Recipe: Baked cheese tarts

Queueing not quite your thing?
Stay in and create your own take on these trendy gooey-centred pastries
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We’ve seen food trends come and go in Singapore, but rarely has a food item been so popular that it spawns dozens of spin-offs, even before its actual launch. Such is the allure of the baked cheese tarts from Hokkaido-headquartered Bake Cheese Tarts, which opened its first Singapore outlet in the basement of Ion Orchard on 29 April.

If you haven’t got the time or energy to brave the snaking queues for those molten-centred cheesy treats, why not try your hand at recreating the oozy gems at home? We've helped you source this tried-and-tested recipe courtesy of eminent homebaker and food blogger, Meg Tan of Dreamersloft.

The best part is: her version swaps in easy-to-find ingredients that can be sourced from most neighbourhood supermarkets - so you don't have to fret over how to fly in cartons of fresh ingredients from Hokkaido regularly.


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“The aroma of the tarts filled the entire shop - the street even - and I could see why people were willing to queue for them. I, too, had queued for about 30 mins at Bake Cheese Tart’s Jiyugaoka outlet in Japan and bought two tarts: one for immediate consumption and the other, for breakfast the next day. The tart pastry was fragrant and crunchy and the filling was really sharp, cheesy and creamy. I took one bite after another and in no time, one tart was gone.  I almost wanted to eat the other one there and then. 

After coming home, I kept thinking about baking this tart and started searching on the internet for recipes and attempts by other bakers. After four attempts and nine tart cases - I test-baked the first four piece by piece to get the right consistency, the right temperature and timing - and with many adjustments to the cheese custard, I was finally successful.

(Related: Recipe for Ondeh-ondeh or Klepon)

There is no way I could get any Hokkaido cream cheese here, so I used Philadelphia cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, parmesan cheese and salted butter instead, as well as fresh milk and eggs. These are the ingredients I have on-hand and am familiar with. Feel free to try out other cheese combinations.”  ...read the full post on Dreamersloft


Baked Cheese Tart 

Makes 8-9 tarts, using a 5.5cm top and 3cm base baking tin

Note: The cheese custard yield is more than enough to fill the tart pastry. You can also increase the tart pastry recipe by 20 per cent or reduce custard recipe by 20 per cent according to your preference.

Ingredients

For the tart pastry

  • 100g cake flour
  • 20g icing sugar
  • 50g salted butter, cut into cubes, cold
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp fresh milk

For the cheese custard

  • 150g cream cheese
  • 50g Mascarpone cheese
  • 20g Parmesan cheese
  • 30g salted butter
  • 100g fresh milk
  • 30g icing sugar
  • 8-12g corn starch, depending on consistency desired
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • up to 1/4 tsp sea salt (optional)
  • 1 egg yolk for brushing on top of custard
Method

  • Start by making the tart pastry. Sift the cake flour and icing sugar into a large bowl. Add cold salted butter cubes.
  • Using finger tips, break the butter and rub the butter into the flour mixture, until it resembles bread crumbs.
  • Add egg yolk to the mixture, use a scraper to mix the egg yolk into flour mixture.
  • The mixture will come together and thereafter, use hands to form the mixture into a dough.
  • Add fresh milk, the dough will become very soft and pliable.
  • Knead the dough gently into a ball. Place on a piece of clingwrap.
  • Wrap the dough and place in fridge to rest for about 1 hour.

  • While waiting, prepare the cheese custard. Add cream cheese, Mascarpone cheese, Parmesan cheese, fresh milk and salted butter into a small pot. Place the pot into a large, shallow pan/pot with barely simmering water. This is the bain-marie method; the aim is to create a gentle and uniform heat for cooking custard. Keep stirring the mixture till everything is melted.
  • Once the mixture has melted, add sifted corn starch (the amount depends on final consistency of custard desired) and icing sugar. Mix till well-blended, the mixture will thicken slowly.
  • Add full egg, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Mix till well-blended, the mixture will further thicken into custard. Taste the custard and if desired, add some sea salt to increase intensity of the cheese taste.
  • There may be some fine lumps and grainy bits in the custard. Sifting will yield a more velvety smooth custard, but this is optional. Let the custard cool down completely.

  • Back to the tart pastry. Remove the dough from the fridge. Dust a baking mat and rolling pin with flour, roll the dough thinly, about 3-4 mm thickness. Use a 7cm fluted cutter to stamp the dough.
  • Use a metal scraper (dusted with flour) to lift up the cut dough.
  • Place the cut dough over a tart tin (5.5cm top and 3cm base) and gently press it downwards.
  • Using finger tips, gently press and mould the dough into the tart tin. Use a fork to poke holes at the base of the tart cases.
  • Bake the tarts at 180°C, with the oven on fan mode, for 10mins. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. After the tart cases have cooled slightly, remove them from the tins and let them cool completely before use.
  • Preheat oven to 230°C fan mode.
  • Fill a piping bag with the cheese custard. Pipe the custard into the tart cases, in a slightly domed shape. Brush custard evenly with egg yolk.
  • Bake the tarts at 230°C fan mode for 6 to 7 mins.
  • Once baked, remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. 
  • Enjoy the tarts warm and freshly baked.

    Have a recipe you want to share? Email us at lifestyle@michelin.sg with your recipe and a short story about how you came up with it, and we may feature it here.

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    Further reading: Like this recipe? Here's more you might find useful.
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