberry paste/emulco all at one shot may cause the white chocolate to seize.

4. Transfer to piping bag and fill the shells.

Filling up Hello Kitty with dark chocolate and strawberry white chocolate 

Both recipients think it's too pretty to be eaten :p. The dilemma that comes with requesting for something as pretty as this from me!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Piglet and Pooh 'Ice Cream' Chiffon Cake Pops


Is it only me, or do you also see a heart shape? Lol =p This cute pair, Piglet and Pooh Ice Cream chiffon cake pops are definitely healthier than the real thing! I actually baked this sometime back but didn't get down to posting it.

This Pooh has quite a special local flavour. It is colored and flavored by Salted egg yolk! If you like salted egg yolk, you can also see my previous post on Salted egg yolk chicks. The pink is strawberry and the cones are lightly colored with cocoa powder (vanilla-cocoa flavored).

I baked the animals in oven-safe glass bowls and the cones in paper cones. The picture tutorials for Ice cream Chiffon Cake pops are actually in Creative baking: Chiffon Cakes book (1st chiffon book).


I divided by batter roughly into 3 parts (1:1:2) for the two different animals and cone.

Piglet and Pooh Ice Cream Chiffon Cake Pops
Egg yolk batter
2 egg yolks
13g castor sugar
26g vegetable/corn oil
28g water
3g vanilla extract
40g cake flour, sifted (Prima)
One boiled salted egg
Dip of strawberry paste/emulco
1/5 tsp cocoa powder

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

1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Mash one boiled salted egg.

Boiled Salted Egg Yolks I used

2. Prepare egg yolk batter:

a. Whisk egg yolk with sugar using hand whisk until light and well-mixed.

b. Add in oil first, then water and vanilla extract and mix well.

c. Whisk in sifted cake flour and whisk well, ensuring that no lumps are formed.

3. Divide the batter into 3 parts ie 1:1:2.

To the first portion, add the mashed salted egg. To the second portion, add a chopstick dip of strawberry paste/emulco. To the last portion, add approximately 1/5 tsp teaspoon cocoa powder. *You may substitute with your preferred food coloring/flavour, or adjust amounts to desired colour.

4. Prepare meringue:

a. In a grease-free, dry bowl, using electric mixer, whisk egg whites with cream of tartar till frothy.

b. Add in ½ castor sugar for meringue and whisk at high speed till soft peaks form - peaks slope downwards forming a hook.

c. Add in rest of the castor sugar for meringue and whisk till firm peaks form - peaks point up but slightly hooked at the tip.

5. Divide the meringue into 3 ie 1:1:2.

6. Fold in meringue gently into each colored egg yolk batter 1/3 at a time. *Fold in unidirectional, gentle strokes and do not overfold.

7. Fill the bowls with the salted egg and strawberry batter till 3/4 full. Fill the vanilla-cocoa batter into 2 paper cones. 

8. Bake at 160°C for 10 min then at 140°C for 20-25 min, or until skewer inserted into center of cakes come out clean.

9. Pour batters into 15-cm baking pan lined with baking paper. These are for cutting the ears and hands. Bake at 160°C for 15 min.

10. Allow to cool completely on wire rack, before unmolding by hand.

I used charcoal chiffon sheet cakes (from another bake) to cut out facial features using bento cutters. You can also pipe on using melted chocolate or nutella. I cut out ears from the sheet cakes and used melted marshmallows to stick everything together. You can also use melted white chocolate to stick them together.

With lots of love,
Susanne


Updates:

Post book launch event sharing (2/12/17). Thank you so much for all your love and support (even if you couldn't come, your words of encouragement are more than enough!)


















Deco Chiffon Cake books


Something nice to share, Deco Chiffon Cake Basics book on 20% discount at Popular for Popular member (till 10th Dec).


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Friday, 1 December 2017

Reindeer Chiffon Cake


This is another love at first sight for me! I fell in love with the cute Reindeer cakes that have been trending! This is the very first Reindeer Chiffon Cake =)! It’s made from chocolate chiffon cake, which the kids love. I made it for my niece’s birthday this week =). Can’t wait to show it to them!

It’s very similar to the Unicorn chiffon cake. The Reindeer was derived from the unicorn cake design I think. Briefly, I baked a low sugar chocolate chiffon cake in a 6-inch chiffon tube pan, then decorated the chiffon cake with a wreath made from leaves and flowers cut out from chiffon sheet cakes.

Chocolate Chiffon Cake (Low sugar, 6-inch tube pan)
2 egg yolks
23g sugar
30g vegetable oil
33 ml boiled water
3 ml vanilla extract
40g cake flour
13g cocoa powder
1/5 tsp baking powder
Pinch of baking soda
Pinch of salt

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

1. Preheat oven to 160°C (I used steam baking but it's optional).
2. Beat egg yolks with sugar with whisk till pale yellow before stirring in oil, water and vanilla extract.
3. Add in sieved flour, cocoa and baking powder and soda, and whisk till no trace of flour found.
4. Meringue: Beat the egg whites with ¼ tsp cream of tartar till firm peaks, mixing in caster sugar in 2 additions.
5. Fold in the meringue gently into the batter 1/3 at a time.
6. Scoop the batter into the chiffon tin and gently tap the tin on table to remove air bubbles
7. Bake the cake for 15 min at 160°C then 25 min at 140°C, or until skewer comes out clean.
8. Invert immediately once out of the oven and leave to cool on cooling rack.
9. Unmould the chiffon cake by hand (‘Hand Unmoulding Chiffon Cake for a Clean Finishing’ video tutorial).

For the reindeer "hair", I baked pandan chiffon batter (darker and lighter shades) as sheet cakes and then cut out leaves using a leaf cutter. The chiffon Christmas wreath cake can also be found in my second cookbook Deco Chiffon Cakes. You also refer to my previous post on Unicorn chiffon cake on how to make the "hair"; the unicorn uses flowers.


I will actually be demonstrating how to assemble the Christmas wreath and Christmas cupcakes actually at this Saturday’s book launch demo at Kinokuniya, Ngee Ann City (2nd Dec, 4-5pm). You will also get to taste my cake after that =p. Hope you will find it useful! 


With lots of love,
Susanne


*Deco Chiffon Cake Basics book on 20% discount at Popular for Popular member now!


Deco Chiffon Cake books


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Thursday, 30 November 2017

Coconut Gula Melaka Ah Mah Sponge Cake

My grandma loves Ah Mah sponge cake and I thought of making it for the extended family this Christmas instead of my usual log cake. But because it's my first time trying it, I thought I better do a trial bake. As I wanted to make a healthier but yummier version of the cake, I came up with this --- coconut Gula Melaka Ah Mah sponge cake!

Pardon the poor photography as I wasn't planning on blogging this at first. But the reviews from my guinea pigs were so good I had to share this!

Pardon the lengthy post as I want to share the rationale of choice of ingredients and the ratio. The original Ah Mah sponge cake or commonly known as Castella sponge cake nowadays (although this is different from the original Japanese Castella cake) contains just five basic ingredients: low protein flour, sugar, eggs, milk and corn oil (or canola oil). I decided to modify the recipe by replacing some of these ingredients with healthier options.

Coconut palm sugar (Gula Melaka), coconut cream and coconut oil

I replaced white sugar with coconut palm sugar, which has a glycemic index of only about a third of white sugar and contains extra vitamins and minerals that white sugar doesn't have. This makes the cake much more fragrant and tasty but healthier and diabetic friendly at the same time! I replaced corn oil with coconut oil. This also has the effect of imparting a wonderful coconuty aroma, as well as provide various health benefits that are too many for me to list here. You may click on this link to find out what health benefits there are. Replacement of milk with coconut cream or coconut milk adds flavour to the cake. If you are really health conscious, you may stick with low fat milk or coconut milk which is lower in fat content. Coconut cream has a higher fat content but keeps your cake really moist.

I studied quite a few recipes and found that Ah Mah cake is really just cooked dough chiffon cake. There are various ratios of ingredients that different recipes have but I came up with my version of what I think is the best compromise between stability and moistness of the cake. Most recipes use a flour: liquid ratio of around 0.67. Liquid includes oil and milk. A fellow homebaker Angela Low shared with me her favourite recipe for cheese Ah Mah cake with ratio of around 0.56 but with the cheese powder considered part of the "liquid" portion. She shared that it's the most moist she has tried. Higher ratio results in cakes with better structural stability but also drier texture. I decided to use a ratio of 0.6 as a compromise.

Just a note, the cake I baked is actually scaled to a 5-egg recipe as I didn't want to "waste" too much resources on a trial bake. The cake could have been taller if I used a 6-egg recipe for this size of baking tray. Just in case you wonder how come my cake doesn't appear that tall 😅.

There are variations in the method of baking from the recipes I researched. Some use water bath method to steam bake. Some line the sides of the baking tray with cardboard pieces to insulate the walls of the baking tray. I choose to do what I always do with my chiffon cake bakes, which is to place a tray of water at the base of the oven to create steam as well as allow the cake to rise more slowly.

Coconut Gula Melaka Ah Mah sponge cake
Ingredients (makes one 7x7" cake):
Egg yolk batter
84g coconut oil
108g cake flour
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp baking powder (optional)
96g coconut cream/coconut milk (I used one 65ml (63g) packet of coconut cream and topped up the rest with fresh milk)
6 egg yolks

Meringue
6 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar (or a few drops of lemon juice)
66g Gula Melaka (you may finely chop from those in block form or buy the powdered version. You may increase up to 78g if you have a sweet tooth. Mine is a less sweet version)

Steps:
1. Line the baking tray with parchment paper. Place a tray of water at base of oven. Set oven rack to lowest or second lowest position. Preheat oven to 145℃.

2. Sift flour, salt and baking powder together in a large bowl. Set aside.

3. Heat oil in small saucepan to 70℃ (or for two minutes in microwave oven as I have seen from a recipe). Pour into flour mixture. Whisk until smooth. Gradually add coconut cream and whisk/ beat with electric mixer at low speed until well combined. The batter will become thick and dough-like at this stage. Add one egg yolk at a time into the mixture and beat until well combined and smooth.

Egg yolk batter

4. Prepare the meringue. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add Gula melaka and beat until firm peaks form.

Gula melaka meringue

5. Add about a third of the meringue into egg yolk batter and fold in with a whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture into the rest of the meringue. Use a spatula to gently fold the meringue into the egg yolk batter until batter is smooth.

6. Pour into prepared baking tray and smooth the top of the batter with a spatula. Tap the tray on the table a few times to release trapped air bubbles. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

7. Remove from baking tray and cool completely before slicing.

Cutting the cooled cake!

The person who was my willing guinea pig shared the cake with her mother in law, colleagues and boss. This was the combined feedback I got:

"I gave my mother in law and colleagues to eat. Feedback all said very nice. Can taste the distinct gula melaka, not too sweet and also not oily. Two say taste like steam cake. My boss likes it and had two. I like it very much and took two myself because the aftertaste not sweet, didn’t trigger phlegm."

She also added that the cake was really moist, unlike most chiffon cakes that she has eaten which she finds dry and hard to swallow.

How can I not share this recipe after I receive this feedback :p. Do give this a try if you love Gula Melaka flavoured cakes!

Update: the cake is so good the boss wanted to order more from me but I don't have the capacity to squeeze in 😅

With love,
Phay Shing



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Monday, 27 November 2017

Chalkboard Brown Sugar Cookies

This is the fourth and final in my series of cookie baking classes for kids --- chalkboard brown sugar cookies!


What better way to kick start a new school year than to learn how to make these yummy and fun 100% edible treats! The chalkboard and chalk are made of edible materials and trust me, all who have received my iced brown sugar cookies over the past few years that I have been baking for sale have given very good reviews in terms of taste.

Kids will learn how to make yummy brown sugar cookies, how to make royal icing and ice the cookies, and how to make the edible chalk. This awesome idea is inspired by Ashlee Marie so I can't take credit for it. But nothing beats having a live demo and having a hands-on session to learn how to make this!

This class is open for kids aged 5-12 years old with an adult accompanying. Please click on this link to register for the class at ToTT.

With love,
Phay Shing

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Sunday, 26 November 2017

Sushi Platter Chiffon Cake


This was one crazy cake to make! And I made two of it! Lol

Instead of just 'Sushi' Chiffon Cake, this round is a 'Sushi Platter' haha. In total I made over 45 sushi!

I have already shared the recipe for 'Sushi' and the 'Wood-style' design chiffon cake in my previous Sushi Chiffon Cake post. I only add in some 'tuna' this round =p.

Hope you have a blessed week ahead!

With lots of love,
Susanne


Updates

*New Deco Chiffon Cake Basics Book launch event on 2nd Dec 2018, 4pm at Kinokuniya, Ngee Ann City! 

Taken from kinokuniya instagram. Book will be on 20% discount at Kinokuniya that day =)



*Deco Chiffon Cake Basics book on 20% discount at Popular for Popular member now!


Deco Chiffon Cake books

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Friday, 24 November 2017

Superhero Themed Vanilla Macarons (Tips on how to colour shells deep red and black)

I have a request for superhero themed macarons for a little boy!
He loves vanilla so I filled the shells with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream

The purpose of this blog post is to share how I achieve a deep shade of black and red when making black and red macaron shells. Certain shades of colour may be difficult to achieve if you don't know how to and these two colours are examples. I will also share how I decorated the shells with adequate precision by hand.

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.

Although I used the Italian method, the ratios specified here should be applicable for French and Swiss methods as well.

For black colour, add 1g of charcoal powder for every 10g of almond meal along with an additional generous chopstick dip of black gel food colouring for every 30g of almond meal.

For red colour, use 1/2 tsp red yeast powder* for every 45g almond meal, and 1/8-1/4 tsp red powder colouring for every 90g almond meal. I use the red powder colouring easily available from supermarkets that is more for local desserts such as Ang Ku Kuih as a little bit goes a long way. I use in combination with gel as I find powder alone tends to stain my fingers and baking paper. This is more of personal preference so you may stick with just powder colouring. I add a drop of red gel colouring for every 30g almond meal.

*Red yeast powder doesn't colour the batter much but serves to dull down the brightness of super red artificial colouring and give it a more earthy tone. Note that too much red yeast powder will cause meringue to deflate and results in denser macaron shells. Omit this if you are unable to obtain it. I prefer using natural sources wherever possible.

Just to share some photos of the process...

Piping the various shapes

Freshly baked shells. Check out the feet!

In order to get nice identical logo prints on the shells, I made stencils out of paper by cutting out the shapes with a craft knife. I traced the outlines using edible marker (yellow colour to match the royal icing colour), and then decorate with royal icing. Feel free to use a toothpick to nudge the icing where necessary. To give it a slightly glittery effect, I brushed on a little gold dust on the yellow icing after it is dried.

Decorating Superman shells

Decorating Batman shells

The fine webbing of Spiderman was done using a fine tipped edible marker.

Really tedious to draw by freehand. I took on an average of 8-10 minutes for each one!

Keep a picture of Spiderman's head right next to your macaron shell so that you can copy each line as accurately as possible. I treated the web pattern like a complicated Chinese character and "wrote" it as such :p. After a couple of heads, I get the hang of it and memorized the steps to "write" the web pattern.

Spiderman's eyes were added on with royal icing.

I filled the shells with reduced-sugar vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream.


With love,
Phay Shing

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