Heartsoul Desserts

The Heart and Soul of my Baking Journey coming alive

Archive for the category “The Journey”

At The Handmade Show

At The Handmade Show

The Handmade Show : market stall selling baked goods
St Anthony’s Church Hall
corner Glenhuntly and Neerim roads
10.30am – 3.30pm, every third Saturday of the month

NEXT MARKET DATE:  September 21st

Heartsoul Desserts supporting the Big Cake Bake


Hi Everyone,

It’s that time of year again.. We’re baking to support such a worthy cause..

All donations raised from Big Cake Bake will support the everyday work of the Australian Red Cross, including programs and services to help some of the most vulnerable people in Australia and further afield.


I will be selling 3 types of cupcakes (Red velvet, Lemon cheesecake AND Chocolate orange/Jaffa – In line with the charity promo colours), $20 for a gift box of 6 standard OR $25 for a gift box of 12 mini available to be picked up on Saturday 21st September at The Handmade Show (between 10.30am and 3.30pm). $5 from each sale will go towards the BigCakeBake charity.

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Here’s the official donation page: Heartsoul Desserts Bakes
If you would like to purchase the cupcake gift boxes, please contact me directly charmaine@heartsouldesserts.com and I will send you details on how to donate directly to the charity and the remainder payment to me. Thanks 😉

Hope to hear from you all soon!

xxx, Charmaine

It’s been awhile… But here I am.. Still standing!!

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to put up a short note about where I’ll be this Saturday, 20th April…
Finally managed to get my stuff together and will be selling some baked goods at The Handmade Show.

Event details

Please feel free to stop by to say hi and buy something if you’d like…
There will be goodie bags offered by the market to the first 100 customers, so you’d like to get in early to grab yourself one. There will be a discount voucher and treat from us in the goodie bag!!

Free entertainment, face painting and lots more beautiful handmade items, and the cafe will be open too!!

See you all there, xxx Charmaine

Another milestone…

Yahooooo!! Business cards have now been ordered.. logo completed and now it’s about finding the time to finish the website.. Thanks for all the support and stay tuned via my Facebook and Twitter accounts…

xxx Charmaine

I love what I do… how about you?


It’s now heading to the middle of the year.. how are you all going? Still soldiering on with your “new year” resolutions?

Well, I’m glad to say that I’m on my way.. the website is coming along beautifully and hopefully in a couple of weeks time, you’ll get to see a sneak preview of it..

Thanks for all your support and be sure to keep updated via Facebook or follow me on Twitter..

xxx, Charmaine

Step 2: Getting organised…

Hi Everyone.. It has been a crazy busy 2 months.. Updates updates:

  1. Working as a Chef with Peter Rowland Catering few times a week.. really learning a lot, with Production work and Events and Functions at their beautiful venues!!
  2. Finishing up work with William Angliss Institute, gosh.. time flies when you’re having fun..
  3. Finally registered my business name with Business Victoria
  4. Bought a .com, mynichegroup is designing and preparing my website, more to be revealed soon
  5. Still working at Food Festivals.. absolutely love it

Remember.. keep up to date with everything, follow me on Facebook and Twitter!!


The Daring Bakers Challenge March 2011: Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake

Last month I started doing a monthly challenge and this will be my second one, though a little bit late posting, I’m still very proud to present my version of the challenge..

The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

This made me very excited as I hadn’t baked bread (well, actually it’s a yeasty cake) in ages.. This yeasted meringue coffee cake is “a gorgeous brioche-like dough is rolled jellyroll style around a whipped meringue and whatever filling you choose, shaped into a wreath and baked.” A basic recipe was given and we added in our own fillings.. so I made two different combinations as the dough yield produces 2 x 500g cakes.

Filled Meringue Coffee Cake (recipe from Jamie’s dad’s recipe collection)
Makes 2 round coffee cakes, each approximately 10 inches in diameter
The recipe can easily be halved to make one round coffee cake

Ingredients for the yeast coffee cake dough

  • 600g flour
  • 55g sugar
  • 5g salt
  • 7g active dried yeast
  • 180ml whole milk soy milk
  • 60ml water (doesn’t matter what temperature)
  • 135g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature

Ingredients for the meringue

  • 3 large egg whites at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon pandan extract (Note: take out ½ the meringue before adding the pandan extract)

Ingredients for filling combination #1: Vanilla meringue, Banana puree, Cinnamon sugar, Chopped walnuts and Dark chocolate chips

  • 1 large banana (mashed)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 100g chopped walnuts

Ingredients for filling combination #2: Pandan meringue, Toasted coconut and Crushed peanuts

  • 50g toasted coconut
  • 50g crushed peanuts

And Egg wash before baking: 1 large Egg
Icing sugar to dust on top after baking (optional)


  1. Prepare the dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine 230g of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the milk, water and butter and heat over medium heat until warm and the butter is just melted.
  3. With an electric mixer on low speed, gradually add the warm liquid to the flour/yeast mixture, beating until well blended. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes. Add the eggs and 150g flour and beat for 2 more minutes.
  4. Using a wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that holds together. Turn out onto a floured surface (use any of the flour remaining) and knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft, smooth, sexy and elastic, keeping the work surface floured and adding extra flour as needed.
  5. Place the dough in a lightly greased (I use vegetable oil) bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise until double in bulk, 45 – 60 minutes. The rising time will depend on the type of yeast you use.
  6. Prepare the filling #1: In a small bowl, combine the mashed banana with the cinnamon and sugar. Chop the walnuts and measure out the chocolate chips to sprinkle on later. 
  7. Prepare the filling #2: Toast the coconut in the oven (180 degrees) for 5 minutes. Measure out the crushed peanuts ready for sprinkling later.
  8. Once the dough has doubled, make the meringue: In a clean mixing bowl (I used a kitchen aid or you can use any electric beater with a metal bowl), beat the egg whites with the salt, first on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high and continue beating until foamy and opaque. Add the vanilla then start adding the ½ cup sugar, a tablespoon at a time as you beat, until very stiff, glossy peaks form. Take out half the mixture and then add the pandan extract and beat until the colour is evenly distributed for Filling #2.


Assemble the Coffee Cakes:

  1. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Punch down the dough and divide in half. On a lightly floured surface, working one piece of the dough at a time (keep the other half of the dough wrapped in plastic), roll out the dough into a 20 x 10-inch (about 51 x 25 ½ cm) rectangle.
  3. Filling combination #1: Spread half of the meringue evenly over the rectangle up to about 1/2-inch (3/4 cm) from the edges. Sprinkle half of your filling of choice evenly over the meringue (ex: half of the cinnamon-sugar followed by half the chopped nuts and half of the chocolate chips/chopped chocolate). Spread the banana cinnamon puree, sprinkle the walnuts and chocolate chips.
  4. Repeat with the remaining dough, meringue and fillings. Filling combination #2: Spread the other half of the meringue (pandan flavoured) evenly over the rectangle up to about 1/2-inch (3/4 cm) from the edges. Sprinkle half of your filling of choice evenly over the meringue (ex: half of the cinnamon-sugar followed by half the chopped nuts and half of the chocolate chips/chopped chocolate). Sprinkle the toasted coconut and crushed peanuts.
  5. Now, roll up the dough jellyroll style, from the long side. Pinch the seam closed to seal. Very carefully transfer the filled log to one of the lined cookie sheets, seam side down. Bring the ends of the log around and seal the ends together, forming a ring, tucking one end into the other and pinching to seal.
  6. Using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife (although scissors are easier), make cuts along the outside edge at 1-inch (2 ½ cm) intervals. Make them as shallow or as deep as desired but don’t be afraid to cut deep into the ring.
  7. Cover the 2 coffee cakes with plastic wrap and allow them to rise again for 45 to 60 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Brush the tops of the coffee cakes with the egg wash. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until risen and golden brown. The dough should sound hollow when tapped.
  9. Remove from the oven and slide the parchment paper off the cookie sheets onto the table. Very gently loosen the coffee cakes from the paper with a large spatula and carefully slide the cakes off onto cooling racks. Allow to cool.
  10. Just before serving, dust the tops of the coffee cakes with confectioner’s sugar as well as cocoa powder if using chocolate in the filling. These are best eaten fresh, the same day or the next day.


The Daring Bakers Challenge February 2011: Pannacotta and Florentine Cookies

I can finally reveal that this is the other project that I was talking about but couldn’t say anything about until the “reveal date”, 27th of each month.

The Daring Kitchen (Daring Bakers and Cooks) Food Bloggers from all over the world, log onto this website at the beginning of each month to find out what the monthly challenge is. They share ideas, recipes and post of their results at the end of the month. The trick is that we can’t reveal anything publicly or talk about it until the reveal date. One of the other “rules” is that you cannot miss two challenges in a row. However, on the website, members can discuss and post up pics of their results and discuss alternate (eg. gluten-free, lactose-free) ideas too.

I am grateful to MS for getting me onto this website, as now I have another thing to look forward to each month and am learning so much from other Bakers around the world.

The February 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Miss Mallory of A Sofa In The Kitchen. She chose to challenge everyone to make Panna Cotta from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.

It was her first time hosting and I was very very lucky to get Pannacotta and Florentine Biscuit as my First Challenge. As most of you know, I’ve made many other Pannacottas, however, this was the first time I made Florentines.. loved the challenge and hope that I did her proud!!

So here it is, I present to you my Ginger infused Pannacotta with a Cointreau Mandarin Syrup

Basic Recipe taken from this Food Network website and my amendements as follows:


  • 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon (one packet) (15 ml) (7 gm) (¼ oz) unflavored powdered gelatin I substituted with 6 Gold gelatine leaves
  • Grated ginger (1 inch in size)
  • 1  tablespoon of ground ginger powder
  • 3 cups (720 ml) whipping cream (30+% butterfat) I replaced this with Thickened Cream instead
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) honey
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 can of mandarin oranges (drain most of the syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons of Cointreau


  1. Pour the milk into a bowl or pot and sprinkle gelatin evenly and thinly over the milk (make sure the bowl/pot is cold by placing the bowl/pot in the refrigerator for a few minutes before you start making the Panna Cotta). Let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.
  2. Pour the milk into the saucepan/pot and place grated ginger and ground ginger powder and mix well. Place saucepan/ pot over medium heat on the stove. Heat this mixture until it is hot, but not boiling, about five minutes. (I whisk it a few times at this stage).
  3. Next, add the cream, honey, sugar and pinch of salt. Making sure the mixture doesn’t boil, continue to heat and stir occasionally until the sugar and honey have dissolved 5-7 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, allow it to sit for a few minutes to cool slightly. Then pour into the glass or ramekin.
  5. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
  6. Next day, place mandarins with the cointreau and then add as a garnish and serve.


and Rolled Oats, Roasted Coconut and Chocolate Chip Florentines with a Dark Chocolate Coating.

Basic Recipe taken from Nestle Classic Recipes and my amendments as follows:


  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) (150 gm) (5.3 oz) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (480 ml) (160 gm) (5 2/3 oz) quick oats I used 140g rolled oats instead
  • 50g desicated coconut
  • 100g dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (240 ml) (230 gm) (8 oz) granulated sugar (changed to 200g, reduced the sugar amount)
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) (95 gm) (3⅓ oz) plain (all purpose) flour
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) dark corn syrup I used Golden Syrup
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) whole milk
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1½ cups (360 ml) (250 gm) (9 oz) dark or milk chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to moderately hot 375°F (190°C) (gas mark 5). Prepare your baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
  2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan, then remove from the heat. (NOTE: you can also use a microwave for 30 seconds – watch that it doesn’t burn)
  3. To the melted butter add oats, desicated coconut, chocolate chips, sugar, flour, corn golden syrup, milk, vanilla, and salt. Mix well. Drop a tablespoon full, three inches (75 mm) apart, onto your prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the back of your tablespoon, or use a spatula.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Cool completely on the baking sheets.
  5. While the cookies are cooling melt your chocolate until smooth either in the microwave (1 1/2 minutes), or stovetop (in a double boiler, or a bowl that fits atop a saucepan filled with a bit of water, being sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl).
  6. Peel the cookies from the silpat or parchment and place face down on a wire rack set over a sheet of wax/parchment paper (to keep counters clean).
  7. Spread a tablespoon of chocolate on the bottom/flat side of your cookie, sandwiching another (flat end) cookie atop the chocolate. I just drizzled the chocolate over the cookies instead.


Peanut Cookies.. love them!

So for the final installment of Chinese New Year delights, here’s the last article on Peanut Cookies.


Article #2 – Kueh Bangkit

So here’s my 2nd attempt at writing an article for cintadapur.com, another Chinese New Year favourite: Kueh Bangkit a.k.a Tapioca Flour or Coconut cookie. Click link for recipe.


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