Heartsoul Desserts

The Heart and Soul of my Baking Journey coming alive

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 Pandan and Coconut series

For the month of March, my articles for CintaDapur.com are all about the relationship about the two most used ingredients in Malaysian cooking. Please feel free to wander through and have a read of each article.. some of which are old traditions and others have a fusion flare to it.. enjoy!

Article #1: Mr Pandan and Mrs Coconut

Article #2: Fusion – Pandan Peanut Scones


Article #3: Traditional – Ondeh-Ondeh

There will be three more articles coming.. stay tuned!

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.


Project #1 – Writing for CintaDapur.com

Hi Everyone

As promised, revealing a new weekly commitment, a long time friend Ivan invited me to be part of his website CintaDapur (Gastronomic Memoirs of a Malaysian Living Abroad) and my first article has now been published. Adding to the fact that I’ve also started selling an item once a month, other than my other orders for baked goods..

The first article is about Pineapple tarts, a Chinese New Year favourite.. The article is on his website, so be sure to link up to it.. CintaDapur is also on Facebook, so you can catch updates there too.


Stay tuned for the next round of items I’m selling.. March March.. maybe Macadamia? Mars? Melting moments?..

A new year has begun

Happy New Year everyone.. and also Happy Chinese New Year..

Lots of updates coming up.. about my trip home, new business ventures, new (old) recipes and also my plans for the next few months until I graduate!!

So stay tuned.. it’s all coming up this week..

Wishing all of you a very healthy, wealthy and joyful Rabbit Year ahead!!

Short Course: Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia

While I was in Malaysia for 2 months on a “school break”, a friend invited me along to a newly opened Academy Pastry Arts in Petaling Jaya. Being out of the kitchen for a couple of months, I began to have slight withdrawal syndromes from baking, so I took the opportunity to sign up for the 2-day ‘Art of Modern French Pastries’ short course. I was introduced to Chef Niklesh Sharma (Managing Director & Executive Pastry Chef at Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia and Head Pastry Chef at Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel), Chef Guillaume Lejeune (Director of Pastry studies at Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia) and Chef Wei Loon Tan.


When I first walked in, I noticed the wide open spaces, the shiny new benches and equipment, cake displays and friendly atmosphere, they even have a dedicated chocolate room!! I felt very at home when I put a freshly ironed chef’s jacket and white apron on. The course was 2 full days and we managed to get through quite a lot… Vanilla mousse cake with mixed berry jelly, Cerise sur le gateau, Chocolate brownie cake, Chocolate tarts and Macarons. The chefs were friendly and helpful to students and even though I had learnt a lot more over the last year at school, there were still a few tips and tricks that I picked up from them.

First day: Almond sponge, vanilla mousse, mixed berry jelly, chocolate fondant, chocolate walnut brownie, rice crispies with chocolate (croquetine), hazelnut dacquoise, chocolate ganache and some pictures of the yeast goods prepared by the other class.


Second day: Chocolate mousse, shiny chocolate glaze, macarons, chocolate tarts, glaze for the vanilla mousse cake, chocolate chantilly AND of course finishing all the cakes with the decoration.


On a break.. what a year!!

As I pack my bags and head home for the “school break”, I look back at the year I’ve had and think about all the awesome people I’ve met and the many many experiences of which money can’t buy. I thank God for such understanding parents, a supportive sister and brother-in-law and cousin and most of all for all those out there who’ve supported my efforts in my journey towards making my dream a reality.

Highlights of the year include:

  1. Having my profile in a careers magazine (thanks to Jade and Hans)
  2. Volunteering for 4 foodie events of which I met so many chefs, made so many new friends and experienced what it was like to be in the Industry
  3. Meeting Pierrick Boyer and Adriano Zumbo..
  4. Working in a Cafe Claremont and networking with other Chefs who have verbally offered me a job for next year.. stay tuned!
  5. Buying a property.. moving soon.. hopefully mid next year!

Lowlights of the year include:

  1. Having minimal income and having to budget my finances
  2. Losing some close friends, Rest In Peace dear ones..
  3. Learning how to accept things that may not necessarily go to plan..

Looking forward to:

  1. My trip home..
  2. My sister’s wedding
  3. Meeting up with all my friends and spending more time with family
  4. Coming back to Melbourne with a refreshed, renewed and joyous spirit
  5. Finishing off my course (only 6 more months to go)
  6. And finally, moving to the West!

Here’s wishing all of you a very very Blessed Christmas, a Smashing New Year and a safe holiday season!! Thank you everyone again for your support, advice and love!! See you all next year!!!!!

Love, Charms

Please take NOTE that I won’t be taking any orders until February 2011.. Thanks!!

Assessment – Present Desserts

And the last prac class for the year, gosh.. it’s gone so quick!!

Presenting my Chocolate Banana pudding with chocolate parfait and some decoration.. oh, and I got an ‘A’ for this too..


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