Wednesday, 17 January 2018

2D and 3D Hedgehog Berry Jam and Dark Chocolate Macarons

I have a request for hedgehog macarons filled with dark chocolate ganache and various berry jams!

I had to use a filter from Instagram to create a photo that has colour closer to the actual macarons.

Both 2D and 3D versions! This was the original photo taken, which had a yellow hue

Pardon the poor photography as it has been really rainy and gloomy lately so I couldn't make use of natural sunlight to take pictures.

The 2D version of the hedgehog is modelled after a little boy's favourite stuffed toy. Mummy wanted some 3D hedgehogs as well so I included them as well. I first made 3D hedgehog macarons last year. Since I have bought another silicone mat with smaller hemispheres, I made little hedgehogs too! The inspiration to make each critter wear or hold a berry came about because I thought there should be a way to identify what type of jam filling is in each macaron since the jam is not visible from the outside.

This is the third time I am making 3D hedgehog macarons so I am ready to disclose a bit more detail on how it's done for those of you who are interested to try.

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...

Piping the 2D hedgehog

Piping the base shells for the 3D hedgehog

I think what you would really be interested in is how I piped the 3D shells...


First pipe some coloured batter at the rough positions of the face and body using light and dark brown batter. Do not pipe too much as the batter will tend to flow downwards naturally anyway. Use a toothpick to nudge the batter downwards to fill the hemisphere. It's a little tricky to know how much batter to pipe but with practice you will get the hang of it. You can always add more batter if there's not enough but if you piped too much, it will spread around the base and look more like flying saucer shape than hemispherical.  Pipe a little blob for the snout (3rd picture) and use a toothpick to smooth it out.  Use a toothpick to pull the dark brown batter for the jagged edges around the joining of the two colours. Let this base dry for about 15 minutes or until a sticky membrane forms.


Pipe the spikes and ears. Rest the shells until dry to touch before baking.

These are the smaller hedgehogs!

Baking time for hemispherical shells are much longer than regular macaron shells due to the shape and the fact that the hump of the silicone is not in direct contact with the metal baking tray. The shells must be totally dried out as well or it will be impossible to unmould without shattering the shells. Reduce temperature to around 110℃ after 15 min of baking and continue to bake for another 30 min to an hour or more as necessary. Thoroughly baked shells should be fairly easy to remove from the moulds. Don't worry about overbaking it. Simply let the shells mature for a longer time with filling, or brush the inner surface with milk or syrup before filling it.

Freshly baked shells!

I made some royal icing raspberries, blueberries and strawberries as identifiers for the type of jam filling in the macarons.

I made them concurrently with food items for some Pusheen macarons which I will post in the near future. I cheated a little for the strawberries by using red heart shaped sprinkles as the base. I just added the seeds and leaves. I put my thumb there to show just how tiny these things are!


The shells were decorated with black royal icing and edible marker. The berries were glued on with royal icing too.

I filled the macarons with an outer layer of dark chocolate ganache and berry jam filling in the middle. I made raspberry, strawberry and blueberry jams from scratch. You may refer to this post for the raspberry jam recipe. You may use the same recipe for strawberry and blueberry jams. Adjust the amount of sugar accordingly. If your fruit is sweeter, you may want to add less sugar. Raspberry is the most sour of the lot.

Cooking the strawberries and blueberries to make jams

Jams in piping bags

Turn the hemispherical shells over onto the silicone mould as support when you fill it.


Coat the insides with a layer of dark chocolate ganache. Fill the center with jam.


Cover the jam with more dark chocolate ganache.


Fill the bottom round shells with chocolate ganache.

Filling the 2D shells too!

Cover the hemispherical shells with the bottom round shell before flipping it over the right side up. Store the macarons in airtight container in the fridge for at least 24h before consuming.

With love,
Phay Shing

Read More »

Saturday, 13 January 2018

12 Zodiac Animals 'Yusheng' Chiffon Cake


The 12 Zodiac animals gathering together for a “Lo Hei” reunion before the Dog takes over the Rooster for the year! =)

All the animals are made from small chiffon cake pops and the “yu sheng” was also cut from chiffon cake! It was a lot of work crafting the animals and “yu sheng” but it was a work of love and a joy for me =). Thankful it was well-received!

The animals going for a Merry-go-round here!

The base cake is a 7-inch Lemon Vanilla Chiffon Cake.

I used this recipe:

Lemon Vanilla Chiffon Cake (7-inch chiffon tin)
4 egg yolks
26g sugar
53g corn/vegetable oil
52ml water boiled with lemon zest (1 lemon)
80g cake flour
7ml vanilla extract
Few drops of natural yellow food coloring (Magic colours) *optional

5 egg whites
60g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven at 160°C. *I used steam baking like ogura cakes but it is optional.

2. Beat egg yolks with sugar with whisk till pale yellow before stirring in oil, boiled water with lemon zest and vanilla extract.

3. Add in sieved flour 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 chiffon tin and gently tap on table to remove air bubbles.

7. Bake for 160°C 15 min, then 140°C 30 min, or until skewer inserted into centre comes clean.

8. Invert once out of the oven and unmould by hand when cake is cool (see 'hand unmolding chiffon cakes for a smooth finishing' video).

The animals were baked in cake pop molds like these.


I used a 1 egg recipe (recipe above, divided by 4), and divided the egg yolk batter into 7 colours for the different animals (cream, pink, orange, yellow, green, light brown, dark brown). Similarly, divide the meringue into 7 equal portions and fold into egg yolk batter. Bake a different colour in each cake pop mold. For some animals eg horse and snake, I filled the mold with 2 colours. Bake for 12+ min at 160°C.

The rest of the details were cut from leftover batter poured and combined into baking trays lined with baking paper. You can pipe on the eyes using melted chocolate coloured with charcoal powder or cut from charcoal sheet cake using a yakult straw. Stick on the details using some melted marshmallow.


For the Yu Sheng, I baked another 1 egg recipe as sheet cake and divided into 5 colours (for each of the different “ingredient” (cream, pink, orange, green, red) as above. Then I sliced the sheet cakes finely to make the “yu sheng”, again using melted marshmallow to stick them on.

Don't they look happy? =) Wishing everyone ahead a happy and healthy happy lunar year!


**Updated (14/1/18): Merry-go-round Instagram Video here!

With lots of love,
Susanne


Updates

New Chinese Edition of my Best Selling Deco Chiffon Cake Basics coming in mid-Jan 2018!
- Popular, Kinokuniya and all major bookstores (similar to English version)
- Will be sold worldwide as well


             3rd book (Basics techniques)        2nd book (Deco)           1st book (Rainbow)


Read More »

Friday, 12 January 2018

Chinese New Year Doggie Raspberry Jam Dark Chocolate Macarons

Here is my version of doggie macarons for Chinese New Year to welcome the Year of the Dog!


It's been a crazily busy week with trial bake at the studio and a few macaron requests. Unfortunately the weather has been gloomy lately so I can't get good lighting for taking photos from natural sunlight. Pardon the poor photography :p. The design of the dogs is inspired by some cute wechat emojis. I added the Ang pao and Chinese characters to suit the festive season; an upside down 福, 旺 and 吉.

I made these doggies along with some hedgehog and Pusheen macarons, which I will post in the near future.

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

Adding facial features with edible marker

Adding in details with royal icing 

Checkout the awesome feet!

I filled the macarons with a ring of dark chocolate ganache and raspberry jam in the middle. You may refer to this post for dark chocolate ganache recipe. I made the raspberry jam from scratch.

Recipe for raspberry jam
Ingredients:
100g Fresh raspberries
25g Caster sugar*
A pinch of salt
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp of cornstarch dissolved in a bit of water (optional)

*Adjust according to taste. Note that you may want to make it more sour as it is paired with sweet macaron shells

Steps:
1. Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer and stir continuously for 15-20 min or until thickened.

2. If the jam is still too watery for your liking, you may add cornstarch slurry to thicken it.

3. Cool completely and sieve out the seeds. Store in fridge until ready to use. You may make this a few weeks ahead of time if stored in airtight container.


4. Transfer to piping bag and fill the macaron shells as desired. Note that the part of the shell in contact with the jam will soften faster than buttercream or ganache filling so best to consume the macarons within a week of assembly.



With love,
Phay Shing

Read More »

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Baby Panda Rainbow Chiffon Cake


How's everyone? =) I've been really busy with kids after school reopening so posting less, so sorry about it. Thank God for helping to cope each day by His grace =).

Hope everyone is having a blessed 2018!

A bit about the cake, I made this quite sometime back and posted on my instagram but forgot to post on the blog here. The Rainbow Chiffon Cake is my trademark creation that is very special to me =). It is on the cover of my 1st book Creative baking: Chiffon Cakes, where I have shared the recipe.

This baby panda is inspired by the tarepanda which I made few years back. This baby panda is now in my 2nd book Deco Chiffon Cakes. The Lollipops decorating the cake are made from chiffon cake pops. Chiffon lollipops (also from the book) video tutorial is here below.




Hope this brightens up your day and that you enjoy making it!

With lots of love,
Susanne



                          3rd book (Basics)      2nd book (Panda/lollipops)   1st book (Rainbow)

New Chinese Edition of Best Selling Deco Chiffon Cake Basics coming in mid-Jan 2018



Read More »

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Choo-Choo Train Macarons (Italian method class)

I am conducting another Italian method macaron class with ToTT and chose the train design since some people requested for it.


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



I placed the level of difficulty of this class at intermediate as some basic knowledge and experience of macaron making would be helpful (although not absolutely necessary) before attending this class. I aim to focus on how to make a few or many different colours from a single batch of batter and how to pipe complex shapes such as the train locomotive and carriages. I will cover the use of royal icing for decorating the shells post baking as well. The filling is kept at a basic type (orange dark chocolate ganache) due to the focus on technique of making the shells.

Please click on this link to register for the class which will be held at the Suntec studio.

With love,
Phay Shing
Read More »

Saturday, 6 January 2018

'Nasi Lemak' Chiffon Cake


What is your favorite comfort food for breakfast?? 💖

Our family loves the Nasi Lemak, our local rice dish with lots of yummy sides like fried chicken, eggs, sausage, luncheon meat, long beans, cucumbers, and not forgetting the must-have chilli!! 🌶🍗🥓🍳💕

This is actually made entirely from Chiffon Cake, including the Plate! =p Hope this made you smile! 😆

Rice: Vanilla Coconut Chiffon Cake. Recipe here. Baked in a ball mold.

Plate: Orange Chiffon Cake, baked in a 10-inch round pan. Recipe here.

Luncheon meat, Sausages and Chicken drumstick: Vanilla-Chocolate Chiffon Cake, baked as sheets, roll and also carved out.

Cucumber and Long beans: Pandan Chiffon Cake, with pandan juice and paste (for darker colour). Cucumber from cupcake liners.

Egg: Vanilla-Chocolate Chiffon Cake with marbling effect (marble the chocolate chiffon batter).

Chilli: Make small holes in cake pop from Strawberry Chiffon Cake batter.


Have a delicious week! =)

With lots of love,
Susanne



Exciting Updates!
New Chinese Edition of Best Selling Deco Chiffon Cake Basics is coming mid-Jan 2018!!

English Books:




Read More »

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Coconut Gula Melaka Ah Mah Sponge Cake Doggies with Chiffon 'Mandarin Oranges'

My first bake of the new year and since it's the Year of the Dog, I made some cupcake doggies along with  chiffon Mandarin oranges!


I was curious to know if Ah Mah sponge cakes can be shaped and worked with like regular chiffon sponges so I decided to experiment with it and was pleasantly surprised! Afterall, Ah Mah sponge cakes are nothing more than cooked dough chiffon cakes with the same number of egg yolks and whites used. I have baked large coconut Gula Melaka Ah Mah cakes on two occasions and both times it was very well received. You may find the recipe here. Since the Gula melaka cake has a natural warm light brown colour, I decided to use the same recipe (with minor tweaks) as the doggie body base.

I will focus on how the doggies are made in the post. I have made the chiffon Mandarin oranges every year since I came up with it in 2014 so this is the fifth consecutive year that I am making these babies. You may refer to this post for the video tutorial on how to make the oranges. Do note that I updated the method of shaping the oranges to make them look neater last year.

Recipe for coconut Gula Melaka sponge cupcakes 

Notes:
The number of doggies depends on the size of cupcake cases and size of the hemispherical moulds you use to bake the cakes. You may use silicone moulds or eggshells to bake if you don't have the  glass or metal moulds on hand. Just make sure you remove the inner membrane of the eggshells before baking in it. In my actual bake, I separated the bake into two rounds of baking instead of the one round I am sharing here for your convenience. I baked the coloured thin layer cake another day, froze it and defrosted it when I was ready to assemble. You may also choose to separate the bake if you find it easier to manage.

Here are the moulds and shape cutters I used to create the doggies.

Glass moulds have outer diameter of 8.5cm and 7cm. Metal hemispherical mould has outer diameter of 6cm.

I used a 44x35mm cupcake case for the smaller dog and 50x40mm cupcake case for the larger dog.

The recipe I am going to share is slightly different from the original one I posted in November last year as this version has more Gula Melaka. I wanted to make a more stable meringue so I chose to use 12g of Gula Melaka per egg instead of 11g.

Ingredients (makes about 4 doggies):
Egg yolk batter
42g coconut oil
56g cake flour, sifted into large bowl
1/6 tsp salt
48g coconut cream/coconut milk
3 egg yolks

Meringue
3 egg whites
1/5 tsp cream of tartar
36g powdered Gula Melaka (or very finely chopped Gula Melaka)

Colouring
1/2 tsp Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 tsp charcoal
A few drops of white gel food colouring
2 drops red gel food colouring
1/8 tsp red yeast powder (optional)

Steps:
1. Line a small baking tray with baking paper. I don't specify a size here as you just need to make a very thin layer cake of different colours for the body parts (ears, snout, paws) and collar. 8x8" tray should be sufficient. Larger tray is also fine. Preheat oven to 150℃ and set oven rack to lowest position. You may place a tray of water at base of oven if you wish to steam bake.

2. Heat oil in small saucepan until 70℃ or until you are able to see swirl lines in the oil but not yet bubbling. Pour into flour and whisk until well combined

3. Gradually add in coconut cream and salt and whisk until well combined. Mixture will be very thick so use an electric mixer if you need to. Add one yolk at a time and whisk until well combined.

4. In small mixing bowls, portion out 2 tsp of egg yolk batter for dark brown, 1 tsp for black, 1 tsp for white and 2 tsp for red. Add the respective colouring to the portioned batter and mix well. The red yeast powder is for red colour.

5. Make the meringue. Use an electric mixer to beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks form, gradually adding Gula Melaka along the way.

6. Quickly but gently fold in two leveled tbs of meringue for every tsp of yolk batter. Fold the remaining meringue into the main batter in three additions. Fill the hemispherical moulds till about 80% full. Carefully spoon out the different coloured batters on the baking tray and level it with the back of the spoon to form a thin layer. Remember to spoon out some light brown batter on the tray too for the paws. The red coloured portion should be a long strip as the collar is a long and narrow rectangle cutout.

7. Bake the layer cake for 10min or until baked through. Immediately remove from baking tray and cool with another baking sheet over it. Reduce temperature to 135℃ and bake the hemispherical cakes until skewer comes out clean. Baking time depends on your oven and whether steam baking was used (I did) so use mine only as a reference. I baked the smallest cake for 35min, medium sized cake for 40min and largest cake for 45min. Cool the cakes completely in the moulds before gently unmoulding by hand.

Cakes baked in metal mould

8. Shape the hemispherical cakes by inverting them back into the moulds they were baked in. This will give it a nice rounded bottom. Let it sit in that position for at least 15-20 min.


In the mean time, cut out the various parts from layer cake using shape cutters or knife/ bench scraper.

Cutting out the eyes, nose and mouth

I made the pendant on the collar from flower shaped sprinkles that had been spray painted with gold paint. Prepare marshmellow glue by melting marshmellows with a sprinkling of water. Place the largest cake as the body inside the 50x40mm cupcake case and the medium sized cake as the body inside the 44x35mm cupcake case. Insert 2 toothpicks in the body to act as dowels. Attach the head on. The head is one cake size smaller than the body. Glue on the collar and pendant, followed by the paws. Use a small fruit knife to cut the toes on the paws. Attach the parts on the face.

Almost done! Without the ears, hubby says it looks like a mole!

Brush on a bit of sugar syrup to keep the cake moist (dissolve 10g sugar in 20g hot water). And you are done! Store in the fridge in airtight condition. The cake can keep for a few days.

Just to share a work in progress photo of the oranges...

The "Mandarin oranges" before adding details of the stem.

Have a blessed Year of the Dog!

With love,
Phay Shing


Read More »