Unique creations: Creative chiffon
SINGAPORE — Many may wonder how a chiffon cake can be used to create a character, given its texture. Soft, spongey and airy, it seems impossible to use chiffon cakes to make anything cutesy and quirky. After all, the most famed of the chiffon cakes locally is the pandan cake, and have you ever seen anything else apart from a round pandan cake?
Well, meet stay-home mum Susanne Ng, 36, who runs the cake blog, lovingcreations4u, together with fellow stay-at-home-mum Tan Phay Sing, 36.
The ardent baker and mother of three uses chiffon cakes to build stunning creations. Yes, she has created a three-dimensional eight-inch version of Snorlax, a three-tier Tarepanda cream cheese cake and a Gudetama pink lemonade cake, all using chiffon cakes.
The idea to start experimenting with chiffon cakes for cute character cakes was inspired by her little ones. Ng pointed out that “they (chiffon cakes) are much healthier than fondant, being much lower in sugar. The soft, light texture is much more popular with kids — they can finish it in no time as compared to hard fondant,” she shared, adding that most of her enquiries come from mums who want healthier cakes for their children, friends and elderly relatives.
But there are challenges working with chiffon cakes. Unlike with fondant, Ng could not shape the characters “play-doh style”. More time is spent thinking about how to create the characters, and she uses a variety of innovative moulds such as paper cones to get different shapes. Ng’s attention to details and painstakingly well-crafted cakes have won her plenty of fans. Ng revealed she is busy till the end of the year, and has had to turn down requests as she is unable to cope with the volume.
Thanks to the Pokemon Go craze raging right now, requests for Pokemon Go characters have been mounting. “It used to be (Disney) Tsum Tsum and Hello Kitty. Because they are cute and look like stuffed toys baked as chiffon cakes,” Ng enthused. She also shared that an order for six Tsum Tsum characters left her quite stumped. As Tsum Tsum is derived from Japanese, which means Stack Stack, she tried to get the characters on top of each other. “But I did not succeed in stacking up the Tsum Tsum vertically as there were too many and the chiffon cake was too soft. The faces (of the Tsum Tsum) ended up getting squashed and out-of-shape,” she said. She ended up improvising and settled on placing them flat next to each other. However, Ng said she finds experimenting more rewarding than frustrating as she comes up with different shapes and molds to fit the characters.
Ng is also passionate about sharing her love of chiffon cakes, and has authored a book Creative Baking: Chiffon Cakes, which was published by Marshall Cavendish in January this year. She has a second book titled Deco Chiffon Cakes, which will be in stores from Sept 23. Ng notes that while the first book highlighted more on rainbow creations like a rainbow chiffon cake and watermelon cake pops, the second book will focus more on 3D patterns such as cute animals and feature trending flavours like a salted egg lava chiffon cake. “I hope more people will enjoy these recipes — especially the salted egg lava one, and enjoy making these cute creatures.”
The cookbook, Deco Chiffon Cakes will be released on Sept 23 and be available at all major bookstores. Find Susanne Ng on Instagram: @Susanne_ng