Heartsoul Desserts

The Heart and Soul of my Baking Journey coming alive

Archive for the tag “chocolate”

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.



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..


Assessment – Gateaux, Tarts and Tortes

So this was it.. I got an ‘A’ for this subject.. had heaps fun.. only feedback Chef gave me was my cake was overly decorated.. whoops..


Week 8 – Gateaux, Tarts and Tortes: Window display

So this week, we had heaps of fun doing ‘French Pastries’, which are cakes of a single serve for a window/buffet display. Chef let us experiment with some new ideas as the ones we kept over the last 7 weeks were accidentally defrosted and had to be thrown out.

Item #1: Pink “masterchef” profiterole, choux base and shortbread top, small top, big bottom, raspberry jelly insert, creme, sugar flower on top and raspberry powder white chocolate pieces


Item #2: Pink eclairs, choux base, creme, fresh berries, chocolate decoration


Item #3: Pistachio Macaron, vertical, pistachio mousse, raspberry jelly, white chocolate mousse, toasted nuts


Item #4: Walnut Macaron, finger shapped, caramel mousse, caramel, coffee mousse, chocolate sphere and decor


Items #5 and #6: Esterhazy Torte (Hazelnut) and Linzer Torte


Entire Display…


An oceanside celebration..

So I was referred on by a friend to bake some cupcakes for friends of hers who were celebrating their commitment to each other. The theme was Oceanside and I came up with the cupcake concept and also decorated the cupcake tier myself. I hired the cupcake tier and bought most of the material from Spotlight (Navy blues and white rope). The venue was at The Victorian, Albert Park.

Ocean: Silver paper, Chocolate mud cake, Blue & White Vanilla icing and Belgian Chocolate seashell (white marbled)
Beach: Gold paper, Vanilla cake, Salted caramel icing, Toasted coconut and Belgian Chocolate seashell (cream marbled)


And now for the more professional shots taken by Gavin Luu, friend and photographer who also takes photos for Joanie of OneWeddingWish. Thanks soooooo much Gav!!


Thanks J&C for the honour and I had such a great time doing them for you.. wishing you all the happinness for years to come!

Week 5 – Gateaux, Tarts and Tortes

The finishing up of the Passionfruit Gateaux and a new cake recipe that chef had one of the groups try out for a book next year (Chocolate Delice Gateaux). We tried making chocolate spaghetti, chocolate petals, using of the spray gun and other decorative work with chocolate.


Tempting Choc Mud Cake

One super order, dark choc mud cake with ganache for Jess. It was supposed to be for 25 people but apparently they loved it so much that they ate it continuously throughout the day, little by little, which meant it probably fed double the amount of people for the day.. great great feedback for this cake!


Week 1 – Present Desserts

So a new class starts this term – Present Desserts, where we learn the necessary skills to present our desserts as per in a restaurant.

We prepared a few garnishes (brandy snaps, tuilles, biscotti) and tempered some chocolate.


Dean’s Retro Birthday cupcakes

It was a last minute job and nearly didn’t make it in time for the dinner.. the last cupcake was done at exactly 6.20pm and then I packed and rushed out the door at 6.30pm.. haha.. but here it is:

Chocolate Chip Base with Green Mint Icing or Orange Cointreau Icing (and with Lindt chocolate pieces to match – Mint/Orange)


Week 2: Pastries

The following week was equally insane.. I think we are really being pushed to our limits, this is what summer school is all about, in some aspect I love it cos we only have to concentrate on one Unit but at the same time it’s driving me insane cos we are working 8 hours a day non-stop and then after 6 lessons, it’s assessment time already!!

Including pracs, we have theory units such as ‘clean and maintain kitchen’ and food safety procedures, etc.. and we have to pass all 3 theory Units to move on to next term! Talk about pressure!!

Anyway, here’s what we did for week 2:

  • 3 methods of puff pastry – English, French and Scotch
    • Apple turnovers
    • Mille Feuille
    • Sausage Rolls
    • Cinnamon Sugar Twists
  • Frangipane Tartlets
  • Quiche using savoury short pastry
  • Fruit flan using sweet short pastry
  • Choux pastry – Profiteroles and Choc Eclairs


Assessment was 10 frangipane tartlets, 6 profiteroles and 6 choc eclairs, also passed the theory and prac!!

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