We’ve seen some really amazing cakes in our time: layered cakes, cakes made out of things like cheese or donuts, pastries with watercolour icing. Even creations that look like terrariums, elevated flowers and other cool concoctions.
But we’ve never, ever seen something as cool as this.
Introducing stuffed animal cakes, as designed by baker Susanne Ng. The mother, who has a P.h.D in biomedical engineering, has recently been impressing social media with her amazing creations that look just like stuffed animals, but are actually fully edible.
All of her chiffon cakes are made completely from scratch, and require a heck of a lot of prep work. Basically, each component to every cake is made separately as the baker visualizes what’s needed, with each part taking roughly an hour to actually bake and an hour and a half to cool down. It’s no wonder that one custom cake take a full day to make. That’s a lot of assembly required.
“Chiffon cakes are moist and airy, and are leavened primarily with egg whites, much like angel cakes,” Ng tells us. “Briefly, the egg yolks and whites are separated. The egg yolks are beaten with sugar, oil, water and dry ingredients. The egg whites are whipped separately until [they form] peaks, and [are] gently folded back into the egg yolk batter. The finish of a perfect chiffon should be feather light, yet hold itself up.”
Ng reveals that she usually bakes the patterns into the chiffon cake itself, using even more chiffon cake for the actual décor. “They can be made into a variety of shapes/sizes through some creativity,” she adds. “Temperature control is important to not form a brown crust, for the patterns to come through.”
If you’ve baked your cake perfectly, Ng adds, it should be pretty easy to unmould simply by peeling it from the surface.
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So how does Ng get these cakes to stick together? Melted chocolate or marshmallows make for a surprisingly great (and equally edible) glue. She also uses everyday household items like hollowed out eggshells to make natural moulds, which explains how she gets some of those near-perfect shapes. As for colour?
“Usually I add food colouring into the egg yolk batter. This is recommended as adding it during the meringue stages deflates the egg whites quickly,” she says. “Some other details like blusher are added on during the decoration stage, but it is not recommended for large areas.”
Sadly, Ng is based in Singapore, so it doesn’t look like she’ll be shipping these creations to North America anytime soon. Besides, the 37-year-old really only makes these cakes for family and friends, since her three kids (under the age of eight) keep her pretty busy. In fact, she only got into this chiffon cake business when she began cooking for play dates three-and-a-half years ago, and realized these types of cakes are healthier for you.
She’s currently working on her third chiffon cake cookbook, and shares some more thorough, step-by-step instructions in Creative Baking: Deco Chiffon Cakes, which is available for purchase in Canada.
For now, we’ll just enjoy these cakes from afar via Ng’s Instagram account. There, she’s already accumulated more than 23,000 followers with more to inevitably follow. And who could blame them? These cakes are so great we don’t know whether we’d rather snuggle or snack on them.