How to cook like Poh Ling Yeow at home: Amateur chef reveals her guide to recreating the MasterChef star’s lychee strawberry chiffon cake
MasterChef’s Poh Ling Yeow impressed the judges last Sunday with her ‘gutsy’ lychee strawberry chiffon cake.
And now amateur chef Sophie Green has revealed how you can recreate the layered creation at home.
Sophie shared her step-by-step guide with Daily Mail Australia, after preparing the cake for her mother’s birthday.
How to cook like Poh Ling Yeow at home: Amateur chef Sophie Green has revealed her guide to recreating the MasterChef star’s lychee strawberry chiffon cake
For the layers, Sophie made a raspberry, lemon and almond gluten-free cake from The Brick Kitchen.
‘I made a Swiss meringue buttercream with freeze-dried raspberries mixed throughout,’ she explained.
‘I sandwiched the layers together with buttercream and fresh raspberries, and then covered the cake in buttercream.’
DIY: For the layers, Sophie made a raspberry, lemon and almond gluten-free cake
Impressive: ‘I made a Swiss meringue buttercream with freeze-dried raspberries mixed throughout,’ Sophie told Daily Mail Australia on Friday
How to make the layer cake at home
Sophie followed The Brick Kitchen’s lemon, almond and raspberry layer cake
Prep time: 2 hours Cooking time: 30 minutes Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
300g butter, softened
300g caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
300g ground almonds
75g flour (or buckwheat flour to make gluten-free), sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 1/3 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
225g butter, softened
375g icing sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
150g cream cheese
Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
Preheat oven to 170°C. Line 3 x 15cm round cake tins with baking paper.
In the bowl of a stand beater or with an electric mixer, cream the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.
Fold in the ground almonds, sifted flour and baking powder.
Fold in the lemon zest and juice.
Divide the batter equally between the three tins, and dot the top of each with raspberries.
Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out just clean.
Remove and leave to cool in the tins for 15 minutes, then remove to a cake rack to cool completely.
To make the buttercream
Beat the butter with an electric or stand mixer until very pale, about 5 minutes.
Add the icing sugar and beat again until combined and very pale, another 5 minutes.
Add the vanilla extract.
With the mixture on a medium speed, gradually add the cream cheese, teaspoon by teaspoon, until just combined.
Add the lemon zest and mix to just combine (optional).
Place one cake layer on the plate, cake board or cake stand you plan to serve it on.
Top with a spoonful of buttercream and use an offset spatula to spread evenly over the cake at about 1/2 cm – 1 cm thick.
Gently place a second cake on top. Repeat with the icing, then another cake layer, then icing again. If it is warm in your kitchen, at this point you may want to place the cake in the fridge for 20 minutes to make it easier to ice the sides.
Gently spread icing around the sides of the cake.
Decorate with edible flowers and serve.
Inside look: ‘I sandwiched the layers together with buttercream and fresh raspberries, and then covered the cake in buttercream,’ she added
Sophie added more raspberries on top and edible flowers from Simply Rose Petals.
She was able to complete the masterpiece in just over two hours.
‘The cake took about one hour to make and 30 minutes in the oven. Twenty minutes to make a buttercream, and a further 20 to 30 minutes to decorate,’ she said.
Challenge: On Sunday’s episode of MasterChef: Back to Win, Poh admitted she had set herself up for a real challenge because the chiffon cake usually requires two hours to cool
Sophie encourages other amateur chefs to ‘channel their inner Poh’.
Her top tip for recreating the lychee strawberry chiffon cake is to use a Swiss meringue buttercream.
‘It gives a beautiful glossy finish but is not super sweet like some buttercreams,’ she explained.
Sophie’s top tips
- Channel your inner Poh
- Use a Swiss meringue buttercream
- Ensure cake is cool before icing
- Freshness makes all the difference
- Flowers add a pop of colour
Sophie also stressed the importance of allowing your cake to cool before icing, and said adding freshness with berries between each layer ‘makes all the difference’.
On Sunday’s episode of MasterChef: Back to Win, Poh admitted she had set herself up for a real challenge because the chiffon cake usually requires two hours to cool.
With only the base layer cool just minutes before plating, Poh said on camera: ‘I have to ice and decorate this in 20 minutes.
‘I realise that everyone’s finished their cook and all eyes are on me. There’s so much pressure, especially because only 18 of us are safe and five have to go into round two.
‘I’m using all of my 90 minutes for my lychee strawberry chiffon cake. It’s very delicate. Far out. It’s had no time to set. So I’ll have zero time for round two, which means this has to work.’
Under pressure: With only the base layer cool just minutes before plating, Poh said on camera: ‘I have to ice and decorate this in 20 minutes’
Stellar job: But Poh pulled off an impressive feat by icing all three layers and presenting the cake in just minutes
No faults: The three judges were impressed by her technical abilities, and she was safe from elimination
But Poh pulled off an impressive feat by icing all three layers and presenting the cake in just minutes.
The three judges were impressed by her technical abilities, and she was safe from elimination.
Melissa Leong described the sweet treat as ‘light and airy’, while Andy Allen praised Poh for making a ‘technically perfect’ cake.
MasterChef Australia continues Sunday at 7.30pm on Channel 10
Got their approval: Melissa Leong (centre) described the sweet treat as ‘light and airy’, while Andy Allen (left) praised Poh for making a ‘technically perfect’ cake