Thursday, 21 September 2017

Reduced-sugar Earl Grey Bear Macarons with Dark Chocolate Ganache

Those of you who have been wanting to take macaron classes from me, I am pleased to announce that it is going to take place at ToTT at Dunearn Road in late October :). Check out the details here at ToTT's website.


For a start, I will be sharing how to make macarons using the simplest method --- the French method. Focus will be made on basic techniques, as well as how to create simple cute bear head with some 3D pop-up features. I will be sharing a reduced sugar recipe to create macarons that are less sweet than what is commercially sold.

This cute design is suitable for occasions such as Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day or simply just to say "I love you" or "You are beary cute!" ;).

Places are limited so do book your slot as soon as you can!

With love,
Phay Shing





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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Cinamoroll Chiffon Pudding Cake


Happy birthday to my dearest hubby! He's the best who asks me to make what I like for his birthday lol! =p I truly thank God for him and he is my best curator, advisor and support. And a great daddy too! Back to the creation, when I first saw this Cinamoroll from sanrio, my heart just melted. I finally got to make it today.

My base 'pudding' cake is a still bit experimental so I will be sharing about this at a later time =). For the Cinamoroll rabbit, I used the same reduced egg white chiffon recipe as my Miffy.

With lots of love,
Susanne


*Updates: Those who preordered the new Basics book below, I should be getting the books by this weekend! Weee... Thank you so much for your kind support again!! <3



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Monday, 18 September 2017

Minion Coconut Macaron Cake Toppers

I made these Minion macaron cake toppers for Susanne's elder daughter's birthday a while back :).


This was a bake done concurrently with the Gudetama coconut macarons using a reduced-sugar Swiss method recipe so you may refer to that post for details of the recipe.

Just to share some photos of the process...

Piping the shells!

A darker blue was used for the overalls so that I can paint over lighter blue on the baked shells to create a denim-like texture. The paint was made by dissolving blue and white gel food colouring in some vodka. I painted some streaks or highlights on the overalls to create the denim texture. The other details were added on using royal icing or edible marker.

Filling the shells with coconut white chocolate ganache.

It brought a smile to my face to know that the little girl loved the macarons very much :)

With lots of love,
Auntie Phay Shing

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Sunday, 17 September 2017

Disney Princess Tier Chiffon Cake


3 tier Princess tier Chiffon Cake fit for a princess! 

I made this for a close friend's daughter. She's in the mummies group which started me on my baking journey and I'm forever so grateful for them!! <3  

The party theme was Disney princess fairytales so the top tier was inspired by Cinderella (see my previous work on Cinderella carriage chiffon cake), middle by Aurora. As for the bottom tier, do you find it familiar?

Yes it's Beauty and the Beast-themed =). With different colours, I got to make different flavours so that there's a flavour for everyone! The top is vanilla, middle is strawberry-vanilla, and bottom is lemon chiffon, made with lemon zest and juice =).And coloured naturally as well! 

For this cake, I am using the awesome Magic colours Natural coloring range that was generously gifted. This type of coloring is also stocked by Bake king in Singapore. Do take note that different colours have varying intensities so different amounts are required, but their yellow, as seen on the cake above, is truly outstanding and red, lovely as well. I have yet to test out all their new colours =). 




I also got to try out the bead-imprint design for the Aurora tier finally. I've done cuts and beads previously actually, but never had the guts to do it for the entire cake! It was quite a lot of work but thank God it worked out well.

This is one of the few times I'm at the actual celebration of the cake I make =). So I actually get to take a picture of a cut slice! This is the half eaten slice from my son's plate, pardon the messy slice as I didn't stop him fast enough =p. 

Thank God cake was very well-received and the party was wonderful. And there was lots of love!! That is what really encourages me to continue to make these loving creations! 



Have a blessed week ahead!

With lots of love,
Susanne


   


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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Ondeh-Ondeh with Pandan Kaya Gula Melaka Chiffon Cake (sweetened only with coconut palm sugar!)

I have wondered about baking chiffon cakes without relying on caster sugar or artificial sweeteners for quite a long while but didn't get to try it until this bake for my dad's birthday. Presenting my pandan kaya Gula Melaka chiffon cake made using only coconut palm sugar as sweetener! I paired the cake with a simple and yummy deco of Japanese and purple sweet potato ondeh-ondeh balls, making the whole dessert absolutely free from white sugar :)


Gula Melaka or coconut palm sugar has a glycemic index that is about a third of white sugar, making it a more diabetic friendly choice while being from a natural source. This doesn't mean that diabetics should then binge on desserts made with Gula Melaka. Everything is still best taken in moderation. But it does mean that I am able to bake a birthday cake for my parents, who have to watch their direct sugar intake, more guilt-free.

I hid more Ondeh-Ondeh balls in the hole of the chiffon cake but accidentally cut a hole in the hidden ball when cutting the cake...Oops! :P...


...Or maybe not so oops! The oozy, delectable Gula Melaka from ondeh-ondeh is soaked up by the Pandan Gula Melaka chiffon sponge below so the yummy stuff is not wasted. Needless to say, that part of the cake was delicious!

Here's a close-up view of a slice of cake...

Super yummy!

I am not kidding when I said everyone finished the cake and Ondeh-Ondeh in less than 10 minutes with second helpings included. That's after a buffet meal too! Cake is soft and spongey but very moist so hubby loved it even though he doesn't like chiffon cakes in general. The Ondeh-Ondeh still remained soft despite being kept overnight in the fridge due to the use of sweet potatoes. Overall very satisfying :).

Recipe for Pandan Gula Melaka chiffon cake (white sugar-free)
Ingredients (makes one 15cm chiffon cake):
2 egg yolks
15g Gula melaka, chopped (more if you prefer sweeter and stronger flavour)
23g coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
13g pandan juice
21g coconut milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp pandan paste (optional)
40g cake flour
Pinch of salt

3 egg whites
33g fine coconut palm sugar*
1/5 tsp cream of tartar

*Here's the coconut palm sugar that I use for the meringue. It is as fine as caster sugar so can be easily used as caster sugar substitute. If you can't find it, you may chop Gula Melaka from the block as finely as you can. It doesn't matter if there are small lumps of Gula melaka. They will turn up as little pools of delectable stuff in the cake ;).


Steps:
1. Place coconut milk, pandan juice and chopped Gula melaka in a small saucepan. Heat until all the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool. Add vanilla extract and pandan paste.

2. Set oven rack to second lowest position, place a tray of water at the base of the oven (optional. For steam baking). Preheat oven to 160℃.

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

4. Prepare the meringue. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks form, gradually adding in sugar once the egg whites are foamy.

Palm sugar meringue

5. Quickly but gently fold the meringue into the egg yolk batter in three batches. Pour the batter slowly into the chiffon tin to allow any big air bubbles to pop. Gently tap the tin on the table a few times.

6. Bake for 5 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 140℃ and bake for another 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 120℃ and bake for another 15 minutes or until skewer comes out clean and top of cake bounces back when lightly pressed. Note that oven temperature and time is a guideline as every oven is different. Steam baking time is also longer than without steam. Invert immediately to cool. I mould by hand.

Freshly baked chiffon!

I sliced the cake into three portions of equal thickness.

Recipe for Gula Melaka pudding
Ingredients:
A)
120g coconut milk (may replace with evaporated milk)
63g pandan water
31g Gula Melaka, chopped
1/2 tsp agar powder
A pinch of salt
1/8 tsp caramel essence (optional)
1/8 tsp vanilla extract

B)
13g custard powder
65g pandan water

Steps:
1. Mix ingredients in B) in a jug. Set aside.

2. Place all ingredients in A) in a small saucepan and stir while bringing to a boil.

3. Stir B) again and slowly pour into A). Keep stirring the mixture over medium low heat until it boils again. Stir and boil for another two minutes before removing from heat.

4. Sieve the pudding mixture into a bowl. Assemble with cake immediately.

In order to retain the hole in the middle so that I could hide some Ondeh-Ondeh inside, I used flexible plastic meant for wrapping around sides of cakes to create two rings. One outer and one inner ring as shown below. Alternate cake and pudding layers. I used a spoon to carefully pour pudding in.


5. Chill in fridge for an hour or until firm. Carefully remove the plastic pieces.

Pandan kaya Gula melaka chiffon cake!

The sweet potato Ondeh-Ondeh can be found in this blog post. I will just highlight how to create the swirl design here.

Stack the different coloured dough together and roll until about 12cm long. Roll it up.

Cut the roll into half with a knife of bench scraper.

Place cut side down and flatten slightly. Place a compacted ball of chopped Gula Melaka in the middle

Wrap up the Gula melaka and pinch seal. And there you have Ondeh-Ondeh balls with swirls!

Boil the assembled balls and coat lightly with some shredded coconut.

I let the Ondeh-Ondeh cool before hiding two of them in the hole

Look what's hiding!

So give this cake a try if you are looking at making a yummy birthday cake that uses no white sugar. You may bake the chiffon as thin layer cake and cut into a few pieces if you wish, instead of a tall chiffon cake. Baking time will be shorter of course.

With lots of love,
Phay Shing


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Sunday, 10 September 2017

Chiffon Mooncakes (Chocolate)


I dressed up some Peanut Butter Chiffon Cakes as Mooncakes last year as gifts for teachers and friends! They were such a hit, I was requested to make these again =p.

This year, I played around with different flavour pairings - Chocolate Chiffon Cake as the "Chocolate lotus paste" and both Strawberry Jam (pink) and Pandan Kaya (green) Chiffon Cakes baked as sheets as the "Skin".

You can refer to the same method/pictures to make the Mooncake Chiffon Cake from last year, except I substituted the 4-inch Peanut Butter Chiffon Cake recipe for Low Sugar Chocolate Chiffon Cake recipe. The Strawberry Jam skin used is the same. Recipe for the green Pandan Kaya Chiffon Cake has been shared here (scale down to 2 egg recipe for the sheet cake).

Hope you like these cute creations!

PS: I also made real lotus paste Snowskin mooncakes this year too, using olive oil (instead of shortening). Hop on to my previous post if you like Miffy =)

With lots of love,
Susanne



**Preorders for Deco Chiffon Cakes Basics will be closing today (10/9/17). 
Thanks for your overwhelming support!**



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Friday, 8 September 2017

Rainbow Swirl Custard Snowskin Mooncake (100% natural colouring and no 糕粉 used)

I decided not to make any mooncakes this year so I didn't buy any 糕粉 (cooked glutinous rice flour that is only available at specialty baking supply stores) or premade mooncake fillings. BUT my hands started to itch and I had an impromptu session of making these naturally coloured custard snowskin mooncakes, in rainbow swirls!

Pardon the crumbly looking filling as I was in a hurry to take photos and didn't refrigerate the assembled mooncakes before cutting open.

Here's a much nicer view of the insides after storing in the fridge for one and a half days...

Texture of both filling and snowskin remains smooth on the tongue :)

The snowskin stayed soft after three days of storage and the flavour of this custard snowskin mooncake mellowed with storage and tasted better.

Here's a peek at the insides after 4 days...

The filling gets smoother with storage time.

Many thanks to Kenneth Goh for sharing his recipe for making snowskin mooncakes without using gao fen (糕粉) or I will have to make my itchy hands itch for a longer time and upset my schedule more :p. I also adapted the custard filling recipe from his blog. The recipes I type here for both snowskin and custard filling are adapted from Kenneth's recipe.

I followed the quantities suggested in Kenneth's blog without calculation of scaling of ingredients so I had a bit of leftover snowskin dough.

I made custard snowskin mooncake 3 years ago in the shape of mini apples and using another recipe. You may refer to it in this post.

Natural food colouring for snowskin

The night before I made the snowskin, I prepared some pandan juice and blue pea flower tea. I let the pandan juice settle and soaked the flowers overnight in hot water before squeezing out the flowers. I happen to have both pandan and blue pea flower on hand so I didn't need to buy ;).

Use only the concentrated green part of pandan juice that settled to the bottom.

I used pumpkin powder and purple sweet potato powder for orange and purple colour. You may use beetroot juice for pink but I didn't have that at home so I made use of some chemistry to create the pink. When purple sweet potato comes into contact with an acid, it turns hot pink. So I add lemon juice to the purple sweet potato dough to create a pink hue. I have both pumpkin powder and purple sweet potato powder at home so I didn't need to hunt for those.

Custard filling recipe
Ingredients (makes about 12-14 mooncakes fillings):
2 eggs
2tbs (20g) sugar
2tbs (15g) custard powder
40g melted butter (I used unsalted)
50g cake flour or low protein flour (original recipe is 60g)
125g fresh milk (or evaporated milk)
A pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Steps:
1. Sift cake flour and custard powder in a mixing bowl. Add sugar and salt and mix well. Make a well in the center of flour mixture. Add eggs, milk and melted butter in the well. Stir until well mixed.

2. Sieve mixture onto a greased steaming plate. Steam at medium heat for 15 minutes or until mixture sets.

3. Cool the custard to room temperature. Break up the custard into small pieces.


Knead until no lumps and smooth.


Cover with cling wrap and set aside.

Snowskin recipe
Note that if you intend to make only one coloured swirl, prepare the same portion of dough for white and coloured dough. I am rather ambitious here in trying to create five different hues so you need not follow. Each coloured hue here is one-fifth of the white dough so do your math accordingly.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup cooked glutinous rice flour, 糕粉 (this is used for dusting only so can be safely prepared at home. Dry fry glutinous rice flour in a pan over low heat for 5 minutes. The flour will start smelling of the characteristic cooked glutinous rice flour smell.

White dough
30g glutinous rice flour
20g rice flour
10g cake flour
10g wheat starch
30g condensed milk
28g coconut oil (or cooking oil)
110g milk

Blue dough
6g glutinous rice flour
4g rice flour
2g cake flour
2g wheat starch
7g condensed milk
6g coconut oil (or cooking oil)
10g milk
12g blue pea flower tea

Green dough
6g glutinous rice flour
4g rice flour
2g cake flour
2g wheat starch
7g condensed milk
6g coconut oil (or cooking oil)
10g milk
12g pandan juice

Orange dough
6g glutinous rice flour
4g rice flour
3g pumpkin powder
7g condensed milk
6g coconut oil (or cooking oil)
22g milk

Purple dough
6g glutinous rice flour
4g rice flour
3g purple sweet potato powder
7g condensed milk
6g coconut oil (or cooking oil)
24g milk

Pink dough
6g glutinous rice flour
4g rice flour
3g purple sweet potato powder
7g condensed milk
6g coconut oil (or cooking oil)
20g milk
1 tbs lemon juice

Different powders have different absorption properties hence the difference in liquid portion for each colour. Compensate with more flour to dust if it is too sticky.

Steps:
1. Sift the flours and powder colouring (if using) together.

Flours with the vegetable powders sifted together.

2. Add condensed milk, milk, juices/extracts followed by oil. Stir until well mixed. Sieve into greased steaming tray.

I used silicone cupcake cases for the small portions of coloured dough

3. Cling wrap the steaming plate. Steam for 30 minutes or until dough is cooked.

Freshly steamed. See the holes I poked with chopstick to check if dough is cooked. 

4. Let the dough cool until it is just slightly warm. Use plastic gloves or of you are lazy like me, use a piece of cling wrap to knead the dough until smooth. Knead for at least a few minutes. You may add a little oil or dust with some gao fen if it is too sticky.

Kneaded dough

5. Divide the coloured and white dough in preparation for wrapping filling. The weight of the dough depends on size of your mould. Mine is about 50g so I portioned about 26g dough and 24g filling. Portion out the different colours into 26g portions. Roll a coloured dough and white dough to about 20cm in length. With coloured dough below.

I didn't use a rolling pin. Just a cling wrap and my fingers.

Roll up the dough.


Grease a knife or bench scraper and cut the rolled dough in half.

Doesn't matter if cut surface looks ugly. Gently adjust the lines with a greased finger to make the swirl pattern more obvious.

Place cut surface of dough down. Flatten with your fingers. Place a ball of filling in the middle.


Wrap and pinch seal.

Ta-dah!

Lightly dust the surface of the assembled mooncake with gao fen. Put it in the mooncake plunger and press it out.
And you are done!

Store the mooncakes in an airtight container to prevent them from drying out too fast in the fridge. Consume within a few days.

With love,
Phay Shing



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Thursday, 7 September 2017

Miffy and Flowers Snowskin Mooncake



My family loves snowskin mooncakes. I've had 3 mooncake playdates with little kids so far! The kids love playing "playdoh" with them =). I made these simple Miffy and normal 3D flowers snowskin mooncake together with the kids. I used the Redman brand reduced sugar white lotus paste from Phoon Huat for the filling, an all-time favorite. A lighter colour paste will help the mooncakes to look cleaner on the outside for light coloured skin. I also used olive oil to replace shortening for healthier mooncakes. They keep soft slightly shorter than those with shortening (around 3-4 days airtight). After that, we found that bringing them to room temperature will make the mooncakes soft again. Here's the recipe I used, adapted from Baking taitai and Phay shing's CAM session.

Snowskin Mooncake (makes 17 of 50g mooncakes)

150g cooked glutinous rice flour (kou fien)
180g icing sugar
35g olive oil (choose a light-colored and low-odor type)
190g water
500g lotus paste

Extra kou fien for dusting

1. Sift cooked glutinous rice flour and icing sugar together in a mixing bowl and stir well.

2. Combine water and olive oil in another bowl.

3. Add the liquid mixture gradually into the flour mixture (do not pour all at once). Use a spatula or gloves to mix until a smooth dough is formed.

*For multicolour, I divided the dough into 3 and added 1/2 tsp strawberry paste, 1/2 durian paste and the plain dough plain. For one colour, you may add the flavouring/colour directly to the liquid mixture.

4. Cover with cling wrap and let the dough rest for 15 minutes. 

5. Divide the snowskin dough into 20g for each mooncake (for my small 50g moulds).

6. Divide each lotus paste into 30g lotus paste per portion for each mooncake filling.

7. Pair the white lotus paste with the snowskin:
- Dust the mooncake moulds.
- Wrap each portion of filling with a portion of snowskin.
- Press into mooncake mould firmly.
- Push out (letting go at the same time) and chill before serving.

*For Miffy, after wrapping a portion of filling with the snowskin, I rolled into a ball instead of pushing into the plunger. The ears used 1/2 the lotus paste and 1/2 the snowskin.


We had lots of fun making them!

With lots of love,
Susanne =)

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Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Cute Doggie Lychee Rose Chiffon Cupcakes

There is a lucky Bichon Frise whose owner decided to throw a birthday party for him. Here's some lychee rose chiffon cupcakes topped with Bichon Frise macarons filled with lychee rose Swiss Meringue Buttercream!

This doggie loves playing with balls as you can guess ;)

This is another bake that went along to the party with my cute hotdog pull-apart buns.

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 macaron making...

Baked shells...I tried to make the details of the ears and "moustache" using layering of macaron batter. 

Facial features were added on using royal icing (eyes and nose) and edible marker (tongue)

The lychee rose Swiss Meringue buttercream recipe can be found here so I will not repeat it in this post. It is used to fill the macarons and to top the lychee rose chiffon cupcakes.

Recipe for lychee rose chiffon cupcakes
Ingredients (makes seventeen 44x35mm cupcakes):
3 egg yolks
5g caster sugar
45g coconut or vegetable oil
50g lychee puree
1/4 tsp rose water
1/4 tsp lychee flavouring (optional)
1tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
62g cake flour

4 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
50g caster sugar

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 140℃ and set oven rack to second lowest position. Place a tray of water at the base of the oven (optional).

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

3. Prepare the meringue. In a clean metal bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks form, gradually adding sugar along the way.

4. Gently but quickly fold the meringue into egg yolk batter in three additions. Fill the cupcake cases until about 80% full. Gently tap the cases on the table to release trapped air bubbles.

5. Bake for 35-40 min or until skewer comes out clean. Cool completely before decorating.

I added a thin blue layer chiffon cake (stuck on using melted marshmellows) before adding a dollop of lychee rose Swiss meringue buttercream.

Decorating the cupcakes

All packed and ready to party!

There were 16 cupcakes decorated with the doggies so my kids got to sample the extra cupcake. Here's a peek at the lovely soft sponge texture!

Yums!

The cakes can be kept refrigerated in airtight condition for a few days.

With love,
Phay Shing

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