Sunday, December 11, 2016

Baking Experiments: Baked Cheese Tarts

When we were in Japan (a few years back), I remember buying this Pablo 'rare cheese tart' because (1) there was a long queue (kiasu lah) and (2) I was curious why they called it "rare" since I've only seen the term used in steak. It turned out to be a light cheese cake with a wobbly centre - we took the medium rare. At that time, we were greenhorns and put up all our mental barriers that it was too oozy for our schmoozy time.

Recently there's been a craze for Hokkaido baked cheese tarts. A slew of stores have been popping up in all the malls and there are a few brands which are all yellow with black text - I haven't been paying attention, I thought they were all the same. The tarts would sell for around RM5 each (but I've not bought any in Malaysia so far). The only time I had it was in Bangkok earlier this year - and it was gooood!

hokkaido cheese tart
Bake Cheese Tarts we had while waiting for a seat in After You Cafe in Central World, Bangkok
Somehow I feel a little defensive having to pay so much for a cheese tart - perhaps the tiny size of the tart and well, it looks rather plain too. Anyway, I've made normal cheese tarts before and figured I could try this out too. I'll admit I'm a bit of a DIY freak - if I could build my own house I think I might attempt it.

I found this recipe which looked rather doable and have bookmarked it for over a week. With the long weekend here, I bought all the three cheeses (cream, mascarpone, parmesan), butter, milk, eggs and lemons that I needed. I had the other ingredients, which I was thankful for because (finally) I get to use them!

After the morning's kerfuffle of miscommunication and emotional flashbacks, we'd missed church so I started preparing the ingredients for the baked cheese tarts. The pastry was the same as what I'd learned in the baking class, so this went pretty well. Then came the cheese custard part, where mum kept telling me "quick", "faster", "hurry up"... until I forgot to add the milk in and was wondering why the cheese custard was so sticky. When I realised the missing ingredient, we had to reheat the water bath and stir in the milk. And then it was rather too fluid! Note to self: next time don't forget the milk!

Anyway, all in all we had to do a little modification on the baking time because the cheese custard was too fluid to brush on the egg yolk glazing. So the tarts went into the oven and then out and then back in. Perhaps this and the extended baking time caused the cheese custard to be firmer than desired.

3 cheeses tarts
Fresh from the oven - my baked cheese tart
We were quite impatient to taste it, so we took one of the uglier ones while it was cooling down. The 'skin' that formed at the surface of the cheese custard was peeling away. Probably caused by the fluctuation in temperature going in and out of the oven.

wobbly cheese tart
Taste test time!
And then when we cut into the tart... the first touch of the blade on the cheese custard was hopeful, it wobbled a little. But when the knife went through the tart, the cheese custard did not "fall out" like what we hoped for. It was soft, like 'taufu fa' but not fluid. Taste-wise it was ok (this was when it was hot).

three cheeses tart
Baked cheese tart moment of truth! It's ok, this was a first try. 
After dinner, I tried another tart and the taste was better. Mum concurred saying there must be a next time (she knows how much I spent on the three cheeses and how much I have left!). I think a little more sugar would've made it more dessert-ish. But I'm happy for a first try!

Rating: Success.

No comments:

Post a Comment