Wednesday, 19 October 2016

'Owls on a Stump' Gula Melaka Sponge & Pudding Cake

This is a cake made with lots of love last minute for my grandma's and aunt's combined birthday celebration :)

Mother and daughter owl macarons on a Gula Melaka sponge and pudding stump cake!

This is one of those die-die must try cakes because cake lovers and haters, young and old all loved it. This cake is rich and full of flavour yet refreshing at the same time. The texture also feels good in the mouth with alternating layers of soft chiffon sponge and refreshing pudding.

This was made last minute because my planned bake had to move a week earlier. It was a challenge to reshuffle my schedule but thank God for helping me to make it in time!

I made the owls along with my purple unicorn macaron carousel so it was easier to squeeze in time for making cake deco.

Just to share some photos of the process...

Piping the owl macaron shells.

I used the regular recipe for the macaron shells. 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.

Do note that larger shells need longer baking time. About 30-35 minutes and at lower temperature of 115°C at second half of baking time.

Filling the shells with lavendar Earl grey white chocolate ganache that I have in store at home.

Owl macaron cake toppers!

You may refer to my first gula melaka stump cake that I made for my dad's birthday a month ago. It was so lovely that my parents wanted me to make it again for my grandma's birthday. Recipe and assembly is exactly the same so I shall not type it out here again.

Freshly cut layers or gula melaka chiffon sponge cake.

Sponge and pudding stump cake that I just finished assembling!

Remember to pack the macaron deco and sponge and pudding cake in separate airtight boxes/containers or the cake toppers will turn soggy. Assemble macaron deco just before serving.

I forgot to take photos of a slice of the cake. It was very well received and there were no leftovers! Grandma told me it's delicious! It's hard to please her palate at her age so I was really glad that she loved it. My uncle who doesn't eat cake with cream also said it's delicious and finished his portion.

ith lots of love,
Phay Shing

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Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Snorlax and Pokeball Chiffon Cakes

Pokemon go again! =p I've previously made 3D Snorlax and 3D Pokeball Chiffon Cakes. After chatting with some friends, I realized most were afraid to try the 3D versions. Hence, when I got request to make Snorlax and Pokeball again this week, I decided to try simpler cute 2D versions that may be more popular.

For Snorlax, similar to my 3D version, I used blue pea flowers for the blue, here I further added 1/2 tsp pandan paste to make it teal colour, but you can choose to omit it. Recipe for blue pea flowers chiffon cake is here. Replace pandan batter with vanilla batter by omitting the pandan paste so that you get cream batter. Spoon the cream batter in the U shape before adding the blue batter. Spoon the cream batter upwards as you continue to add blue batter. I did not need to prebake the cream batter here.

For the Pokeball, I used the same recipe as Singapore flag-raspberry jello Chiffon cake (with strawberry jello instead). Instead of spooning upwards, I spoon the red batter on the right and the cream batter on the left.

For the facial features and details, I used chiffon sheet cakes (charcoal and leftover red/cream batter), but you can also pipe on with melted chocolate.

There are more picture tutorials on how to spoon batter to make various patterns in Deco Chiffon Cakes, as well as tips for Deco Chiffon. The focus of the second book is more on patterns, while first book is more Rainbow in nature. Hope you will find it useful!

With lots of love,

Kinokuniya book event this Sat, 4pm!

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Sunday, 16 October 2016

'Hello Kitty Tsum Tsum' with Chiffon Layers 'Drip Cake'

I made this for a close friend's daughter on Friday! Thankful the cake was well-loved by everyone!

I have previously tried a Chiffon Rainbow 'Drip Cake' combining both 'waves' with 'rainbow chiffon' from Creative baking: Chiffon Cakes. Here, I was trying to see if I could improvise by making the waves and rainbow layers 50-50. Maybe the effect is not as nice, but I will continue to think about it and improve haha! I used the same base recipe as my Rainbow Tiedye Vanilla Chiffon but changed the configuration of the batter as mentioned above, i.e. spoon the pink batter in waves, fill with cream batter, and layer with blue and purple. The picture tutorial for 'waves' and 'rainbow layer chiffon' is found in Creative baking: Chiffon Cakes.

I have made a few Tsum Tsum previously too, joining two bowl cakes with a 4-inch chiffon cake in between (for picture for the molds, see my previous Donald/Daisy Tsum Tsum). I used melted marshmallows to glue everything together, including the letters cut out from chiffon cake!

Hope you will like this sweet creation too! <3

With lots of love,

Here's the cover for
Creative baking: Chiffon Cakes (Chiffon book 1)
mentioned above

has just been restocked at Popular.

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Friday, 14 October 2016

Wall E and Eve Brown Sugar Cookies (made with diabetic-friendly natural sugar!)

A lovely couple requested for Wall E and Eve Brown sugar cookies as their wedding gift for their relatives. I took the chance to experiment with a lower glycemic index brown sugar and reduced the amount of sugar used slightly as less sugar was requested.

Looking sweet as a pair :)

I was window shopping one day at Naise and their interesting range of food products caught my attention. The item that intrigued me most was the Masarang arenga forest sugar. It is a type of palm sugar that has a wonderful caramel flavour that is similar to brown sugar but with so much more health benefits. The benefits include additional vitamins and being more diabetic-friendly.

You may refer to this post for the original brown sugar cookie recipe and royal icing recipe. I modified the original cookie recipe slightly by reducing the sugar content by about 10g. I made my own cookie templates since I don't have the cookie cutters for these characters.

1 large egg (55-57g without shell, 65g with shell)
96g golden syrup
2.5 tsp vanilla bean paste
130g unsalted butter
160g Masarang Arenga forest sugar
406g plain flour
1 and 1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt

Bake at 170°C for 15 minutes or until golden brown and firm.

Here are some pictures to share the process of making the cookies...

Freshly baked cookies!

Outlining Wall E with edible marker

Day 1 of intensive icing!

Day 2 of icing!

All packed!

These cookies indeed have a wonderful caramel flavour! It's great knowing that the cookies taste good and they are better for health too!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Tuesday, 11 October 2016

'Unicorn-Rainbow Shooting Star' Pink Ombre Chiffon Cake

This was made in Sept for my dear friend's girl Becca who was in love with my Rainbow Unicorn Pink Ombre Chiffon Cake. I combined the Pink ombre chiffon with Unicorn, with Rainbow shooting stars from my daughter's cake to create a new 'Unicorn-Rainbow shooting stars Pink ombre chiffon' - I know, very mouthful! haha!

This will be another short post as I'm still having difficulty juggling, sorry about it!

With lots of love,

Some of you may already know about the Deco Chiffon Cakes book event on 22nd Oct (below), do come support if you can..

I will be doing a live demo on how to make a cute 3-eye monster from chiffon cake, which will be followed by cake tasting and book signing. The event is open to public and no registration is required. So come on down for a free and fun afternoon on 22nd Oct, Sat, 4pm, Kinokuniya, Ngee Ann City!

Deco Chiffon Cakes Kinokuniya book event

Thanks for your support!


- Good news for Malaysians, Deco Chiffon Cakes will hit bookstores late Oct and can already be purchased online at Kinokuniya MY.

- In SG, Popular will be restocking this week, meanwhile the book is still available at Kinokuniya and Times.

- Good reviews! 
Reviews for Deco Chiffon Cakes have been that the book is very detailed! It has an extended basic section and a 6-page detailed troubleshooting guide specially for Creative chiffon techniques.

- Book event giveaway
I'm giving away one last copy of Deco Chiffon Cakes during my book event. Contest on my Instagram here.

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Monday, 10 October 2016

Lychee Purple Unicorn Macaron Carousel

It's another unicorn macaron carousel! But this time with a more unique flavour - lychee! And in sweet pastel purple this time for a young girl :).

You may find my other unicorn carousels over herehere and here.

I used the regular recipe for the macaron shells. Both regular and reduced sugar recipes can be found here. You may refer to my Creative Baking: Macarons book for a systematic presentation of the basics and complex shaped macarons. You may refer to my video tutorials for macaron basics and piping of complex shapes on the blog too. You may refer to this post for the dimensions of the shells required to make the carousel and the respective baking times. I piped a scalloped roof like the one similar to the sheep macaron carousel as I think it's really pretty and it is very helpful for positioning the paper straws during the assembly. Checkout the sheep carousel post for detailed steps of assembly.

I added 1/8 tsp of lychee flavouring to the mass to add some lychee flavour to the macaron shells. As the flavouring is quite strong, a little was sufficient to lend a subtle lychee flavour. When adding liquid flavouring to shells, be careful not to add too much or it will affect the drying time.

What is new here is the filling which I have come up with. In order to make a strong but not overly artificially flavoured lychee flavour, some lychee fruit has to be added. The challenge was to do this without making the filling too wet as the carousel structure needs a firm filling at room temperature in Singapore's hot weather. Fresh or canned lychees have a lot of water content so using the puree would not be suitable for carousel fillings.

I discovered freeze-dried lychees and found them to be perfect for this!

I ground some freeze-dried lychees to make about two tablespoons worth of fruit powder. You may use a good processor to do this but I used the more traditional method of mortar and pestle.

Recipe for lychee white chocolate filling
160g white chocolate
40g vegetable shortening
1 tsp lychee flavouring
2 tbs ground freeze dried lychees
1/4 tsp fine sea salt

1. Place chopped white chocolate and shortening in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 10 seconds at medium power and stir. Repeat until mixture is smooth and melted.

2. Gradually add salt, dried lychee powder and lychee flavouring. Mix well after each addition.

3. Let the "ganache" stand at room temperature for 15-30 minutes or until toothpaste consistency. Transfer to piping bag and fill the macaron shells with it.

Here's the half assembled macarons carousel structure.

I made a few extra loose unicorns to join in the fun too!

So glad the birthday girl loved this sweet carousel in her favourite colour :).

With love,
Phay Shing

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Sunday, 9 October 2016

'Monsters' Pistachio-Lemon Chiffon Cake

My ‘monsters’ Pistachio-Lemon Chiffon Cake!

This is sooo soo good! I fell in love when Munira posted her Pistachio-lemon sour cream pound cake. The night she posted her recipe, I actually dreamt of grinding pistachios and making a super light chiffon version in my sleep lol! Those who know me, know that I often get my ideas for my cakes through dreams (eg my 6-flavour rainbow hearts chiffon). It also came at a time I was searching for a simple cake to make for a 'monster' party. So I woke up, bought some pistachios, rolled up my sleeves, put on my head band (just kidding =p), and got to work!

The verdict: the rich taste of pistachios combined with a very soft and fluffy cake - the work is well-worth it!! Translated to our singlish - Die die must try! =p

Very soft texture with lovely pistachio taste

Pistachio Lemon Chiffon Cake (18cm/20cm chiffon tube pan)
4 egg yolks
33g castor sugar
52g vegetable/corn oil 
52g water
6g vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp baking powder, sifted
39g ground roasted pistachios (from 42g pistachios without shell)
39g prima cake flour, sifted
Few drops of PME natural coloring, Juniper green

5 egg whites
59g castor sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar

1. Prepare 42g roasted pistachios without shell. Peel off the outer brown covering. Place the pistachios into blender and grind till fine paste (the powder becomes paste due to the oil from the pistachio). Sieve through mesh.
*42g pistachios makes around 39g pistachio paste for me. 
*You can also use store-bought pistachio paste but depending on the purity, you may need to increase your cake flour corresspondingly.

42g pistachios, with brown layer roughly peeled

After being grounded into fine paste

2. Prepare lemon zest by using a fine scraper to gently scrap the outing yellow covering of the lemon, being careful to omit the white parts that may be bitter.

3. Preheat oven to 160°C. *Optional: I used steam baking, i.e. I placed a pan of water under the lowest rack before preheating – to control oven temperature and for moister texture.

4. Whisk egg yolks with castor sugar till pale and light.

5. Add in oil, then water and vanilla extract and whisk well

6. Add in sifted cake flour and whisk till no lumps are found. Then whisk in lemon zest and pistachio paste and mix till mixture is uniform and forms a smooth batter

7. Prepare meringue:

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

b. Add in ½ castor sugar for meringue and whisk at high speed till soft peaks form.

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

8. Pour the batter into an ungreased 7-inch chiffon tube pan. Gently tap on counter top to remove air bubbles.

9. Bake at 160°C for 15 min, 140°C for 30-35 min, or until skewer inserted into centre of cake comes out clean. **If you use steam baking, you may need to bake for a few more minutes.

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’). 

Freshly unmoulded cake - nice and tall!

Side profile of the final cake (after hiding a surprise in the center and covering it up with chiffon sheet cake cut-outs). Isn't it cute? =p

Hope you will enjoy the yummy nutty flavour and light fluffy cake!

With lots of love,

Some updates: Popular will be restocking by end of new week, but it's available at Kinokuniya and Times as well. It's in Kinokuniya bestsellers. Very grateful for your support!

Upcoming Kinokuniya book event (more details in link)

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Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Pikachu and Pokeball Macarons (Children's Day Special)

I have been really busy so pardon the short posts without detailed steps and recipe. Just to share what I made for my younger kid to share with classmates for Children's Day...

Pikachu and Pokeball macarons filled with dark chocolate ganache!

I had extra macaron shells so I filled some with more adult-friendly filling for my friends - lavendar Earl grey white chocolate ganache.

I used the reduced-sugar macaron shell recipe. You may refer to my Pokemon macarons post on how the Pikachu shells were done.

You may refer to this post for a detailed write-up about the reduced sugar macaron shell recipe, my Creative Baking: Macarons book for a systematic approach of presenting the basics to fancy shaped macarons, this post for video tutorials of macaron basics and this post for video tutorials of piping complex shaped objects.

Although the Pokeball looks simple, it's actually not that easy to get neat borders for every single macaron shell. Pikachu head is easier to pipe. Here's how I pipe the top shells...

Pipe white batter followed by red batter. Use a toothpick to nudge the edges such that each colour form a semicircle.

Don't worry if the line in the middle is not perfectly straight. The black line in the middle will hide it. Remember to bang the tray on the table.

Whole tray of shells!

Decorate the Pokeball shells either with royal icing or melted chocolate if you wish. I used royal icing

Some of the extra macarons were meant for my friends and I filled them with lavendar Earl grey white chocolate ganache.

Instead of making my own dried lavendar flower powder to flavour the filling, I simply infused the cream for making the ganache with lots of lavendar flowers.

You may refer to this post for the recipe for Earl grey white chocolate ganache.

Filling with lavendar Earl grey white chocolate ganache

Filling with dark chocolate ganache

All packed!

These fillings can withstand room temperature storage for 2-3 days so they are perfect as gifts.

What did I make for my elder kid's class, you may ask. He requested for some simple scones that I made twice for his class last year and everyone loved it so much that he is requesting for it again!

Simple fresh cream scones made without egg or butter.

With lots of love,
Phay Shing

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Sunday, 2 October 2016

‘Dragonite’ Medieval Castle Chiffon Cake

I was really excited to make this Dragon-themed Medieval castle for my friend’s son! I’ve made lots of Princess castle chiffon cakes so I felt it was really refreshing to try something different. Most of the medieval castles are square castles with 4 towers protecting the fortress. So I was happy to try out my first square castle, baked using an 8-inch square chiffon tube pan (thank you Evon for it again!).

I used bamboo charcoal to colour the castle grey, and used the recipe from my Graduation cap Charcoal Chiffon Cake, multiplied by 3 (9 egg recipe). The volume of an 8-inch square chiffon cake (length x width x height) is much bigger than an 8-inch round chiffon cake (Pi x radius squared), ie 256 cubic inches (for square pan) versus 201 cubic inches (for round pan), hence much more eggs are required. 8-inch round tube pan only requires a 5 egg recipe, while 8-inch square tube pan requires a 9 egg recipe! So that’s something to take note when using a square pan. 

Another point to note, I usually do not use baking powder in my chiffon cake recipes, but charcoal powder has the dampening effect on chiffon batter, so baking powder is required.

Very thankful the cake was well-received and the kids asked for seconds! So I will share the recipe for the yummy charcoal chiffon cake! =)

8-inch square tube pan

Bamboo Charcoal Chiffon Cake (8-inch square chiffon tube pan)
9 egg yolks
60g sugar
117g vegetable/corn oil
117 ml water
15 ml vanilla extract
Bamboo charcoal (to colour desired, around 1.5-2 tsp)
*You can also substitute with extra dark cocoa powder in part
168g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

12 egg whites
135g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 160°C (I used steam baking but it is optional).

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

3. Add in sieved flour, bamboo charcoal powder and baking powder and whisk till no trace of flour found.

4. Meringue: Beat the egg whites with 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. Pour the batter into the chiffon tin from a height.

7. Gently tap the tin on table 3x to remove air bubbles

8. Bake the cake for 15 min at 160°C, 10 min at 150°C, 20 min at 140°C then 15-20 min at 130°C.

9. Invert immediately once out of the oven to cool

10. Unmould by hand (video in link) after the cake is cool. Gently pull the cake from the sides of the tin at each angle and push the removable base up to unmould the sides. To unmould the cake from the base, gently lift up the cake from the base using hands, repeating this at each angle before turning the base over. 

For the dragonite, I baked a lemon chiffon in an egg and an oval bowl for the head and body, with some cutting/sculpting, and the arms, feet and tail are from small swissrolls, sliced into halves. For the claws, instead of baking them in paper cones like the Durian Cottony Cake, I was lazy and cut them from small round cake pops (sliced at the edges). Dragonite was really difficult to do! I doubt I will want to make it again haha. 

The details are all cut from chiffon cake. A special detail to share, for the fire holder, I actually baked a darker-coloured charcoal chiffon in a paper cone to make the nice conical holder shape. I also painted the inside of the fire red using food markers =).

Hope you will enjoy this nice chiffon cake! The texture is very light and fine.

With lots of love,
Susanne =)

More loving creations here (poured my heart into it, hope you will love too!):

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Friday, 30 September 2016

Sheep Brown Sugar Cookiepops

Here are some sheep brown sugar cookiepops :)

If they look familiar to you, that's because they have appeared a couple of times on our blog in the form of macarons and gingerbread cookies.

Please refer to my updated post for brown sugar cookies for the cookie and royal icing recipe.

If you have not seen my old cookie posts, you may wonder how I manage to make cookies of so many different shapes. I make my own templates out of clear plastic files that you can easily find at stationery shops.

I use a small fruit knife to cut out the dough using my homemade template.

It's easier to work with firm dough. Refrigerate it if it becomes too soft and sticky.

Cookiepops are slightly more troublesome to make than regular cookies. The dough had to be rolled thinner (3-4mm) and the same shape cut out twice for each cookie, with an ice-cream stick sandwiched in between.

Freshly baked!

Decorating the sheep was fairly simple without the need for tracing outlines with edible marker. Freehand icing was not too challenging :).

Icing the cookiepops!

Be sure to dry the icing thoroughly either in the open or in the oven with the fan on but heat turned on only for a few seconds.

Store in airtight container. These can keep for 1.5-2 months.

With love,
Phay Shing

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