Fancy Swiss Meringue Buttercream on your Cupcake

IMG_1256 strawberry cream

Fancy Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC) on your cupcake?

Ever tried frosting a cake with freshly whipped dairy cream and having it melting in front of your eyes even before being served?

Before you throw in the towel, try SMBC. In our hot summery weather in Singapore, SMBC is a better option compared to fresh whip cream due to its great stability. No funny preservatives. 100% natural ingredients.

All you need is 3 basic ingredients: egg whites, caster sugar and butter. Voila!

Make more and you can FREEZE the excess for your rainy days too. I froze my first batch up to a month and slapped it onto my boy’s cake without any issues. The biggest tip to using the frozen SMBC though is to bring it to room temperature first before using it. I didn’t even have to rewhip it. Second tip, freeze them into small batches. If you use just a little for mini cupcakes, you could just take a small container out to defrost. If you need generous portions for a cake, by all means, defrost all that you have. But the idea is not to freeze it again – freshness issues.

Recipe

207g Egg Whites (approx. 5.5 egg whites)

250g Sugar

454g butter (softened at room temperature & cut into small chunks )

 Method

1. Put egg white in a large metal bowl and sit it over a pot of simmering water. Do not let bottom of bowl touch the water.

2. Use a balloon whisk to stir the sugar and egg whites. Heat it to 160Farenheit. I use a expresso thermometer to keep track of the temperature.

pot

3. Once you reach 160F, remove the bowl from the simmering pot. Use electric whisk to beat the mixture at medium speed. Mixture should double in volume and form stiff peaks after about 12 minutes.

4. Use cut up butter and slowly add in the chunks, piece by piece. Whisk at slow speed until all blended and you get a smooth SMBC.

5. Prior to use, flavour as you wish. For above portion, you may add 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract to taste.

Tips:

– Do not preheat water and put egg white over it. Egg whites may be cooked.

– Above recipe is less sweet. If you like your buttercream sweeter, can increase sugar up to 300g.

– For crisp white SMBC, I read that colourless imitation vanilla essence may be used. Don’t quote me.

– Use paddle in the end and whisk for 1 minute to achieve whiter cream by whipping air into it.

Storage:

– Keep in fridge up to 3 days and freezer to store up to 2 months.

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Pandan Chiffon Cake

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Pandan Chiffon Cake

If you love soft cottony cakes, then this recipe is a keeper. As a kid, nothing beats a home baked pandan chiffon cake. When my mum started to cut her cake, it was time to make the dash. For despite being a 10 egg cake, it sure didn’t last long. There were four kids in the family (including myself) and the cue was the aroma from the oven and then quick legworks to get to kitchen before the others could lay their hands on the cake.
Today, I have continued my mum’s “legacy” … haha …  or so a lot of family friends have said. My love for chiffon cake continued and trust me, I have my fair share of successes as well as failures. And gladfully, my kids also share my love for the soft bouncy chiffon cakes.
My top favourite was Okashi’s chiffon cake. I have tweaked her recipe to make a pandan flavoured chiffon. Hope you enjoy it too.
And just to share, you can do patterning on chiffon cakes too. Here’s what I had done to one of them …
Sakura Pattern Chiffon

Sakura Pattern Chiffon

Recipe
INGREDIENTS
Top flour 80g
5 yolks (using 60g eggs)
20g sugar
40g coconut milk
30g pandan juice
60g sunflower oil
Meringue
Caster Sugar 90g
Corn Starch 10g
5 egg whites
METHOD
1. Preheat oven to 150 degree celcius.
2. Combine egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. Add pandan juice, oil and coconut milk and blend together. Add in flour and mix until batter is sticky.
3. To make meringue, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Add in half of the sugar and corn starch (can mix these ingredients together beforehand). Continue beating for a couple minutes, then add remaining sugar and corn flour until egg whites produce stiff peaks. A handheld electric whisk works best for the job.
4. Add 1/3 of merginue to egg yolk mixture and fold in lightly. Then add former batter into the remaining meringue and fold in with swift actions.
5. Pour batter into a 21cm chiffon tin and place in oven (lower rack) to bake for 50 minutes at 150 degree celcius.
6. When cake is done, flip it over to cool completely (approx. 30minutes to 1hr) before unmoulding. My preferred unmoulding method is by hand. What is unmoulding by hand? Here’s a link to my favourite blogger’s video: http://www.thebakingbiatch.com/2013/01/fluffy-pandan-chiffon-cake.html
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Send your love on cup cakes :D

Having a happy day?

Having a happy day?

I had never been a big fan of fondants … until I played with it that I realised they are better than play doh!

So what is fondant?

To quote Wikipedia ‘It’s a type of icing commonly used on decorative cakes.’. The basic recipe consists of water, sugar and glucose. You can home make fondant but the general trend is to buy off the shelf fondant. Some common brands include Redman (good economical brand if you are living in Singapore. But mind you, this brand is going to need a lot of work in kneading due to its drier texture), Satin Icing (supposedly excellent albeit expensive brand), Fancy Fondant (made in Malaysia and comes in smaller portions), Pete & Wills (if you need Kosher Certified and this is imported from Israel) etc. The list can goes on and so I’m just going to leave it here.

Why do I love fondant?

Versatility, malleability, visually appealing which makes them great cake toppers! It’s a baker’s playdoh! You can use them to write simple messages (which I did above and below),

Cuppie msg

Cuppie msg

2D cartoons for your kids (if your boys have been hassling you for an elephant or Ben 10) and as your experiences get the better of you, you’ll find yourself drifting towards 3D modelling which includes the likes of majestic center masterpieces! For now, I’m happy just to stay with the simple stuff which seemed so mundane and yet brightened and coloured our lives.

Small Imitation of Chanel Bag

Small Imitation of Chanel Bag

Bumblebee on grass patch

Bumblebee on grass patch

Blue Sports Car

Blue Sports Car

Bugs & Life

Bugs & Life

So send your love on cup cakes today!

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Teddy Patterned Roll

Teddy Patterned Roll

TEDDY BEAR PATTERNED ROLL

My infactuation with these patterned rolls started last year early in 2013. And that is also when I got to know about Junko and her fabulous rolls. I bought the lovely Japanese author’s book as soon as the English translation came out. And believe it or not, when I have the time, I just love to flip through the pages and immerse myself in her beautiful pictures of chiffon rolls.

I still recalled the days when my family was in Melbourne and the big fluffy fruity rolls baked by the Australian-Taiwanese bakeries. The lovely spongy texture of the chiffon roll combined with the fresh fruits and cream made it an absolute delight at tea break.

Armed with a 2 & 4 year old, my baking couldn’t take on an adventurous track. But due to kiddy requests, I started incorporating animals on my bakes. Above is a design I have taken from Junko’s book. However, the recipe and method is different. I have trial and error various recipes and below is the one I love best. The moist and softness of the resulting sponge is unparalleled. I have also baked various designs in the past to fulfil not only the palette but also personal curiosity about pattern printing. Will be posting more of it later. Do keep a look out for them. 🙂

Recipe

Ingredients
Yolk Batter
1 egg
3 yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
35g unsalted butter
60g top flour
10g cocoa powder
60g milk

Meringue
3 egg white
85g sugar

Baking Time
180 degree celcius for 20 mins

Method

1. Line a 25cm by 25cm tray with baking paper. Place the teddy bear print under the baking paper for tracing later.

2. Melt butter in a hot water bath.

3. Add top flour and mix into a dough using a spatula.

4. Pour in the 1 egg and 3 yolks and mix well.

5. Pour the milk and mix well. Remove from water bath.

6. At this stage, use 2 small bowls to prepare 2 different coloured batter to use for the pattern. I added 2 tsp of yolk batter to one bowl and 4 tsp of yolk batter to another. (Note: As it turned out, I had excessive coloured batter in the end.) Colour the first bowl of batter pink (I used wilton colouring) and leave the second bowl without any colouring.

7.  Whisk the egg white until glossy and stiff peaks are formed. Use 1 big tsp heap of meringue for pink batter and 2 big tsp heap for natural coloured batter. Mix them well and place in piping bags. Put the unused meringue in the fridge at this point.

8. Piping the teddy bear: first, use pink batter to gently draw bears’ snout. Bake in oven for 1 – 1.5 minute. Remove from oven. Second, use the natural coloured batter to gently pipe the outline of the bear and filling in the face. Return to oven to bake for 1 – 1.5minute. After baking, don’t forget to remove the teddy bear print from under the baking paper.

9. Blend the cocoa powder into the initial first batch of yolk batter.

10. Retrieve meringue from the fridge and fold 1/3 of the meringue into the cocoa batter.

11. Then pour the meringue and cocoa batter mixture back to the balance meringue. Fold until no further egg white is seen.

12. Pour final batter onto baking tray with pattern. Spread batter evenly with a scraper. Gently tap the tray on table 2 or 3 times to remove air pockets.

13. Bake in oven at 180 degree celcius for 20 minutes.

14. Peel off baking paper from bottom of cake immediately and place it on top of cake to allow latent heat to escape.

15. Leave cake to cool before rolling.

16. For filling, I used cream cheese. To prepare, mix 8oz Philadelphia cream cheese, 57gm butter, 1 tsp vanilla and 115g icing sugar together thoroughly.

17. Flip cake over with pattern down on parchment paper. Trim 2 opposite ends at diagonal. Make shallow cuts 2 cm apart surface of cake. Brush with syrup, then spread cream cheese evenly, leaving 3cm space at opposite end.

18. Roll the cake using the baking paper to guide the rolling. Wrap cake up with parchment paper twisting both ends to secure roll.

19. Refrigerate overnight for best results.

20. Before serving, use edible pen to draw the eyes, noses and mouths on the bear.

21. Cut and decorate accordingly. Bon appetite.

IMG_0822 cake

 

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