Just one bite of a baked cheese tart from the popular Hokkaido-based confectionery Bake was enough to get advertising planner Erika Low into the kitchen to try to replicate it.
It was love at first bite when the 24-year-old tried the tart in November last year. However, she was put off by the long queue at Bake's outlet in Ion Orchard.
The alternative? Bake her own.
She says: "Bake's cheese tart is such an unusual treat. Unlike a New York cheesecake, the salty-sweet cheese filling is warm and melts in the mouth."
To get started, she turned to the Internet for a recipe and made some tweaks.
BAKED CHEESE TART
For the pastry
- 75g unsalted butter, softened
- 65g caster sugar
- 30g beaten egg
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 100g cake flour
- 10g unsalted butter, softened (for greasing tart pans)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten (for brushing pastry base)
For cheese custard
- 250ml water
- 220g cream cheese
- 15g shredded mozzarella cheese
- 15g grated parmesan cheese
- 100g fresh milk
- 30g unsalted butter, softened
- 8g cornstarch
- 30g icing sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2-3 eggs, lightly beaten (for egg wash)
For the pastry
1. In a mixing bowl, mix the butter and the caster sugar with a spatula until the sugar is completely incorporated into the butter.
2. Add beaten egg, vanilla essence and cake flour, and mix until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
3. Shape the dough into a ball. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for an hour.
4. After an hour, remove the dough from the refrigerator and leave it at room temperature for five minutes to soften before removing the cling wrap.
5. Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C. To make bigger tarts, grease two 14cm tart pans with butter. For smaller tarts, grease 12 6.5cm tart pans with butter.
6. For the larger tarts, divide the dough in half and roll each one until it is 0.5cm thick and about 17cm in diameter. Line the pans with the pastry, trim the excess dough around the pan with a knife and press the edges of the pastry into the pan with your fingers. Use a fork to poke holes on the base of the pastry.
7. For smaller tarts, roll out the dough until it is 0.5mm thick. Use an 8cm cookie cutter to cut out circles and line the 6.5cm tart pans with them. Trim off the excess dough. Use a fork to poke holes on the pastry base.
8. To blind-bake the pastry, place a piece parchment paper over the dough and fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Bake for 15 minutes. Take the pastry out of the oven, and remove the parchment paper and baking beans.
9. Brush the pastry base with a beaten egg. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until the pastry turns golden brown.
10. Remove the pans from the oven and leave tarts to cool for 30 minutes. Place a larger plate over the pans to turn the pastry out. Set aside.
For the cheese custard
1. Pour 250ml of water into a medium pot set over high heat. Place a metal bowl over the pot, making sure that the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Bring the water to a boil before turning the heat down to medium.
2. Add cream, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, fresh milk and butter into the bowl. Stir the contents with a whisk for about five minutes until the cheeses have melted (above).
3. In another mixing bowl, sift the corn starch and icing sugar, and mix into the cheese mixture.
4. Add the egg, vanilla essence and sea salt. Stir the mixture continuously for 10 to 15 minutes until the custard thickens. Remove the bowl from the water bath and cool it for five minutes before transferring the custard into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle.
5. Pre-heat the oven to 230 deg C.
6. Pipe cheese custard into the pastry shells in a circular motion until the tarts are filled or spoon the filling into the pastry cups. Brush the top of the filling with egg wash.
7. Bake for six to seven minutes until the top of the cheese filling turns slightly brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before serving.
Makes two large tarts or 12 smaller tarts, or one large tart and six small.
Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.
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