Monday, 22 January 2018

Orange Chocolate Macaron Playground

I had an idea for a playground with moveable macaron pieces some time last year but didn't get the chance to make until now. My friends have been very kind to be my guinea pigs for this creation and they did so gladly!

Front view of the playground with a slide, Merry-go-round and seesaw

Back view of the playground. I have to show this or the ladder of the slide won't be showcased at all.

Here's a short video of the Merry-go-round and seesaw in action!

As with all unique new creations, I won't be releasing the details of how to make the parts and put them together yet. The seesaw structure is a slight variation from my macaron ferris wheel so it was easy to adapt. The Merry-go-round mechanics needed more planning as it is my first time making something heavy that is able to rotate about its vertical axis.

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...

Piping the cute characters

I filled the shells with a ring of orange white chocolate and orange dark chocolate in the middle.

Recipe for orange chocolate filling
Ingredients:
80-90g white or dark chocolate (buttons or finely chopped from a bar)
20g vegetable shortening
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1/2-3/4 tsp orange oil (or 1 tbs orange zest)

Steps:
1. Put all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and melt using medium power for 20sec. Stir and repeat as necessary until smooth and melted completely. Alternatively you may use a double boiler to melt all the ingredients together.

2. Let the mixture cool until it reaches toothpaste consistency. Transfer to piping bag and pipe onto the shells.

Filling the character shells.

Filling the side frames of the slide 

My friends and those at their gathering enjoyed playing with the playground before they made the painful decision to eat it 😅. Not only does the playground look good, it tasted good too! Here's my friend's feedback:

"the macarons taste really good too! couldn't stop eating and the kids had a very tough time to choose which one to eat 😏"

I had much fun creating this! If anyone of you would like to challenge me with new macaron structures, let me know. If it piques my interest, I will be more willing to make time to explore how to make it a reality 😉.  There are so many different designs and projects I have come up with that I have decided to create a separate "Macaron structures" label in the blog to accommodate them! I began with static structures like carousels and table with two chairs and bears sitting on them, to structures with moveable parts like Ferris Wheel, tricycle and now, Merry-go-round and seesaw! I have another exciting new macaron structure with moveable parts coming up in March so stay tuned! Gone are the days when "macaron structure" = macaron tower. Let your imagination run wild and there's so much more you can do!

With love,
Phay Shing


Read More »

Sunday, 21 January 2018

We Bare Bears Chiffon Cake


Ahh don't they look comfy and happy stacked together? Hehe =).

This chiffon cake is based on the cute We Bare Bears, an American animated sitcom that follows three bear siblings, Grizzly, Panda and Ice Bear. One unique characteristic is that form a "bear stack” which serve as their support for each other (pun intended!) and unique way of transportation =). It was really challenging stacking the soft chiffon cakes, especially to balance the soft cakes and their body parts but also stagger the bears. Thank God the cake worked out and it was very well-received! Phew..

The chiffon cakes may look a little familiar as I have shared the recipes before.

The recipe for “Cloud” Chiffon Cake with step-by-step pictures can be found in my newest book Deco Chiffon Cake Basics. The Chinese edition (with this cake) will also be out in bookstores late January. You can also try another version of this cake, recipe shared here.


 


The Bears design is based on the “Mummy and Baby Panda” Chiffon Cake recipes in my 2nd book Deco Chiffon Cakes. I used an oval bowl to bake the cakes. The flavour is Cream cheese with Charcoal. In the book's version, it was much easier to stack the cakes as the baby panda was much smaller than the mummy panda =p.




Hope the We bare bears made you smile =).

Have a blessed week ahead!

With lots of love,
Susanne



Chinese edition of Deco Chiffon Cake Basics hitting bookstores (Kinokuniya, Naiise, Popular in late Jan)! Also available at Goguru now! It's having a special promo at Goguru.




Read More »

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 »