Friday, 9 December 2016

‘Unicorn’ Soy Milk Chiffon Cake

This kind of cute unicorn cakes have been trending! I finally made a chiffon cake version for my dear niece’s birthday! The sweet pastel colours and design are inspired by her =). Our kids love soy milk, so I thought to make the chiffon cake soy milk flavour that’s healthy and yummy.

I used a reduced egg yolk recipe for whiter cake. I previously  shared whipping up large volumes of meringue was a breeze with my new assistant Kenwood Chefsense. This time I tried out whipping half the volume of egg whites (7 egg whites). No problem at all too and such a breeze! The meringue whips in 2 minutes!

Soy milk chiffon (8-inch chiffon tube pan)
1 egg yolk
1 whole egg
33g castor sugar
66g vegetable/corn oil
76 g soy milk
5g vanilla extract
80g Prima cake flour
Pinch of salt
20g soy milk powder

7 egg whites
75g castor sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar

1. Dissolve soy milk powder in soy milk and mix well.

2. Preheat oven to 160°C. *Prepare a tray of water under the lowest rack (optional) - I usually use steam baking to control oven temperature.

3. Whisk egg yolk and whole egg with sugar until light, fluffy and well-mixed.

4. Add in oil and mix well. Then add soy milk and vanilla extract and whisk till well-combined.

5 Whisk in sifted cake flour and pinch of salt, and mix till well-combined.

6. Prepare meringue:

a. Using an electric mixer (here Kenwood Chefsense), 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.

c. Add in rest of the castor sugar for meringue and whisk till firm peaks form, or just the point of stiff peak.

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

8. Pour the soy milk chiffon batter into an ungreased 8-inch chiffon tube pan till 2-cm from brim. Gently tap on counter top to remove air bubbles.

9. Bake at 160°C for 15 min, then 140°C for 40+ min, or until skewer inserted into centre of cake comes out clean.

10. Invert pan to cool on a wire rack completely.

11. Unmould the chiffon cake by hand (see video tutorial ‘Hand unmoulding Chiffon cakes for a clean finishing’).

White ‘Horn’: Roll a swissroll into the shape of a horn by tightening on one end of the swissroll and then make cuts.

Pastel coloured ‘Hair’: Combination of baking chiffon cake in flowers mould, using flowers plunger and making diagonal cuts on chiffon cake pops.

With lots of love,

Thanks so much for those who came for the Popfest event! It's been a great learning experience and journey for me and I'm thankful for so many people.
Fyi: 'Deco Chiffon Cakes' and 'Creative baking: Chiffon Cakes' are highly discounted at Bookfest, only until tomorrow.

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Snowman Earl Grey Salted Caramel Ice-Cream Macarons

Ma: What would you like me to make for your birthday?
Y: Snowman made out of ice-cream!
Ma: But it would melt by the time I finish assembling and decorating it... How about snowman shaped macarons filled with ice-cream?
Y: Sounds great!
Ma: What flavour would you like?
Y: Earl grey salted caramel :)

Actually my elder kid's birthday is still a couple of weeks away but I wanted to write up a blog post that has Christmas related theme before Christmas is over. The kids welcome this cool treat anyway since it's been really warm these few days! Presenting my first attempt at ice-cream macarons!

The design is taken from the brown sugar cookies I made last year over here.

There's the major concern that I can't pull this off in hot hot Singapore. Thankfully I managed to assemble, take photos quickly before the kids chomp down on the macarons. Ice-cream macarons have to be eaten once they are assembled, unlike regular macarons which need at least 24h to mature with the fillings. You can't freeze the whole assembled ice-cream macarons as the shells will be hard when you take them out of the freezer. I added a little gelatin to stabilize the ice-cream so that it doesn't melt as fast.

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.

As the snowmen are about twice the size of regular round macarons, baking time has to be extended and at lower temperature too to prevent the white shells from browning. Begin with 140°C for the first 10 minutes at the lowest rack in the oven (use top and bottom heat only, without fan). Reduce temperature to 120°C for the next 15 minutes and bake at 110°C for the rest of the baking time until the feet appear dry. I tried including all the details using macaron batter as well so piping the shells was quite tedious :p.

Just some notes on piping details using batter, reserve small amount of uncoloured batter that is just combined (but under-folded) for the details. Colour the tiny portions (some as little as 1/4 tsp) in a small bowl. It's ok to overfold the small portions of batter. You may use a piping bag with a small hole cut in it to pipe on the details. Use a toothpick to pull the batter whenever necessary.

Just to share some photos of the piping process...

Pipe the base of snowman head and body and dry partially.

Pipe on hat, scarf, arms and buttons. This was fairly tedious.

Small details like facial features was especially challenging for me! Thankfully making only a few of these :p.

Freshly baked shells!

I adapted the ice-cream filling recipe from here. I was intrigued by how Dulce De Leche was made, how condensed milk could caramelize in the can and turn into a wonderfully brown colour with richer flavour. This is essentially a no-churn, two-ingredient ice-cream that makes use of condensed milk and heavy cream to make the ice-cream base.

Recipe for ice-cream filling
Ingredients (fills a 10x12" tray):
Earl grey salted Dulce De Leche
One 396ml can of condensed milk
1/2 tsp flaky sea salt
1 tbs Earl Grey tea powder*
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
1 tsp caramel flavouring (optional)
1 teabag worth of Earl Grey tea leaves

Earl grey salted caramel ice-cream
200g Earl Grey Salted Dulce de Leche
350g whipping cream
30g salted caramel
1 tsp gelatin
1 tbs water

* If you are unable to find Earl grey tea powder, omit this but instead infuse the whipping cream with 3 Earl grey tea bags. Heat the cream until just start to bubble and steep the tea bags for 5 minutes. Squeeze out the cream from the bags. Make sure that you use more than 350g worth of cream when infusing as some of it will be lost. Chill the infused cream in the fridge for at least a few hours before whipping.

1. Place the can of condensed milk (unopened) in a large pot filled with water until the can is fully submerged. Bring to a boil and simmer for two hours. I used the slow cooker for this. Remove from pot and let it cool until you are able to handle the can.

2. Pour out the contents from the can into a large mixing bowl. Add salt, Earl Grey tea powder, vanilla, caramel flavouring and tea leaves. Mix well with a spatula. Set aside. We only need 200g of this. The remaining may be stored in the fridge for two weeks in airtight container. Alternatively, you may scale up the ice-cream recipe so you don't end up with extra Dulce De Leche. I was out of whipping cream so had to work with this quantity :p.

3. Place water in a small microwave safe bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over the water and let it stand for a few minutes for the gelatin to absorb the water. Microwave for 10 seconds on high and mix well. Repeat if necessary until gelatin is fully dissolved. You may use the double-boiling method too.

4. Whip the heavy cream with electric mixer at low speed until soft peaks start to form. Gradually add gelatin mixture and use a whisk to gently fold in the gelatin until well combined. Be careful not to over whip the cream or it will separate.

5. Add about a quarter of the cream to the Dulce De Leche. Mix until well combined. Fold in the rest of the cream in three batches, drizzling salted caramel in between. Melt the salted caramel in the microwave for several seconds if it is too firm.

6. Pour the mixture into a 10x12" tray lined with baking sheet. Press a cling wrap on top of the surface of the mixture. Freeze overnight.

To assemble, use round cookie cutter to cut out two circles for each snowman. One of the circles need to have a bit cut off as shown below. Quickly transfer the ice-cream blocks onto the bottom shell of the macaron and sandwich with top shell. Serve immediately.

Kids really love this treat!

Blessed birthday to Y!

With lots of love,
Phay Shing

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Monday, 5 December 2016

Matcha Azuki Bean Macarons (French method plus tips on speeding up drying of shells)

I have always wanted to do a macaron item for Culinary Arts Ministry hosted by our church but couldn't do so as I had to find a way to overcome the long resting time of the shells prior to baking. This waiting time typically takes about 1.5-2.5 hours in an air-conditioned room in humid Singapore. The time allocated for prep is an hour and total time including baking and assembly should be 2 hours or less. Now that I have found an effective way of shortening the drying time significantly without ending up with warped shells that can happen with oven drying, let me share that with you :).

So here's the item I hope to share at my first macaron baking class: Matcha French macarons with whipped Matcha white chocolate ganache and Azuki beans!

Macarons have the reputation of being one of the most difficult things to bake well despite needing only 4 basic ingredients, namely, egg whites, icing sugar, caster sugar and ground almond meal. I hope to be able to share the basics in this session and hopefully those of you who have not been able to master the French macaron will be able to do so :).

I have chosen to use the French method instead of my usual Italian method as it is logistically much easier. There is no need for a candy thermometer or messing around with boiling syrup (which requires a stove). The French method is very suitable for small batches of macarons too. As for why I always use Italian method is because the results are more consistent and it suits my needs of working in large batches with many colours of batter.

Let me include some notes on the basic ingredients used for French macarons here. Newbies may find this helpful as you try this out at home.

Egg whites:
Always use aged egg whites for the French method. You age egg whites by leaving them in a clean bowl in the fridge for 3-5 days with a paper towel covering the bowl secured by a rubber band. This is to allow the water from the egg whites to evaporate over time. Egg whites from freshly separated eggs have too much water content and the resulting macaron shells may be too wet.

Icing sugar:
You may use those with or without cornflour added. I always use pure icing sugar but it's not necessary if you can't find those without cornflour added. Those with cornflour added may result in shells that dry faster after piping (which is good!) but texture may be less delicate.

Caster sugar:
Not much has to be said about this. It can be easily found in supermarkets and baking supply stores.

Ground almond:
Some people grind their own almond for macarons but I am lazy and don't want to risk doing it wrongly and waste a batch of perfectly good nuts :p. If ground wrongly, you end up with almond butter instead or almond meal that is too oily (you will end up with patchy shells). I always buy the "superfine almond powder" version of ground almonds from Phoon Huat. Their "finely ground almond" version is not fine enough for me. It still takes a long time to sift.

Matcha powder:
This is used only for Matcha flavoured shells (duh...of course). But I thought of including some notes here that some of you may find helpful. I use the bakeable version of Matcha powder that can be found from baking supply stores for aesthetic reasons. If you want the best tasting macarons, use the high grade expensive versions for drinking. The only drawback about using those for drinking is they tend to turn duller with time after baking due to oxidation. If looks are not a concern for you, go ahead and use high grade tea powder for baking.

Basic ingredients: clockwise from top left, caster sugar, almond meal, egg whites and icing sugar. Matcha powder in the middle.

The recipe I am using here is not one of the most low-sugar versions so it may tend to be sweeter but it's definitely more foolproof, mainly because of the higher sugar content that gives the shells better structural stability. Once you have mastered the technique you can use recipes that have lower sugar content. You may read from this post my analysis on why this recipe works so well.

Recipe for Matcha French macaron shells (makes about 12-13 macarons or 24-26 shells)
40g aged egg whites (about one large egg, brought to room temperature)
36g caster sugar
43g superfine almond powder
57g icing sugar
1 and 1/4 tsp Matcha powder
A pinch of salt (optional, to balance the sweetness)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar (optional, for stabilizing meringue)
Extra matcha powder for dusting (optional, for decoration)

1. Prepare a baking tray with an array of 4cm-circle template. This template is optional if you are able to pipe shells of roughly the same size. Line the tray with baking paper.

2. Sift almond, icing sugar, matcha powder and salt (if using) together into a bowl.

3. Place egg whites in a clean, grease-free metal bowl with cream of tartar (if using). Use an elextric mixer and beat on medium speed until frothy. Gradually add caster sugar while beating. Continue to beat until stiff peaks are formed. When stiff peaks just start to form, you will be able to turn the bowl upside down without the meringue slipping out. You may be tempted to stop beating at this point for fear of over-beating the egg whites. Don't be shy, continue to beat for about several seconds more until the meringue is really stiff.

Stiff glossy peaks!

4. Scatter about 2tbs of almond mixture over the meringue and fold in gently with a spatula in one direction.

5. Continue by repeating step 4 until all the almond mixture is incorporated.

As more and more almond mix is added in, you may fold a little less gently to make sure everything is homogeneous.

6. Test the consistency of the batter at this point by scooping up a generous amount of batter and letting it fall back into the bowl. If the batter flows smoothly and slowly in a continuous ribbon, it is ready. But if it breaks off at a few points or doesn't flow well, continue to fold a couple of times and check again. This is perhaps the trickiest part of macaron making as newbies may find it hard to gauge when is the batter ready. You may refer to my video tutorials for macaron basics over here to have an idea of the consistency. Do not overfold the batter. If it is very runny (like thick sauce or some cake batter), chances are you have overfolded and you have to start over. The French method is less forgiving than Italian method when it comes to overfolded batter.

Testing batter consistency

7. Transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a 6-7mm diameter round piping tip. If you don't bake often and don't have such baking supplies lying around, simply use a ziplock bag with a hole cut at one corner. Your macarons won't turn out nice and round but will still taste the same.

8. Stick the 4 corners of the baking sheet to the tray with a little batter (I forgot to do this in the picture). Pipe circles on the prepared baking tray. To do so, place piping tip at the center of the circle, perpendicular to the tray and about 5mm away from the surface. Squeeze the bag and release pressure when the edge of the batter is about 3mm away from the edge of the circle. Give the tip a little twirl as you lift off.

9. Bang the tray on the table to release trapped air bubbles as well as flatten the peaks in the middle that you see in the photo above.

10. Dust the shells with some Matcha powder if you wish.

11. Preheat oven to 160°C. Set oven rack to lowest position. Note: use top and bottom heating elements only. Do not use the fan mode in the oven. Some people get good results with the oven fan on but I see more cases of uneven feet, warped shells, cracked shells and browning when the fan is on. Always use an oven thermometer! Actual oven temperature may be 10-20°C off from the temperature you set.

12. Dry the shells by leaving them under the fan or in an air-conditioned room until the surface is dry to touch. The shells must not feel sticky at all before going into the oven or they will crack. This may take 1-2.5h. I found that using the hairdryer works really well to speed up the drying. It took only 20 minutes for me to dry this tray of shells! An important note on using hairdryer, try not to use the maximum heat/strength. Try to give each shell an equal amount of blowing time or some shells or parts of the shells will dry faster than others. You may end up with uneven feet that way. Check for dryness with a finger after the first 10 minutes of blowing, and at every 5 minutes interval subsequently.

Shells are ready to be baked when you can slide a finger across the tops and not feel any stickiness.

13. Put tray of macaron shells in oven. Turn the temperature down to 140°C. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until the feet no longer appear wet. Let the shells cool completely on the tray before gently peeling the baking sheet away from the shells. Do not peel the macaron away from the sheet as parts of the shells may remain stuck on the sheet. If the shells are really stuck, chances are they are underbaked. Dry them out in the oven for another 5 minutes and try again. Repeat if necessary.

Perfectly baked shells should have no hollows, not stuck to baking sheet, have crisp outer shell and soft chewy interior. It's ok if the freshly baked shells are a little more on the crispy side. Simply store assembled macarons for a couple more days before consuming.

Don't be discouraged if you don't get it right the first time. Practice makes perfect!

60g white chocolate, finely chopped
6g vegetable shortening (you may replace with butter)
6g unsalted butter
18g heavy cream
1/16 tsp fine sea salt
1/8 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)
2 tsp high grade matcha powder
3-4 tbs canned Azuki beans, drained

1. Place white chocolate, shortening and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat at medium power for 20 seconds. Mix well. Repeat until mixture is homogeneous and melted.

2. Place cream in small saucepan. Heat on low heat until it starts to bubble. Pour on melted chocolate mixture. Stir in one direction with a spatula until well mixed.

3. Add salt, vanilla and sifted Matcha powder gradually while stirring.

4. You may allow the ganache to firm up at room temperature for about an hour, or whip it to make it lighter in texture. To whip it, place the bowl of ganache in freezer for 2 minutes. Use a spatula and beat the mixture until even. Return the bowl into the freezer for a minute and beat it with the spatula again. Repeat the freezing for one minute and beating until mixture is smooth and creamy.

5. Transfer the whipped ganache into piping bag/ziplock bag with a hole cut at the end. Mash the Azuki beans slightly if you wish.

6. Pipe some ganache on the bottom shell. Carefully add some Azuki beans in the middle with a teaspoon. Cover the beans with more ganache. Sandwich the filling with the top shell. Refrigerate in airtight container overnight or 24 hours before serving. Leave the macaron at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before eating.

My family and I had a taste test and everyone loved it! My mum shared with her colleagues 6 days after assembly and all of them loved the taste!

The texture was perfect! Soft and chewy but not too chewy. Still very delicate! 

You may store these macarons for a week in the fridge.

With love,
Phay Shing

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Sunday, 4 December 2016

Snowman Chiffon Cake

"Do you want to build a chiffon snowman?"

If your answer is 'yes', I'll be demonstrating how to make this chiffon cake Snowman at Popular bookfest event this Thurs 8 Dec 6-7pm at Suntec! A picture tutorial of this Snowman cake can be found in my new book Deco Chiffon Cakes in the festive cakes section. The recipe for reduced egg yolk vanilla chiffon cake is here (older snowman version).

Very excited for my chiffon Snowman and Deco Chiffon Cakes to be featured on  Channel 8 news 《流行挖哇 WOW》! It was a challenge for me to speak mandarin but thankful it turned out well =p. Full video here.

With lots of love,

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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

'Sheep in Rainbow Scarf' Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Macarons

Someone requested for "rainbow sheep" macarons from me. The original design was each sheep has all the colours of the rainbow in stripes. Sometimes, I don't give requesters what they originally ask for as I think something else along the same theme but different design will end up cuter and more visually pleasing. Here's my interpretation of "rainbow sheep". Cute sheep donned in rainbow coloured scarves, in time for the winter season in the northern hemisphere :).

If you find these sheep familiar, it is because they are made using the template from my Creative Baking: Macarons book. I replaced the collar and bell with the scarf.

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.

Here's a freshly baked shell...

Decorating the shells with black edible marker and royal icing...

I filled the sheep with a ring of dark chocolate ganache followed by salted caramel in the middle.

I hope these cute sheep puts a smile on your face :).

With love,
Phay Shing

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Saturday, 26 November 2016

'Noah's Ark' Chiffon Cake

This was a labor of love and I had so much fun transforming a vanilla-chocolate chiffon cake into a 'Noah's Ark'! The ark is filled with numerous chiffon cake animals and crowned by a chiffon cake rainbow!

There are many elements in the cake, I'll try to break it down. The 'ark' itself is made from Vanilla Chocolate Chiffon Cake.

Vanilla Chocolate Chiffon (6-inch chiffon tube pan)
Egg yolk batter
2 egg yolks
17g castor sugar
30g vegetable/corn oil
33g water
1 tsp vanilla extract
40g prima cake flour, sifted
13g cocoa powder, sifted (dutch-processed)
¼ tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt

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

1. Preheat oven to 160°C (I used steam baking but it's optional).
2. Beat egg yolks with sugar with whisk till light and frothy before stirring in oil, water and vanilla extract.
3. Add in sieved flour, cocoa and baking powder, and whisk till no trace of flour found.
4. Meringue: Beat the egg whites with ¼ tsp cream of tartar till stiff peak, 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.
8. Invert immediately once out of the oven and leave to cool on cooling rack.
9. Unmould after the cake is cool.(see video tutorial ‘Hand unmoulding Chiffon cakes for a clean finishing’).

I baked an orange chiffon sheet cake to cut tiles for the ark, and stuck on them using melted marshmallows. 

Chiffon Cake animals
Recipe/ picture tutorial for chiffon cake animals and sheep cake pops are in Creative baking: Deco Chiffon Cakes. The highlight of my 2nd cookbook is cute animals (character chiffon).

Chiffon Cake rainbow
Recipe/ picture tutorial is in Creative baking: Chiffon Cakes ('chiffon cake rainbow' is the most right picture in the poster below).

Ark house
I baked the same vanilla chocolate chiffon cake above in a silicone house mold, but converted to an ark but sticking on a chiffon cake 'roof'.

As you can see, it was quite a lot of work and made with lots of love!

With love,

Upcoming baking demo at Popular Bookfest Cookout event! 
"Do you want to build a 'Chiffon Cake Snowman'?"

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Friday, 25 November 2016

Hamster Macarons (template provided & tips for no-hollow shells)

Hubby loves hamsters so I thought why not make some of these cute critters for his birthday :)

I had lots of fun making these and watching them come alive. It's a pity the oven chose to play punk while I was baking this tray of macarons (the other trays I baked for other requests were fine) so the shells ended up a little browned. I reduced the temperature after the initial baking time but the temperature took too long to drop.

For those of you who would like to make these cutesies, I have provided the template. Please acknowledge the source from here if you do use as I took time to create this template.

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.

For the benefit of those who want to give this bake a try, here are some details that will be helpful...

Divide the mass and meringue into 3 equal portions. Colour the masses white, straw yellow and brown.
White: white gel/powder
Straw yellow: yellow + tiny bit of orange + a drop of brown gel
Brown: Dutch processed cocoa powder + 2 drops orange + 1 drop yellow gel

 When folding in the meringue for brown and white, fold until just combined before scooping out about 2 tbs of batter from each colour. Add a teeny bit of orange, brown and pink to the white batter to create beige batter. Add about 1/2 tsp of Dutch processed cocoa powder and a pinch of charcoal powder to the brown batter to create dark brown batter. Continue folding the white and brown batters until they have a lava-like consistency.

Use Wilton #7 or #8 piping tips for brown, white and straw yellow portions. Use Wilton #5 piping tip for beige and dark brown portions.

Pipe these portions before letting the shells dry partially until a sticky membrane forms.

Pipe on the rest of the details.

As these shells are quite large, bake at 140°C for the first 12 minutes, followed by 120°C for 6-7 minutes and 110°C for another 8-15 minutes or until the feet does not appear wet. Place oven rack at lowest or second lowest position. Use top and bottom heat only. The initial higher temperature is necessary to set the structure and avoid hollows within the shells. But to keep it at 140°C all the way will cause browning.

Freshly baked! A little browned because temperature remained at 130°C or above for the first 20 minutes! I only realised too late as I was busy.

Decorate the shells with superfine edible marker for the paws and nostrils. Use royal icing for the eyes and sunflower seed.

I filled the shells with whipped Earl grey white chocolate ganache and salted caramel.

Cute and yums!

Checkout the yummy cross-section! Nice texture and no hollows in the shells!

One of the most common queries I get is how to get rid of hollows in macaron shells. There could a few factors or a combination of these factors that can cause the space between the top outermost layer which is formed during drying of the shells before baking and the fluffy cake-like interior.

- Baking temperature is too low during the initial baking time before internal structure has set. The oven has to be at 130-140°C during the initial 10-15 minutes (depending on size of macarons) of baking time. Use an oven thermometer to monitor the actual oven temperature at all times!

- Underbaked. This is related to the previous point. Underbaked shells have internal structures that are not fully set yet. So when you remove the tray of shells from the oven, the internal structure will collapse. Reduce the heat towards later half of baking time to ensure shells are baked through but not browned.

- Egg whites not beaten to soft peak before pouring in the syrup. If the egg whites are unable to hold a peak for a second before disappearing and the egg white bubbles still appear large instead of fine, the egg whites are not beaten long enough. The resulting meringue will not be stable.

- Italian meringue not beaten long enough. Make sure that the meringue is sufficiently cooled before you stop beating at high speed. This make take anywhere from 10-15 minutes depending on size of your batch. I usually blow a fan at the stand mixer to help it cool faster. Make sure that the meringue is at least body temperature before you stop beating.

- Didn't bang tray on the table after piping. Any trapped air bubbles that are not released in the batter will gather to form the air pocket under the outermost layer of the shell.

- Under-folded batter. Not enough air is knocked out of the batter.

I hope all these tips helps! Don't fret if you still get hollows now and then. I still do sometimes especially when the oven doesn't cooperate. Just try again :).

Blessed birthday to my dearest hubby 😘!

With lots of love,
Phay Shing

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